Alumni Awards

Each year, Friends School is proud to honor alumni who have distinguished themselves with outstanding professional and personal achievements and those who have loyally dedicated their time and service to the School. 

To nominate a Friends School alum in a class ending in "7" or "2" for Alumni Weekend 2022 CLICK HERE. 

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award was established to recognize and honor those Friends School graduates whose professional or volunteer achievements have brought distinction within a particular field or vocational endeavor, locally or on a national level.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award

This award was established to honor a Friends School alumna or alumnus who has generously and loyally donated time and energy to enrich Friends and its future.

Honorary Alumni Award

This award was established to honor a Friends School community member who exemplifies the Quaker philosophy and spirit, and who gives of himself of herself to further the growth of Friends School and its community.

2020 Alumni Awards

2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Anita Gadhia-Smith, Psy.D., M.S.W. ’80 is a leading Washington, D.C. psychotherapist, bestselling author, and expert contributor on mental health reporting and federal legislation. Through her private practice she treats adults and adolescents suffering with substance abuse and addictions, relationship and family issues, and a host of related disorders. She was awarded 2020 Best in Washington, D.C. Psychotherapist..

Peter Block, MD ’55 is a cardiologist and professor emeritus at Emory University School of Medicine. His pioneering work in the sub-specialty of structural heart disease has informed practice and dramatically enhanced patient outcomes worldwide. The recipient of countless awards and honors, Dr. Block was inducted into the inaugural class of Master Interventionalists of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions in 2014. He has authored hundreds of articles in leading medical journals.

2020 Alumni Service Award Recipient

Kitty Bryant '75 is passionate and deeply committed to her class and her alma mater, she presently serves on the Board of Trustees, has served on numerous Reunion committees over four decades, is a past-president and longtime member of the Alumni Association Board, and, as its committee chair, has helped steward the Friends School Athletic Hall of Fame since shortly after its founding in 2008.

2020 Honorary Alumni Award Recipient

Heidi Blalock H'20 In 1990, Heidi Blalock answered an ad in the Sunpaper and began what became a thirty-year relationship with Friends School of Baltimore. Through the decades, Heidi has served the school as a school parent, a school volunteer, and most importantly, as the school’s primary story-teller and advocate in the Admission, Marketing, and Development Departments.

2021 Alumni Award Recipients

2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Peter Kaestner '71 is a retired senior U.S. diplomat, a world-renowned independent birder, and a community leader who has spent a lifetime mentoring and sharing his passions. During his 36-year career as a U.S. diplomat, he was posted to 12 different countries. Recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the first person to see a representative of every bird family in the world, he also discovered a new bird—named in his honor: Grallaria kaestneri, and is currently striving to be the first person to see 10,000 species.

Philip J. Merrill '81 is the CEO & Founder of Nanny Jack & Co, LLC, an African American heritage consulting business. He served eight seasons as a Chesapeake Collectibles appraiser on PBS Maryland Public Television (MPT) and six seasons as a PBS Antiques Roadshow appraiser of Black Americana. He’s a historian and author as well as the owner of an extensive collection of rare African American material culture, which he exhibits widely and uses to lecture to emphasize the historic accomplishments and contributions of African Americans.

2021 Outstanding Alumni Service Award Recipients

John Humphries, MD '76, a “legendary” Friends School class agent according to his classmates, John was instrumental in driving attendance for Reunions, fundraising, and had the ability to keep his classmates informed on all matters pertaining to the Class, the School, and the world. John touched, improved, and saved many lives over his lifetime of achievement in health care, and through his dedication to the School.


Janelle Milam Schmidt '96 worked at Friends for 25 years before departing in June of 2019. Over the course of her career, she served as Director of Summer at Friends, Director of Extended Day, Director of Early Learning at Little Friends, as well as managing many other programs. As a volunteer, she has served on the Alumni Association Board, as a class agent, a Reunion volunteer, and a class gift agent. 


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