Established in 2012, the Shorecrest Preparatory School Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award pays tribute to notable alumni who have used their Shorecrest experience to bring excellence to their professional achievements, provide inspirational leadership to others, and develop exceptional qualities.
During a recent, special Upper School assembly, Michael Root ’85 was presented with this year’s Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. The award was presented in the Janet Root Theatre, a familiar and sentimental location for the Root family.
After graduating from Shorecrest, Michael received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University followed by an MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Biophysics. Dr. Root joined Thomas Jefferson University in 2001, and currently directs the PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. He was also recently appointed as an Assistant Dean in the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences. In addition to his significant educational responsibilities, Root has an active research program focused on understanding the mechanisms involved in HIV entry.
Fellow Shorecrest classmate CeCe Bowman Coppins ’85 shared, “I can't imagine a more "Distinguished Alumni" in any year. While Michael was brilliant beyond any of us, he was loving and kind, and always there for a great laugh. What amazing achievements. I know the Class of 1985 continues to cheer you on into 2019 and beyond.”
Dr. Root provided an interactive presentation on his work and area of study, allowing the Upper School students to be part of fusing cellular membrane. His words of advice to those graduating to be open-minded to differing opinions, seeking fact and knowing the difference between belief and fact, resonated with those in attendance.
In Michael’s remarks to Headmaster Mike Murphy, “I am so fortunate to have had the Shorecrest experience in my youth to lay the groundwork for my successes in life, professional and personal.”
A committee including Shorecrest alumni from every graduating class decade, faculty and parents of alumni select the honoree. The intent of the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award is to recognize individuals who have made significant and meaningful contributions to society. Through their pursuits, whether intellectual, professional, artistic or social, and serve as both role models and sources of pride to past, present and future students of Shorecrest Preparatory School.
Recipients bring high honor to themselves, their community, and Shorecrest Preparatory School. There was an outpouring of congratulations for Michael who was known by his classmates as genuine, kind and brilliant. Nancy Bagot ’85 said “Mike has been impressing all of us for 35-40 years, and with his strong familial background and example, it is no surprise that he is using his gifts working to make the world better and safer.”