The Distinguished Alumna Award is given by the Alumnae Association Council to a Foxcroft School alumna who exemplifies one or more of the following criteria:
- she has been a pioneer in her field;
- she has made an outstanding contribution to her field of interest;
- she has received local and/or national recognition of achievement;
- she has demonstrated dedication through length of service;
- she has demonstrated interest and concern in civic-minded affairs;
- and she has served as a role model to others.
Only 21 women have received this great honor since it was established in 1985.
|Barbara Hartley Lord '41 Receives Distinguished Alumna Award|
*Editor's Note: Barbara Hartley Lord '41 passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, April 30. Though deeply saddened by the news, we are grateful that Mrs. Lord took joy in receiving the Distinguished Alumna Award and thankful that we were able to honor her lifetime of compassion and commitment. Our deepest sympathy is with her family at this time.
Honoring a devoted community leader, who was guided by her undersanding heart.
Barbara Hartley Lord '41, whose compassion, commitment and contributions to community changed the lives of some people and inspired charity in others, was named the 2016 recipient of Foxcroft School’s Distinguished Alumna Award Saturday (April 16) at a special luncheon in Engelhard Gymnasium.
Foxcroft Alumnae Council members Alden Denègre Moylan and Jessica Walker Davis, both members of the Class of 2005, presented the award, calling Lord a role model for her long years of dedicated work on behalf of a variety of medical, educational and civic organizations. In addition to her many achievements, Walker said that Lord’s “understanding heart, personal courage and pure determination to make her community and the world a better place” made her worthy of the award.
Nearly 93 at the time of the luncheon, Lord was unable to travel from her home in Southhampton, NY, so the award was accepted on her behalf by daughter Lisa Lord Gillespie ’68, who together with her sister Barbara Lord Edwards ’71 nominated their mother. A short time after Reunion Weekend, we were saddened to learn Mrs. Lord had passed away.
More Distinguished Alumna News
Distinguished Alumna Nomination
|Do you know of someone who should be considered for the Distinguished Alumna Award? Click on the link above to nominate an individual who meets the outlined criteria. Please take note, below. We are receiving nominations on a rolling basis for 2016.|
Distinguished Alumnae Award Recipients
|2016 Barbara Hartley Lord '41|
|2015: Suzanne "Sukie" Kuser '49|
Suzanne “Sukie” Kuser, Class of 1949, graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a Chemistry degree in 1953 and went to work for NSA, which had been established less than a year earlier, as a cryptologic linguist. (“They asked me if I was good at crossword puzzle and when I said yes, they hired me,” she says). It was the midst of the Cold War and Sukie helped to collect and analyze communications intelligence information. She cracked codes, learned Arabic and generally helped keep the world safe.
In 1953, she moved to the State Department, where she would spend the next 28 years. Sukie worked in Intelligence on resources, representing the Department on various interagency committees, where she was frequently the only professional woman at the table and had to stand up for State’s interests, which were often different from those of the CIA and military. She studied national security affairs at the National War College as one of just seven women in a sea of men and rose to be head of the U.S. State Department’s Intelligence Reporting Division. All told, Sukie spent more than three decades as a Cold Warrior of the first rank. Since retiring in 1986, she has continued as a part-time consultant and a senior reviewer of classified documents as the NSA.
Sukie’s love affair with Foxcroft dated back to in 1945 when she arrived planning to stay three years – and stayed for four. As a student she served as Head of Social Services, a representative to the Student Council, and a reporter for Tally-Ho! As an alumna, she helped create one of the first career panels for students, organized the School’s first phonathon, established a scholarship for daughter of foreign service officers, and assisted in countless unheralded activities that have enriched the lives of students and faculty alike. For 19 years, beginning in 1988, she served on the Board of Trustees, including several years as Vice President. She has been on numerous committees, including Buildings and Grounds, Development, Steering, Planned Giving, and she continues as a key member of the Investment Committee even now. In 1999, she received the Anne Kane McGuire Distinguished Service Award and in 2006, she gave the Invocation at Commencement.
Sukie has been served on many other boards and councils over the years, often related to her passion for gardening and nature or her abiding interest in international relations. Currently she sits on the boards of both the Friends of the National Arboretum and the Foreign Policy Discussion Group of Washington, D.C. She is a Fellow and serves on several committees of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Her past service includes the Foreign Student Service Council, World Affairs Council, D.C., Institute of World Politics, McKee Botanical Garden, St. Johns Community Services, Blue Hill Library, and Georgetown Symphony.
|2011: Suzy Townsend Purrington ‘56|
Dr. Suzanne (Suzy) Townsend Purrington '56, a professor emeritus of Chemistry at North Carolina State University loved and respected as much for her teaching expertise as for her research acumen, was named the 2011 recipient of Foxcroft School’s Distinguished Alumnae Award at Saturday (April 16) at a special luncheon in Engelhard Gymnasium.
