Tom Werner Wins ‘2022 Alumni Award

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Communications

Mr. Werner answers student questions after the award ceremony.

Thomas C. Werner ’67 received the 2022 Alumni Award at an all-school ceremony on Friday, May 6. The Alumni Award is presented annually to a notable school graduate who has made significant contributions in their field and earned global recognition from peers.

The Alumni Award recipient is chosen by a nominating committee, which consists of eight members of the Board of Governors. Each committee member is assigned multiple alumni to research. The committee looks at a variety of factors when selecting the recipient. “The qualities of a qualified alumni winner is not only excellence across multiple fields but also giving back to the community,” said Tom Terbell, the chair of the Nominating Committee for Awards. 

At the ceremony, Mr. Werner was introduced by Ms. Elizabeth G. Hines ’93, co-president of the Board of Governors. He then spoke with Mr. Craig Bradley, the head of school, and answered questions about his time at the school, his career in television, and his ownership of multiple sports teams. Mr. Werner also answered questions from students. In response to one question from Lauren McLane ’23 about how his education at the school defined his career, he said, “I figured out how to achieve a goal and how to overcome obstacles, and I really do think that Hotchkiss gave me that. I was in a very competitive environment … and it helped me create a path for myself.”

During Mr. Werner’s time at the school, he excelled as a student and was elected to the Cum Laude Society in the fall of his Senior year. Additionally, he founded the Hotchkiss Film Society and served as a News editor of The Record. After graduating in 1967, Werner attended Harvard University, where he received a Bachelor in Arts. In 1973, he joined ABC-TV as the director of East Coast Prime Time Development. During his eight years there, he helped produce several acclaimed American television shows including Mark and Mindy, Bosom Buddies, Soap, and Taxi.

In 1980, Werner left the network and founded the Carsey-Werner Company with fellow producer Marcy Carsey. He oversaw multiple television shows as an executive producer, such as The Cosby Show, A Different World, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. The success of these shows resulted in his 1996 induction into the Television Hall of Fame.

Mr. Werner entered the sports-entertainment industry in 1990 when he joined 14 other people to purchase the San Diego Padres, a professional American baseball team. In 2002, he and colleague John Henry purchased the Boston Red Sox. They now co-own Fenway Sports Group, which includes Premier League football club Liverpool F.C. and professional hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins, in addition to the Boston Red Sox.

Throughout Mr. Werner’s 17 years of ownership, the Red Sox has enjoyed considerable success. In the last 15 years, the team has qualified for 10 postseasons and won four World Series titles. The most recent championship was their most triumphant yet. The Red Sox had a record of 108 regular-season victories, capturing their 9th World Series title in history. 

As co-owner of Fenway Sports Group, Mr. Werner has not only enjoyed success on the sports field, but he has also launched a prolific career in philanthropy. He founded the Home Base Foundation, which partners with Massachusetts General Hospital to provide treatment to veterans suffering from the invisible wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Home Base has impacted the lives of over 100,000 people since it was founded in 2009.

After the ceremony, student leaders attended lunch with Mr. Werner and other board members. Mary Tyree ’23, a co-head of the Veterans Club, said, “I think he’s really deserving of the award, [because] he’s had such a vast career in terms of accomplishing things with veterans, television, and sports.”