The Hope College Alumni Association honored two graduates with Young Alumni Awards on Thursday.
The association recognized Maxine Gray of Seattle, Wash., who is a 2004 Hope graduate, and Matt Scogin of New York City, who is a 2002 Hope graduate during a dinner.
While on campus, both Gray and Scogin presented workshops hosted by the Alumni Association and the college Career Development Center and designed for students as they consider their lives after graduation. Gray presented “Developing Your Personal Brand” while Scogin presented “Leadership Development” on Thursday, March 27.
The Young Alumni Award was established to honor the talents and contributions that young alumni have made to their professions, their communities and to the college, and was first presented in 2007. Criteria include having been a member of the Alumni Association for 15 or fewer years; notable prominence through professional endeavor, research, volunteerism, and/or involvement with the local or global community or the college; and demonstrating significant initiative by starting innovative service projects, research, businesses or other original enterprises.
Gray is the project manager within the global employer brand & channels team at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle. She manages the global employer brand campaign, and social recruitment strategies and channels which position Starbucks as an employer of choice around the world.
Originally from Kalamazoo, she majored in communication and minored in sociology at Hope. Her co-curricular activities at the college included writing a column called “The Gray Area” as a guest columnist for the “Anchor” student newspaper; co-hosting a show on WTHS, the college’s student-run FM radio station; the Black Student Union; Dance Marathon; Orientation; and the Phelps Scholars Program. During the spring of 2004 she held a public relations internship at the CBS affiliate while participating in the off-campus Philadelphia Center program. As a student she also worked in the college’s Career Development Center for two years.
She continued her education at Grand Valley State University, graduating in 2009 with a master’s degree in communication.
Throughout her professional career, the common thread has been her love for the power of strategic communications to move people to action. Prior to joining Starbucks in 2013, she was the candidate experience and social media program manager within the talent acquisition team at Herman Miller Inc. in Zeeland, where she focused on candidate experience, college recruitment, early-in-career and diverse-talent attraction, employment branding and online social recruitment and sourcing strategy. Before joining Herman Miller Inc. in 2011, she held positions with a strategic communications firm and an international foundation. In addition, immediately after Hope, she worked in the college’s Office of Multicultural Education as program coordinator for two years.
Gray has been involved in the volunteer board of directors of BL²END, a networking and development group in Grand Rapids for young professionals of color, since November 2006. She served in marketing communications, professional development, and vice president roles prior to becoming president of the Executive Board for two years. She became a member of the BL²END advisory council in January 2013.
Her volunteer service has also included being a member of the InForum West Michigan Regional Council from 2009 to 2013, the Varnum Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council from 2010 to 2012, and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Advisory Council from 2010 to 2013. She is also a graduate of the Heart of West Michigan United Way’s “Project Blueprint” program, which is focused on increasing the ethnic diversity of leadership within nonprofit boards and committees in West Michigan. She has also remained actively engaged with the college as a volunteer since graduation, including providing inspirational remarks to students in the graduating class of December 2012.
In 2011, Gray was recognized as a “40 under 40” business leader by the “Grand Rapids Business Journal,” and in 2012 she received the “Advocate” award from the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids for her volunteer leadership within the BL²END board of directors. She is committed to servant leadership and bringing purpose, passion and impact to everyday life; both inside and outside of the workplace. In January 2013, she was recognized with a “Shooting Star” award by the Michigan Business & Professional Association at the organization’s 17th Annual Leadership and Awards Conference for Women and Leadership in the Workplace. She considers herself a catalyst for positive change around topics related to young professionals, women and diversity and inclusion.
Scogin is the senior vice president and chief of staff at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). He acts as a key strategist and principal advisor to CEO Duncan Niederauer. He is also a key member of the senior executive team and has played a leading role in the overall strategic direction of the company. He oversees the offices of Corporate Responsibility, Global Affairs, and the Office of the CEO, managing an overall staff of 16 people. He joined the NYSE in 2009 from Wachovia Bank, where he worked as chief of staff and senior adviser to the CEO.
Prior to working at Wachovia, Scogin occupied several senior roles in government. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as the Senior Advisor for Domestic Finance in the U.S. Treasury Department. In that capacity, he served as an adviser to Secretary Henry Paulson and Under Secretary Robert Steel on matters related to the U.S. financial system, fiscal policy, and other related economic and financial policy issues. He was one of the architects of the government’s early response to the financial crisis. He has also worked previously as a fiscal policy adviser to Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and as a policy adviser and campaign manager to State Representative Barbara VanderVeen in Michigan.
Originally from Portage, Scogin majored in political science and economics at Hope. His co-curricular activities as a student included Student Congress, of which he was vice president during 1999-00 and president during 2001-02; the Mortar Board honorary society; the Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honorary society and Pi Sigma Alpha political science honorary; Habitat for Humanity; Hope Republicans; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Nykerk; participating in the spring break mission trip program; and Orientation. During the spring of 2001, he held an internship in the Office of Political Affairs in the White House while participating in the Washington Honors Semester.
He has a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. After finishing graduate school, he spent time in Germany as a fellow with the Robert Bosch Foundation studying unemployment and labor market policy. He has published several articles on issues related to public policy and finance.
Scogin also maintains active involvement in many community organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors for the SIFMA Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to fostering the understanding of financial markets, as well as the Northeastern Board of Directors for Operation Hope, a non-profit dedicated to economic education and empowerment. He also volunteers as the CFO of Lower Manhattan Community Church. He has also been active in the life of the college since graduation, and in March 2010 was the featured speaker in the Student Congress Speaker Series.
His wife, Sarah, is also a 2002 Hope graduate. They have three young children at home.