May 22, 2014

Bromley and Whigham share Harrison Smith Award

Alice Waugh, Director of Communications

Nominees for the 2014 Harrison Smith award were
(standing, left to right) Allen Ball, Maxine Yang,
David Hahs, Adam Traina, Josh Chang,
Beto Luna, David Feliciano, Rafael Secundo,
and (kneeling) award winners Scott Bromley
and Alex Whigham.

Previous Harrison Smith award winners who attended
the 2014 ceremony included (back row, left to right)
Jim Chow ’04, Steve Herington ’13, Jason Chen ’12,
Marshall Einhorn ’07, Aaron Raphel ’05 and
Tom Sanderson ’14. In the front row are
Harrison Smith’s sister Sandee Story, his mother
Sandra and his father Charles. Also on hand that day
but not pictured was former winner
Michelle Bernson ’04.

For the third time in the history of the award, two LGO students were voted by their peers to share the Charles “Harrison” Smith III Award.

Scott Bromley and Alex Whigham were recognized with the scholarship award given annually to first-year students who have made outstanding contributions to the program and shown remarkable leadership. It was established by the family of Charles “Harrison” Smith (LGO ‘99) after he died in an accident on the way to beginning his first job after completing the LGO program.

Smith was “always smiling, working hard organizing activities that brought our class together, and he was central in for formation of our class character,” his classmate Rob Mosher said, adding that the award in his friend’s name “recognizes people who bring out the best in all of us and make LGO personal and lasting.”

Classmates noted that while Bromley was not the most talkative person, his contributions always carry weight. “Scott is quiet in the classroom. He rarely asks questions, but when he does they'll blow you away with their depth and poignancy. His value is as a team member. He works tirelessly to produce quality work and never lets his team down,” one nominating letter said.

“In the classroom it wasn't about the volume of comments Scott made but the quality of the content when he did weigh in on a topic. Scott might be viewed as a quiet, perhaps understated person, but underneath that cool exterior is a very deep thinker who always enriched the classroom discussion with any comment he made,” said another classmate.

Outside the classroom, Bromley was operations manager of the MIT Clean Energy Prize, led Domestic Plant Trek and was a member of International Plant Trek committee.

Classmates who nominated Whigham for the award pointed to his many activities such as serving on LGO committees, participating in intramural sports and planning and hosting social events. “He has been instrumental in helping our class to come together and bond. Whether it be dedicating time to planning the international plant trek, or generously hosting class "events" at his apartment (Fort Awesome), Alex has consistently demonstrated his commitment and contribution to our class,” one nominator said.

“His positive attitude towards LGO is rich and contagious,” another classmate wrote. “In the classroom I am constantly impressed with Alex's thoughtful questions and insightful comments. He is extremely adept at cutting to the heart of a matter with a concise and deep question or comment that illuminates the topic in a new way or opens up the discussion for wider discourse.”

“It’s a great honor to represent the values you passed down to your son and that he passed on to his LGO classmates,” Whigham said to Harrison’s family members at the May 14 award ceremony. “I used to think only my relatives were my family, but now today, I’m surrounded with all these brothers and sisters. I’ve never been happier.”

The last time two students shared the Charles “Harrison” Smith award was in 2011, when Jason Chen and Limor Zehavi ’12 won the award. In 2005, Aimee L. Vessell and Christy Prilutski ‘06 won.

Other nominees for this year’s award were Allen Ball, Josh Chang, David Feliciano, David Hahs, Alberto Luna, Rafael Secundo, Adam Traina and Maxine Yang. Last year’s winner was Tom Sanderson (LGO ‘14).