Honoring Alumni High Achievers
by Mike Ferlazzo
FOUR ALUMNI were recognized during Reunion, May 30–June 2, for their careers and contributions to Bucknell and society. A committee of current and past Bucknell University Alumni Association Board members, Bucknell Club representatives and previous recipients chose the winners.
Hollis ’69 and Gail Puderbaugh Brown ’69, P’97: Despite career demands and international relocations, the Browns supported Bucknell by serving in many volunteer and philanthropic roles over the last 50 years. Gail served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for eight years, and Hollis was on many Reunion committees, as well as the Bison Club Board. The Browns served on the Class of 1969’s 50th Reunion Committee, Hollis as co-chair of the outreach committee, Gail on the program committee. In memory of their first grandchild, who died at 5 months, they established the Owen Brown Memorial Scholarship. Hollis retired as chief engineer, project management, from ExxonMobil Chemical in 2005, while Gail retired from a career in education. They split their time between Washington Crossing, Pa., and Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Norman Kiken ’64: After a successful career in finance with Coopers & Lybrand and Leucadia National Corp., Kiken developed an interest in wine that evolved into a passion for the art and business of winemaking. In 1992, he purchased a newly planted 40-acre vineyard on Diamond Mountain in Napa Valley. He then harvested his first crop of grapes and produced a small batch of wine under the label Daydream. In 1993, he started construction on a Napa Valley winery of his own, and in 1995, Reverie produced its first vintage wine. Over the years, several of Kiken’s wines were chosen as Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year. Three years ago, Kiken sold his property and the Reverie trademark. He and wife Suzi Donahue live in San Francisco and Palm Desert, Calif.
Gary Bell ’79: As the executive director of Bebashi Transition to Hope since 1996, Bell has been instrumental in Bebashi’s growth and innovation, transforming it into a health and social services agency providing resources to economically disenfranchised people of color affected by health and social disparities. Under his leadership, Bebashi grew to incorporate many innovative programs related to breast health, sexual health and screenings for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Bebashi also sponsors support groups and the largest food cupboard in North Philadelphia. Bell initiated one of the nation’s only discharge-planning programs for HIV-positive ex-offenders. Before Bebashi, he helped develop one of the largest AIDS programs in Pennsylvania. Bell, who also is a family therapist, has been recognized in both local and national media for his work with Bebashi. Bell resides near Philadelphia with his wife, Sharlene.