Reunion 2019 Award Winners
Congratulations to the 2019 alumnae award winners recognized for outstanding achievements and dedicated service to the Alumnae Association and/or College. The Alumnae Association’s reunion awards program recognizes the contributions of outstanding alumnae. Two volunteer alumnae award committees select recipients based on a 12-month vetting process that includes extensive research on each nominee. View a complete list of all past winners or recommend an alumna for a future award.
Mount Holyoke College President Sonya Stephens and Alumnae Association Board President Maria Z. Mossaides ’73 presented the awards at the Annual Meeting and Alumnae Meeting.
Awarded to an alumna for outstanding achievements and service to society that exemplify the values and virtues set forth by the College.
Susan J. Koch, class of 1964, is a political science scholar who uses her expertise to help guide international agencies’ defense and weapons control policies.
Mary Lee Warren, class of 1964, has worked at the center of criminal justice reform in the United States and around the world.
Helen G. Drinan, class of 1969, is a national expert on women’s education and is known for her unwavering focus and dedication to the mission of Simmons University in her role as its eighth president.
Barbara Elizabeth Kream, class of 1969, is a recognized scholar and teacher whose devotion to educating future physicians and researchers has helped advance the field of bone health and the treatment of osteoporosis and other potentially debilitating diseases.
Barbara Dombkowski Desoer, class of 1974, is a highly regarded leader in the financial industry who has consistently dedicated her professional life to the advancement of women and serves as an excellent role model for women who strive to become leaders in this field.
Mary F. Platt, class of 1974, has become a distinguished member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and serves as a dedicated advocate for women, girls and the indigent.
Leocadia I. Zak, class of 1979, has had a distinguished career in the top ranks of the public and private sectors, culminating in her 2018 appointment as president of Agnes Scott College.
Alumnae Medal of Honor
Awarded to an alumna at her twentieth reunion or beyond for long-term eminent service and significant leadership in promoting the effectiveness of the Alumnae Association and/or College.
Patricia Altman Falkenberg, class of 1964, has taken active leadership roles in the Mount Holyoke community for more than 40 years. She is currently an advisory board member for the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and she has brought a forward-thinking approach to the work of the Mount Holyoke Club of Westchester County as president. For her class, she has served as class agent and reunion gift chair.
Barbara Schmidt, class of 1969, has played a pivotal role in the life of Mount Holyoke’s alumnae community in Europe, beginning with her participation in the first Mount Holyoke European Symposium in 1987. She has served as president of the Mount Holyoke Club of Ireland since 2009, as co-organizer of the 2004 European Symposium in Dublin and on the Global Strategies Task Force for the Alumnae Association. She has also served the European Council in various capacities, including as delegate, secretary and chair.
Elizabeth Cochary Gross, class of 1979, has used her professional experience and strategic-thinking skills to influence key decisions at Mount Holyoke. Her guidance has led to visible changes on campus and has helped to strengthen the overall fiscal direction of the College.
Elizabeth Taylor, class of 1979, has benefited alumnae, students, the Association and the College through her consistent contributions since graduation as a volunteer, teacher and role model. She has served the College as alumnae trustee, as member of the External Achievement Awards Committee, as class scribe and with the Mount Holyoke Club of Chicago.
Vijaya Pastala, class of 1989, has shown an extraordinary commitment to the College and exceptional dedication to expanding its connections with the global community. Her contributions span the Alumnae Association, Office of Admission and the College, and she has held key leadership roles, offering invaluable expertise to those with whom she have worked.
Jennifer Rochlis, class of 1994, brings an enormous amount of innovation and emotional intelligence to her work on behalf of the College. In the years since graduation she has served the community in various capacities, including as president of the Mount Holyoke Club of Houston, as member of the External Achievement Awards Committee and as a current member of the Board of Trustees. On the board she chairs the Student Affairs Committee and serves on the Finance and Advancement and Engagement Committees.
Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award
Awarded to an alumna for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the field of education that exemplify the values and virtues set forth by the College.
Mary Williamson McHenry, class of 1954, a trailblazing leader in education, has helped to pave the way for many of her students, who credit her with being a major influence on their own education and success.
Fahima Aziz, class of 1979, a distinguished faculty member and leader in higher education institutions in the United States and around the world, has been a passionate supporter of women’s education and a champion for educational access.
Ellen M. Cosgrove, class of 1984, has assembled a record of outstanding achievements in and contributions to the field of education while serving in some of the most esteemed positions in American education.
Awarded to an alumna who has demonstrated innovative leadership in a single area of service or for a singular accomplishment that has resulted in significant change and exemplifies the values and virtues set forth by the College.