Foxcroft Alumnae Council President Sheldon Gerry Withers ’61 presented Purrington with the award, citing her outstanding contributions to the field of Chemistry as a teacher and research scientist, and to society as a volunteer and leader in myriad civic, educational and community organizations.
After Foxcroft, Suzy graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Chemistry from Wheaton College (Norton, MA), and earned her MA from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. at Harvard University, where she was one of just eight women in the 60-student department. She did post-doctoral work and taught at Duke University for a year before combining teaching stints at the Shaw University, New York Institute of Technology, and Peace College with marriage, children and various civic and service endeavors.
In 1976, Suzy moved to North Carolina State University in Raleigh and soon developed a a reputation as a talented, tough-but-fair teacher and a researcher of note. In the lab, she focused on organofluorine chemistry, producing the first chemical compound to be used as an electrophilic fluorinating reagent and writing more than 25 publications. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Chemical Society’s Division of Fluorine Chemistry in 2005 for her contributions as a scientist and leader.
In the classroom, Suzy taught everything from freshman chemistry to special topics in organoflourine chemistery for pre-med scholars, combining a love of research with a talent for teaching to convey difficult subjects matter to students, science and non-science majors alike. She received the North Carolina State Outstanding Teacher Award in 1995 and retired, as a full professor, in 2001. She was also honored by the NC State Libraries for, among other things, designing a chemistry curriculum that integrates the use of literature and continues to serve on the its board.
Suzy has also served on a variety of committees and boards at her alma mater. She received the Wheaton College Alumnae/I Achievement Award in 2002 and an honorary degree from the school in 2008.
|2002/2003: Diana Hardin Walker ’59|
Diana Hardin Walker ’59 spent more that 20 years photographing U.S. Presidents and their families for Time
magazine. From the Fords to the Clintons, she photographed both formal events such as state dinners and press conferences and informal moments that give us a glimpse into the very private lives of these very public individuals.
On NPR’s program, All Things Considered, Diana spoke of one such private moment when First Lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea were standing in the grand foyer of the White House before the Inaugural. Hillary asked her daughter to show her what she was wearing and Chelsea opened her coat to reveal a mini-skirt. Diana caught on film, this classic mother-daughter moment when Hillary’s expression questioned her daughter’s choice of attire.
During the fall of 2003 through January of 2004, the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. hosted a retrospective exhibition of 135 photographs of just such moments. Many of her photographs are show cased in her book, Public and Private: Twenty Years of Photographing the Presidency. During a private tour of the exhibit arranged for Foxcroft students in December 2003, Diana shared the story of how she was first introduced to photography at Foxcroft, how her work evolved from that initial introduction, and the approach she takes to covering her subjects which resulted in such remarkable images.
|2001: Frances FitzGerald ’58|
|2000: Helen Kleberg Groves ’45|
|1999: Elizabeth Fly Rohatyn ’48|
|1998: Dorrance Hill Hamilton ’46|
|1997: Mary Starr Carstensen ’67|
|1996: Elsie Vanderbilt Aidinoff ’48|
|1995: Mary Frances Penney Wagley ’44|
|1994: Ruth du Pont Lord ’39|
|1993: Frances Stevens Reese ’35|
|1991: Gertrude Sanford Legendre ’20|
|1990: Elizabeth Nitze Paepcke ’21|
|1989: Nancy Carnegie Rockefeller ’19|
|1988: Anne Legendre Armstrong ’45|
|1987: Rachel Lambert Mellon ’29|
|1986: Millicent Hammond Fenwick ’25|
Millicent Hammond Fenwick entered public affairs as a member of a local school board and went on to serve in the U.S. Congress from1975-1983.
Millicent also had a career unrelated to politics. She worked for Vogue magazine -- as a model and an associate editor! and other Condé Nast publications from 1938 to 1952. In 1948 she wrote Vogue's Book of Etiquette.
Born in New York City, Millicent attended Columbia University and the New School for Social Research in New York City.
During those years, she also served on the board of education of Bernardsville, NJ, where she lived. In 1958, after retiring from publishing , she went into politics fulltime, serving on the Bernardsville Borough Council, in the NJ state assembly, and as director of New Jersey Consumer Affairs. In 1974, she defeated future Governor Thomas Kean for the Republican nomination for the House of Representatives from New Jersey's Fifth District, and she held that position she held for four terms.
Millicent addressed a wide array of issues in Congress, from small business and banking to labor, education and the aging. A fiscal conservative, she differed from many Republican colleagues in her support for the Equal Rights Amendment, federal funding for abortions, and the food stamp program. She worked to establish the Helsinki Commission on Human Rights and worked to eliminate the tax provision that penalized working couples.
Her personal style and combination of patrician manners, a great, willingness to offer opinions and political convictions that defied easy categorization, gained Millicent a national reputation. Cartoonist Gary Trudeau based the fictional Congresswoman Lacey Davenport in his "Doonesbury" series on her.
After an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1982, Millicent served as United States Representative, with rank of ambassador, to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture for five years. She died in 1992.
|1985: Nancy Perkins Lancaster ’15|