Published : Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | 4:08 PM
On Friday, Nov. 11, Sarah Hotchkis Ketterer ’79 returned to Poly to visit with students and be honored as the 2015 Distinguished Alumna of the Year. Sarah is CEO and fundamental portfolio manager at Causeway Capital Management, which she co-founded in 2001.
Sarah’s career in finance began in the summer of 1980, when she took a summer job filing research reports for her father’s asset management firm. Her successful and varied career has also included work in mergers and acquisitions advisory, investment banking (at a time when she was the lone female professional in the office), and database management, a field she entered after recognizing a lack of information about small and mid-sized companies. As Sarah said of her career more simply, “I’m a gardener. I make money grow. If it doesn’t grow, I’m fired.”
Sarah began her visiting day at the Upper School morning meeting, when she was introduced to the student body. She expressed her excitement about being back on campus and encouraged students to approach her throughout the day.
Sarah was then interviewed by a student journalist for an upcoming feature in The Paw Print, the Upper School student newspaper Ketterer founded during her time at Poly. “I used to do the layout on the floor of my bedroom, so getting things lined up perfectly was a real challenge.” She also enjoyed classroom visits, which provided an opportunity to see first-hand what students at Poly are engaged in today. Sarah served as a guest lecturer in an International Relations class for seniors, and she shared about the careful and sometimes challenging balance of work and family life with members of the Girls Service League during lunch.
Sarah also spent time in conversation with Head of School John Bracker and had a special visit to the Poly archives, where Archives Manager Barbara Bishop shared class photos and yearbooks so Sarah could reminisce about her years a Poly.
Sarah’s visit culminated in a dinner held in her honor at Bracker’s home, where classmates and Alumni Board members gathered to celebrate. After guests enjoyed a lively cocktail reception and dinner, her classmate Kathleen Gilmore ’79 spoke about Sarah’s professional accomplishments and shared fond memories of their time as students at Poly. Alumni Association President Warren Techentin ’86 listed the qualities considered in selecting award recipients — integrity, curiosity, compassion — and noted that this year’s decision was unanimous. He then presented Sarah with the 2015 Distinguished Alumna Award. In accepting the award, Sarah shared her appreciation for being recognized by the alumni community and for her many friends and family members who were in attendance. She remarked that the entire day was an honor and she was inspired by her engagement with the students and teachers.
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