Bicentennial Medalists 2019

About the Award

Established in 1993 on the occasion of the college’s 200th anniversary, Bicentennial Medals honor members of the Williams community for distinguished achievement in any field of endeavor. The college awarded 23 Bicentennial Medals in 1993 and has added up to seven awardees in each year since.

The Bicentennial Medals recognize alumni for “significant achievement in any field of endeavor.” We hope that seniors will find the recipients’ career paths and their accomplishments inspiring as they begin to think of life after college.

This Year’s Medalists


Dr. Kiat W. Tan ’65 

A globally recognized horticulturalist credited with transforming Singapore’s landscape, restoring the city’s Botanic Gardens and creating the horticultural attraction: Gardens by the Bay. Tan has been honored with a number of awards, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Veitch Memorial Gold Medal for advancing the science and practice of horticulture.

Dr. Martin A. Samuels ’67 

Regarded as a master clinician, educator and diagnostician, Samuels is an internationally known neurologist, the founding chair emeritus of the department of neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and distinguished professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, where he won the first Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Danielle Deane-Ryan ’97 

As director of the Inclusive Clean Economy program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Deane-Ryan is working on one of the most challenging problems of our time—developing solutions to the climate crisis that also address inequality. Previously she served as an advisor to the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and she was the founding executive director of Green 2.0

Carina Vance Mafla ’99 

As the Ecuadorian health minister, Vance led health system reform, facilitating the opening of 52 health centers and 10 hospitals. As executive director for the South American Institute of Government in Health, she strove to elevate the role of governments in South America to improve universal access to health for its citizens.