Created in 2015 for the school’s 175th Anniversary, this award is presented to an alumnus or alumna of the school under the age of 40 who has demonstrated significant professional achievement, contributions to his/her profession and/or community and continued promise of success in the future.
It is my great honor to present The Alumni Trailblazer Award to Jennifer duBois, class of 2002.
Jennifer’s Williston Northampton career started as a 7th grader and I’d like to think that throughout her six years at the school she honed the skills that would lead her to become the successful novelist she is today. She was awarded the Myrtle E. Hazeldine Prize for her work in English and for her writing in the Willistonian; and also was awarded the H. Thomas Wood Memorial Prize for showing the most promise in the field of journalism.
After graduating from Tufts University with a degree in political science and philosophy, she taught seventh grade social studies for one year before deciding to return to writing. She went on to earn an M.F.A. in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and completed a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. And the accolades would keep coming. Jennifer was the recipient of a 2013 Whiting Writer’s Award and a 2012 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 award. Her debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was the winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction and the Northern California Book Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Prize for Debut Fiction. Her second novel, Cartwheel, was the winner of the Housatonic Book Award for fiction and was a finalist for a New York Public Library Young Lions Award. Her writing has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, The Missouri Review, Salon, The Kenyon Review, and Cosmopolitan. Today, Jennifer teaches fiction writing in the MFA program at Texas State University and I suspect that she may be busy working on her next great novel! Jennifer could not be with us today because she is attending the commencement ceremonies at Texas State. At Jennifer’s request, accepting her award is Peter Gunn.
Alumni Trailblazer Award presented by Bob Hill to Jennifer duBois ’02. Award accepted by Peter Gunn.