Daniel Alarcón '95 Named 2015 Outstanding Alum

Journalist and author Daniel Alarcón '95 received the 2015 Outstanding Alum Award at a special Town Meeting during Alumni Weekend 2015.

Alarcón’s short story collection War by Candlelight was a finalist for the 2005 PEN-Hemingway Award. His first novel, Lost City Radio, was named Best Novel of 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post. He is Executive Producer of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language narrative journalism podcast. In 2010, he was included in The New Yorker’s list of the best 20 Writers Under 40. Three years earlier, he was named to a similar list of Latin American novelists, the Bogotá39. His latest novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award.

“I realized later—I realize now—how much I benefitted from being in a place that was so nurturing to creativity, that was supportive of students’ curiosity, that celebrated risk-taking," Alarcón told an audience of 300 students, faculty, and alumni. "There are a lot of places out there that are not like this, and once you get a little older, you appreciate that even more."

While the campus looks very different today than when he was a student ("Allegedly, I'm at Indian Springs," he joked), he applauded the new buildings and thanked the Board of Governors and Director Gareth Vaughan for supporting the faculty, students, and philosophy that make the school so special.

“I owe an immense debt of gratitude to my teachers and of course to my fellow students who were there pushing me to be more creative, more curious, and to do my best work. Thank you so much. I am very humbled to receive this award.”

Click here to read more about Alarcón, view photos from the 2015 Outstanding Alum Award presentation, and hear his memorable remarks.
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