Janna J. Annest '00: Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award Recipient, 2014-15
Janna J. Annest '00 (left) was presented the 2014-15 Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award by Lou Spelios '95, president of the Alumni Council, at the 209th Alumni Council Session on October 24, 2014.
Arriving at Dartmouth from the West Coast as a prospective student, you were struck by the warm welcome you received in Hanover. Students were excited to show you their college, and their enthusiasm was infectious. You hoped to fulfill your dream of a liberal arts education with the opportunity to play volleyball, and Dartmouth proved the right path for you.
You brought your passion for English to Hanover, where freshman fall you enrolled in an introductory Shakespeare class with professors Saccio and Crewe. Inspired by the Bard, you later studied abroad for a term at New College at Oxford. Once-a-week tutorials allowed you the freedom to travel and experience the glories of England.
On campus, volleyball demanded your focus. You excelled on the court, and, sophomore year, led the Ivy League in the number of digs in a season while setting a Dartmouth record. Your coaches and teammates were fantastic partners in your academic and athletic journey, while your Tri-Delt sisters and friends from Cobra senior society provided joyful sisterhood off the court.
While taking an environmental law course sophomore summer, you became intrigued by the law--a suitable match for your reading and writing skills. Later, you wrote your honors thesis on Shakespeare and graduated cum laude with a degree in English. Returning to the West Coast, you earned your JD at the University of Washington School of Law. You soon joined Mills Meyers Swartling, a Seattle area firm.
Your practice at Mills Meyers Swartling involves adoption, estate planning, and business law. You guide families through the adoption process, proving a thoughtful and valuable resource to many. Your passion for helping others through your work shines bright. Active with Adoptive Friends and Family of Greater Seattle, among other organizations, you have been selected to the Washington Rising Stars list of outstanding lawyers each year from 2009 to 2014.
Of course, busy with your career, you note that "you didn't know Dartmouth would be forever," but the alumni community embraced you. When settled back in Seattle, you connected with the Dartmouth Club of Western Washington. Quickly the club tapped you for a leadership role, and you served as vice president and later president of the Dartmouth Club of Western Washington; Alumni Council representative, where you served on the Athletics Committee and the Young Alumni Committee; and president of the Club Officers Association and member of the Executive Committee. Despite the challenge of living almost 2,500 miles from Hanover, you brought boundless energy to Dartmouth club events, creating family-friendly outings that welcomed an intergenerational group of alumni. You've also remained a cheerleader for Dartmouth's volleyball program, serving on its advisory board as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this fall. Your kind, inclusive approach is treasured by your fellow alumni.
You gracefully balance your demanding law practice and extraordinary volunteerism with raising an active young family with your husband, Dino, an educator and coach. Luckily for us, you started dating Dino as a student, so he is accustomed to your Big Green ways. You two are the proud parents of daughter Riley and son Leo, who cheerfully don their Dartmouth "swag" to accompany you to Seattle-area events.
It is with deep appreciation that the College honors your enthusiasm, energy, and dedication to Dartmouth with the Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.