Leslie Green, class of 1994, a longtime volunteer for Mount Holyoke, is recognized by alumnae across classes for her dedication to the College. She spurred significant change when she launched the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae International Student Sponsorship program, which matches alumnae to incoming international students, especially those who may need assistance and support while traveling alone to a new country.
Laurie Priest Alumnae Scholar-Athlete Award 2019
Awarded to a student who demonstrates qualities that make her an outstanding athlete, an exceptional scholar and a leader within the community.
Mirjam L. Keochakian, class of 2019, is an all-star athlete and has played an instrumental role in the success of the Mount Holyoke field hockey team during the past four years. Her commitment to excellence and outstanding leadership on and off the field have led her to many successes throughout her athletic and academic career.
Awarded to an alumna who has demonstrated exceptional loyalty to the Alumnae Association and/or College through her consistent effort and active involvement over an extended period of time. Volunteer effort may be on behalf of a class, club, affinity group, global region, the Alumnae Association or the College.
Nancy Cousins Wilder, class of 1949, has served the class of 1949 in significant positions dating back to the 1970s. These include her current roles as class president and head class agent and previous roles as nominating committee chair for the fifty-fifth reunion and program chair for the fortieth reunion, among other reunion roles.
Jane Milliken Finleon, class of 1959, is committed to her class and her clubs, having served as president of the class of 1959 since 2004, class agent since 2009 and in several roles for the Mount Holyoke clubs of Berkshire County and New Hampshire.
Jennett Gower Teece, class of 1959, has a long history of volunteer service on behalf of Mount Holyoke in a variety of roles for her class.
Diane Kelley Fenton, class of 1964, is a dedicated volunteer who has served as class treasurer for more than thirty years, as well as class agent since 2004. Her demonstrated financial acumen in both roles has benefited the class of 1964 in many ways.
Priscilla Jane Morse Huston, class of 1964, has demonstrated her dedication and loyalty to Mount Holyoke in both her local club and her class, including as president of the Mount Holyoke Club of Houston and as class co-scribe for ten years.
Ellen Manfredonia Nutter, class of 1964, has continued to serve the class of 1964 in the years since graduation in numerous capacities, most recently as class president and reunion chair for the very successful fiftieth reunion.
Mary Lyon Award
Awarded to a recent alumna (graduated fifteen or fewer years ago) who demonstrates exceptional promise or sustained achievement in her life, profession or community.
Gabrielle Gregg, class of 2008, is a renowned fashion and communications professional whose work has garnered national attention as she continues to break new ground by advocating for women of all sizes to be recognized by the fashion industry.
Merli V. Guerra, class of 2009, is a professional dancer, choreographer and interdisciplinary artist, whose work and creativity have established her as an innovator in the field of contemporary dance.
Brooke Fokker Nichols, class of 2009, a recognized health economist, has actively contributed to global efforts to establish economically sound health policy for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Young Alumna Volunteer Leadership Award
Awarded to an alumna who has demonstrated strong leadership, consistent effort over time and active involvement in one or more areas of service. Volunteer effort may be on behalf of classes, clubs, global regions, groups, the Alumnae Association or the College.
Natalya Marusich, class of 2004, has shown her loyalty and dedication in the leadership roles she has held for her club, global region, the Association and the College.
Elaine C. Cheung, class of 2009, has shown her loyalty to Mount Holyoke through various leadership responsibilities, including a three-year term as the young alumnae representative on the Alumnae Association Board of Directors.
The President’s Cup
Awarded to the reunion I class with the highest total number of attendees, this award was presented to the class of 1969.
The Reunion Cup
Awarded to the reunion I class with the highest percentage of attendees, this award was presented to the class of 1969.
The Margaret Caskey Cup
Awarded to the reunion II class with the highest total number of attendees, this award was presented to the class of 1974.
The Alumnae Association Cup
Awarded to the reunion II class with the highest percentage of attendees, this award was presented to the class of 1974.
The Sphinx Award
Awarded to the reunion class with the highest total participation in giving to Mount Holyoke during the reunion fiscal year.
Reunion I: 1969
Reunion II: 1959
The Pegasus Award
Awarded to the reunion class that raises the most total dollars for immediate use through The Mount Holyoke Fund during the reunion fiscal year.
Reunion I: 1969
Reunion II: 1964
The Lion Award
Awarded to the reunion class with the highest total giving to all funds for the previous four years and the current reunion year.
Reunion I: 1969
Reunion II: 1964
The Griffin Award
Awarded to the reunion class with the highest percentage of Laurel Chain Society members.
Reunion I: 1949
Reunion II: 1944
June 5, 2019