Award Created In Memory of Former Director of Admission
Some alumni knew Bill Ambler '45 as a classmate who epitomized the scholar-athlete: a "quiet, but powerful" starting tackle on the college's last undefeated football team, who graduated with honors in mathematics.
Generations of Haverford graduates remember Bill Ambler because he always remembered them.
During one of the longest tenures of any director of admission at any one institution, he continued to take a personal interest in every student he admitted. He also helped to make significant changes within the college's student body: more than doubling the enrollment to 1,147 from 520, admitting the first coeducational class and intensifying the college's efforts to recruit more students of color.
This spring, the college presented its first William W. Ambler Award to honor a student who exemplifies Ambler's high academic standards and his quiet leadership both on and off the athletic field. Heading the selection committee was athletic director and associate dean, Greg Kannerstein, an alumnus and for many years, an Ambler colleague.
"Bill really believed in amateurism and sports for the students' sake," says Kannerstein. "He saw sports as an expression of personal development, as a form of camaraderie. He rejected all of the hype that we get caught up in today."
The same modesty and leadership skills are reflected in the college's first recipient of the Ambler Award, Jay Mehra '99, who recently graduated magna cum laude. For the past two seasons, he has captained the cricket team and three years ago, was the team's most valuable player during their undefeated tour in England.
Mehra was also recognized for the high standards he has maintained both athletically and academically. He continues to be ranked as one of the college's best cricket players of the past 25 years.
An economics major, he had the highest grade point average of any athlete at the college. He has accepted a position at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Philadelphia, but eventually would like to start his own business and return to Bombay, India where he was born.