The Young Alumnus Award
The Young Alumnus Award is given annually to an alumna or alumnus under the age of 40 who has achieved excellence in his or her chosen pursuits since graduation.
Gabe Davis ’03, Winner of Second Annual Young Alumni Award, Addresses Upper School
On Jan. 14, 2020, the Upper School had the pleasure of hearing from Young Alumni Award recipient Gabe Davis ’03, who visited campus to accept his award from Head of Upper School Matt Bolton and address the students at assembly.
Davis graduated from Seven Hills in 2003, matriculating at Yale University for his undergraduate studies. After graduating, Davis returned to Cincinnati and worked for a year for a nonprofit with AmeriCorps, helping to plan community outreach events to reduce health disparities in the city. From there, he attended Harvard Law School. Upon graduating from Harvard, Davis worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York, prosecuting serious crimes from domestic assault to forgery and robbery. Davis then went to work for the Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor in the Civil Rights Division, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes and police misconduct around the country. After three and a half years as a federal prosecutor, he returned to Cincinnati to take a job with Frost Brown Todd as a civil litigator. Gabe recently ran for Hamilton County Prosecutor, losing in the Democratic primary. In August 2020, he was appointed to lead Cincinnati’s Citizens Complaint Authority, a police oversight body.
Addressing the Upper School student body, Davis credited Seven Hills for preparing him for life beyond the school by asking more of students than rote memorization of facts.
“Being a prosecutor and being a lawyer isn’t really about spitting out facts, it’s about using your brain,” he said. “Here at Seven Hills, they teach critical thinking, they teach creativity, they teach us to find out who we are in the course of wrestling with facts.”
This engaging approach to learning served Davis well in his career as a prosecutor, when he would “go into court every day, to argue cases and argue hearings in front of judges who are tough and would eat you for breakfast if you didn’t come into the courtroom prepared every morning. It’s because of what I learned here that I was able to do that work. Having to make an argument, having to think on my feet, having to be creative, that came because of the skills I learned here.”
Along with stories from his own career and time at Seven Hills, Davis shared advice with the students, encouraging them to maximize the gift of their Seven Hills education and be active participants in their lives. He emphasized that the challenges of the world present an opportunity for their generation to “apply new energy to old problems.”
Young Alumnus Award Winners
Each year, this award honors a Seven Hills alumnus or alumna under the age of 40 who has made outstanding contributions in his or her area of endeavor or community, exemplified the Seven Hills values in a well-rounded life, demonstrated the value of a Seven Hills education, and shown leadership among peers. The Head of School makes the award based on the recommendation of a standing committee made up of faculty members, the Director of Development, and the Director of Alumni Engagement. This award was first bestowed in 2018.
|2019||Lily Yan||SHS ’06|
|2020||Gabe Davis||SHS ’03|
Nominate an Alumnus
A nominee for the award must be a Seven Hills alum who has made outstanding contributions in his or her area of endeavor or community, exemplified the Seven Hills values in a well-rounded life, demonstrated the value of a Seven Hills education, and shown leadership among peers. Your nominee must have graduated in 1999 or later. If you would like to check on a graduate’s class year or have any other questions, please contact the Director of Alumni Engagement Sarah Ott Lautar ’05 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513.728.2432.