Charles River School alumni, parents and faculty gathered last week to present Jeffrey Raider, Class of 1995, entrepreneur and co-founder of Warby Parker and Harry’s, with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Charles River School alumni, parents and faculty gathered last week to present Jeffrey Raider, Class of 1995, entrepreneur and co-founder of Warby Parker and Harry’s, with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 2010, Jeff founded Warby Parker, creating a company that offers designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while also leading the way for socially conscious businesses; for every pair of glasses sold, the company distributes a pair to someone in need. Building on that success, in 2013, Jeff founded Harry’s, a company that makes and sells simple, well-designed men’s shaving products at a fair price.

An alumnus of Charles River School who grew up in Wellesley, Raider now lives in Manhattan and has young children of his own.

“Now that I’m a dad, I spend a lot of time thinking about the power of a great educational environment. I want for my children what I had at CRS; a warm, tight-knit and welcoming community that helped me develop a strong academic foundation, and helped instill in me ethics and values that I’ve tried to carry throughout my life and career,” he said.

Raider co-founded both Harry’s and Warby Parker because of the lack of high-quality products available at reasonable prices, and the companies are revolutionizing their respective marketplaces. Both Warby Parker and Harry’s have been covered broadly by media including Fortune Magazine, the Today Show, CNBC, Fast Company, and in Wall Street Journal blogs.

“Jeff has created two disruptive businesses, taking on industry giants and challenging the conventional, or accepted, approach. Charles River School is proud to have played a role in Jeff’s education, and to count him among our alumni,” said Gretchen Larkin, head of school for Charles River School. “At CRS, we constantly encourage our students to take risks and think ‘outside the box’ through work they do every day, as well as through larger projects like the ones our fifth- to eighth-8th-grade students undertake using Stanford’s Design Thinking Process. We believe this ability to embrace risk and seek out solutions to problems will be fundamental to their future success.”

The event was hosted at Bully Boy Distillers, co-founded by alums Will Willis ‘88 and Dave Willis ‘92.