Stanford graduating seniors Hunter Kodama, Chiney Ogwumike, win Alumni Association’s Sterling Award

Howard Wolf, director of the Stanford Alumni Association with Hunter Kodama, '14, a 2014 Sterling Award winner.
Howard Wolf, president of the Stanford Alumni Association, with Hunter Kodama, ’14, a 2014 Sterling Award winner. He shared the award with Chiney Ogwumike ’14.

Graduating seniors HUNTER KODAMA and CHINEY OGWUIMKE have received the Stanford Alumni Association’s 2014 J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for outstanding service to Stanford.
HOWARD WOLF, president of the Alumni Association and vice president for alumni affairs, presented the awards at the SAA Board Meeting on Thursday, May 15.
Kodama, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, has been actively involved in campus life. He was a Junior Class President, a Freshman Transition Coordinator, a four-year member of the Dance Marathon planning team, the 2014 Associated Students elections commissioner and is currently a Senior Gift co-chair.
“He’s both an individualist and entrepreneurial. He is the definition of what it is to be a student leader at Stanford,” one of his nominators wrote. Other references commented on his warmth and humility, compassion, work ethic, genuine nature and enthusiasm for Stanford.
The Sterling Award cites Hunter“…For the deep level of respect and trust afforded him by his classmates, due not only to the countless ways he has served them and his university, but also to the gracious sincerity and generous spirit he brought to this work.
Ogwumike, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, has been a stand-out student-athlete. She was a member of the varsity women’s basketball team for four years and received numerous honors on the conference and national levels. She was a captain of the team for two years, a member and committee co-chair of the Cardinal Council and was  an active participant in community volunteer engagements. She was the driving force behind Nerd Nation.
One of her nominators described some of the ways in which Chiney is a stand-out leader: “Chiney has a magnetic personality that makes people want to be around her.  Not only does she have high standards for herself, but also she helps make others around her better.  She is selfless, encouraging, motivating, inspiring and most of all, a person with unquestioned integrity.”
The Sterling Award cites Chiney for being an “incredible role model to young girls,” and “for teaching us all that life is about playing hard, working hard….And for saying with unmitigated love and pride ‘I am Stanford!’ while everyone everywhere agrees unanimously, ‘Yes, you are Stanford.’”
Ogwumike was unable to attend the May 15 dinner becasue she is busy training with the Connecticut Sun, the WNBA team that selected her as the Number One draft pick in April.
The Alumni Association presents the Sterling Award annually to a graduating senior whose undergraduate activities have made an impact on campus and who demonstrates the strong potential for continued service to the university and the alumni community. This is the first time since 1999 that the award has been presented to two seniors.
The award is named for the late J.E. Wallace Sterling, who served as Stanford’s president from 1949 to 1968.

 — BY CARA HANELIN, Stanford Alumni Association