Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Berube '92 Named 2016 Distinguished Alumnus
by Kathy Aiello, Ed. D.
It was a memorable afternoon for members of the Class of 2016, alumni, faculty, staff and school administrators with the naming of Olympic gold medalist Ryan Berube '92 as the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus by the Alumni Council at the annual Alumni Luncheon hosted May 22 in Benjamin Hall. The former competition swimmer and freestyle specialist won the gold medal anchoring the U.S. men's team in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Following welcoming comments by Head of School Bob Goldberg, Alumni Relations Manager Jenna Smith '07 introduced Berube to the audience with a special video tribute produced by Director of Multimedia Productions Ken Archer.
Berube's athletic career accomplishments are numerous, including being named a 26-time NCAA All-American swimmer while at Southern Methodist University where he earned his degree in history and finance and was named the 1998 NCAA Swimmer of the Year. Internationally, Berube also won relay gold medals at the 1993 World University Games and the 1995 Pan American Games. The Class of 1992 TBS alumnus was a proud member of the Buccaneer swim team and won the FHSAA state championship in the 200IM and 500 freestyle.
Berube is currently a wealth manager at UBS Private Wealth Management and is the chairman of the Dallas Chapter of Swim Across America, a non-profit organization that raises funds for cancer research. Berube is also spearheading the fundraising for a new $30M aquatics facility at his college alma mater. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Michele, and two sons.
Athletic Director Ryan Smith '93 joined the alumni relations manager on stage and presented the honored guest with the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus award. "I am deeply honored to be back at Benjamin receiving this award," said Berube. "I believe my relationships with my teachers while a student here helped me to chose my college path and pursue my love of history. This is a very special place that will have lasting memories for every graduate here. I congratulate each of you and encourage you to identify your passion and pursue it as you move forward with your college and career plans."
Alumni Council VIce-President Matt Brannon '04 also extended congratulations to the graduates and invited their participation in future alumni activities. Lower school faculty member Jane HIgginbotham accompanied Brannon on stage in a gift presentation to members of the Class of 2016 14 Year Club, followed by Jenna Smith '07 who introduced the 2016 Class Agents (pictured L to R): Julie Bicknell, Andrew Witmer, Blake Henderson, Lyndsey Peckham and Derek Packer. "Our role is to keep all of us connected to each other and to Benjamin throughout our college years and beyond," said Packer.
The afternoon festivities continued with the dedication of the upper school yearbook to Head of Upper School Dr. Latta Baucom who conveyed congratulatory remarks to the Class of 2016. Graduates and guests convened to the lobby of Benjamin Hall for an elegant luncheon celebration adorned in Olympic décor in honor of Distinguished Alumnus Ryan Berube '92.
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.