2022-23 Alumni Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Robert R. Hoopes ’85

Robert R. Hoopes, Jr. ’85 is a successful entrepreneur and nationally recognized leader in the field of public policy, reputation, and business management.  
Robert serves as CEO of VOX Global, a Washington, D.C.- based strategic communications firm that focuses on complex policy issues, issues management, sustainability, and great storytelling to diverse audiences. He has led some of the most high-profile work on a broad range of policy, reputation, and business issues for presidential campaigns, three Senate offices, Fortune 500 companies, higher education, and non-profit organizations.  
Robert is also a successful entrepreneur, founding VOX Global in 2007 and building it into one of the largest communications firms in the country. In 2021, he was appointed by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as a Commissioner on The President’s Commission on White House Fellowship, to select, mentor, and grow the White House Fellows Program. He also serves as vice chair of the Council on American Politics at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and on the Board of the First Tee of Greater Baltimore. 
Following WFS, Robert earned a B.A. in Government from Colby College and an M.L.A. from The George Washington University. He is married to Hilary Barnes Hoopes, and they have three children who are fourth-generation graduates of a Friends School. 
We are thrilled to honor Robert during Homecoming this year as the 2022 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. 

Outstanding Service Award: Ben Osbun ’66

Ben Osbun ’66 has been involved with several non-profit organizations in and around Wilmington, including Wilmington Friends School, for the past 20 years. 

Before shifting his focus to serving his community, Ben had a successful career in retail. He worked as a buyer and merchandise manager for Wilmington Dry Goods from 1970-1989 and then started his own business. From 1990-2005, he opened and managed a ladies clothing store, The Fashion Outlet. The Fashion Outlet had six locations from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. 

After retiring, Ben joined the Outreach Committee at Christ Church in Greenville, DE. Fellow committee member, WFS alumnus, and Outstanding Service Award recipient in 2020, Tom Scott ’70, encouraged committee members to become more actively involved with various non-profit organizations in the area. Ben joined the Board of St. Michael’s School and Nursery; became a mentor and future Board Chair at the Cathedral Choir School; and serves on the Debley Foundation Board with his daughter Katherine Osbun Maki ’92 which funds global development and women’s empowerment initiatives.   He also coordinates the collection and distribution efforts of donated items at Christ Church. Each month, parishioners are encouraged to bring in items to support one of the Outreach partners and Ben ensures the process runs smoothly. 

Ben is also closely connected to WFS. In 1963, he asked his future bride, Carol Mumford Osbun ’66, to the Junior Prom. Carol and Ben have been married for 53 years and have lived in Alapocas for 42 years! Their daughters, Katherine Osbun Maki ’92 and Kelly Osbun Rubincan ’97, both graduated from WFS. Ben and Carol have continued to be involved with WFS throughout the years, hosting most of the Class of 1966’s reunion parties and serving as dedicated class agents. They were instrumental in the creation of an endowment fund in Memory of Duane Nash in honor of their 50th reunion and Ben participated in the Elder and Child program at the lower school. Ben is also a former WFS Trustee. WFS is grateful for all Ben has done for the school community, and proud to acknowledge his many contributions to numerous other non-profit organizations.

Young Alumna of the Year: Hannah Beswick ’05

Hannah Beswick ’05 is a global affairs specialist, whose work has spanned the United Nations, government, and academia. Hannah currently works in climate policy, serving as a Senior Advisor for COP28 in the Office of the United Arab Emirates Climate Change Special Envoy. She formerly served as the partnerships lead at the UN Women Liaison Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council, managing strategic partnerships across the Arabian Gulf to accelerate progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Prior to this, Hannah served as the Women, Peace and Security Advisor and Senior Gender Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the United Nations in New York where she provided policy advice at the intersection of peace, security, gender, and sustainable development. 

Hannah developed her passion for advancing gendered perspectives and women’s participation in all aspects of peace and security while working with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in Washington, D.C. Prior to this, she served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, working to advance youth development and women’s empowerment. Hannah received her B.A. in International Studies from Vassar College and her M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
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