‘2 Hats Award’ to honor Kutler

 

By Sam Adams

One member of the Class of 2010 will receive the first “Two Hats Award” in memory of Brendan Kutler ’10 at the awards assembly June 1, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts announced to the faculty last week. The award will honor a senior who reflected Kutler’s values, with a main criterion being that the senior pursues interdisciplinary studies. The award’s name comes from Kutler’s interest in multiple fields of study, and from his trademark two baseball cap look.

The student who wins should “love learning, which is a lot of kids at this school,” Huybrechts said. “They tried lots of different things, they took academic risks.”

A committee comprising deans, teachers and the Kutler family will select the winner from a pool of 22 nominations made by the faculty before last Friday’s deadline.

“Brendan wouldn’t be the young man he was if he hadn’t had the opportunity to be at Harvard-Westlake,” his mother, Sara Kutler, said. “He was a quiet behind-the-scenes person who pursued knowledge for its own sake, not just for grades or awards,” and the new award is meant to honor someone who shares those values and might not otherwise receive recognition, she said.

The award will come with an accompanying grant of undetermined size, which will likely come from the outpouring of donations in Brendan’s name that followed his sudden death during winter break, in addition to a contribution from his family. The grant is meant to encourage the winner to pursue studies or a summer internship without having to worry about money. In future years, the award will likely go to a junior, Upper School Dean Beth Slattery said, so that the student can bring the summer experience back to the school and potentially take classes related to that field of study.

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