Making Waves: PGS establishes alumni award honoring Eva Auchincloss

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By PGS Staff

Published 7.31.14

Fourteen years after first joining the Presidio Graduate School Board of Directors, Eva Auchincloss is still making waves. From championing fundraising efforts to strategic planning, the impact of her leadership is undeniable.

Among Eva’s many talents is her ability to identify fertile connections, bringing countless new supporters into the Presidio community, not to mention new Board members. Eva is a change-maker of the quiet, ‘behind-the-scenes’ sort, always operating with humility and unfaltering enthusiasm. The generosity of her financial support is matched by the contributions she has made as a Board member during several leadership transitions at PGS, providing a strong and steadying presence throughout the institution’s history.

“Without Eva’s initiative, hard work and expansive professional network, PGS would never have been able to get off the starting block so quickly and effectively,” said PGS President and CEO William Shutkin. “Other than Dick Gray and Steven Swig, no one has been more important to the success of Presidio Graduate School than Eva Auchincloss.”

Eva sees her role as being one of enabling a ripple effect—of expanding the impact made by our students, faculty, and alumni. In her own words, she is no longer in a position to participate at the frontline of change but wants to amplify the work of younger people who are passionate about sustainability and taking action.

It seemed only appropriate, then, that the PGS Board of Directors and the Alumni Association Board would choose to honor her legacy by recognizing an achievement at the vanguard of sustainability—one of those ripples at the edge of social and environmental change. The Enterprise Vanguard Award (EVA) prioritizes the achievements of an alumnus or group of alumni who, since graduating from PGS, have achieved broad-based sustainability impact in business, the nonprofit sector, or government.

Board member and C10 alumna Rebekah Helzel says she hopes the award will serve as an inspiration to current students, a way of connecting alumni with the institution that equipped them with the tools for their success, and as a legacy for a woman who has helped drive PGS forward.

Rebekah explains, “The school really has been successful in educating a new leadership for a new world. It’s about what happens afterwards. We want to celebrate our highly skilled, passionate alumni and the results of their hard work.”

The Alumni Association Board worked together with the PGS Board of Directors to create the Enterprise Vanguard Award and choose its first recipient out of 670 talented alumni: Nick Aster (C3), founder of Triple Pundit, for his leadership and creativity in creating one of the leading content resources for business and sustainability.

This article was originally published in Presidian Spring 2014: Theory to Action. Read more from the interactive online magazine here!

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