Day 2006 to Honor Four Distinguished Alumnae
extraordinary professional achievements and outstanding service
to their communities, four Smith alumnae will receive the
Smith College Medal, an award presented each February on Rally
The event, which
honors distinguished alumnae and gathers students in a celebratory,
festive rally, will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday,
February 22, in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage.
The Smith College
Medal was established in 1962 to recognize and honor alumnae
“who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in
their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.”
This year, an exemplary group of accomplished professionals
and public servants has been selected to receive the award.
They are Julia Bolz, Roberta Schenker Kurlantzick,
Beverly Mitchell, and Margaret Byard Stearns.
At this year’s
Rally Day convocation, the four medalists will participate
in a panel discussion, responding to questions submitted by
students and moderated by President Carol T. Christ.
Maggie Stearns has been a committed advocate of opera through
her role as Director of Communications for the Opera Theatre
of St. Louis (OTSL), a company founded in 1976 that stages
opera productions in a rich array of styles, always sung in
English. Stearns, who began with the theater in a volunteer
role, has built her presence with the company into a career
as national press representative, opera translator and librettist.
She has translated three opera librettos into English, receiving
widespread critical acclaim. In her present role with OTSL,
Stearns has provided essential outreach and promotion to opera
critics and writers from regional and national publications,
assisting in the distribution of news and information about
opera and the OTSL. In addition, Stearns serves as Executive
Director for the Sullivan Musical Foundation, managing a prestigious
award for early career singers.
Roberta Kurlantzick has had an enormous impact on elementary
school education, not only in the Connecticut communities
where she has served as both teacher and administrator since
graduating from Smith, but also more broadly through her innovative
ideas and examples of creative and effective practices that
serve as models for the education community. In her role as
principal of Union School, an elementary school in Unionville,
Conn., an economically diverse and multicultural community,
Kurlantzick spearheaded a highly successful and noted record
of achievement for the school, and was named a Nationally
Distinguished Principal in the process. The West Woods Upper
Elementary School in Farmington, Conn., at which Kurlantzick
has been principal since 2002, utilizes a new and innovative
grade configuration created by her that reflects her vision
of the most effective practices in elementary education.
Dr. Beverly Mitchell has made a lasting impact on the progress
of cancer research nationally through her dual roles as a
scientist and a physician. One of the world's leading researchers
in biochemical pharmacology of nucleotides, Mitchell has fused
her talents to help provide effective new treatments for leukemia.
As a member and past president of the American Society of
Hematology, a worldwide organization of 30,000 members, she
continues to help focus young investigators on the importance
of patient-oriented research in hematology. Mitchell has trained
a continuous succession of outstanding young physician-scientists
and clinicians who regard her as their primary role model.
Mitchell has been widely recognized for her achievements,
winning the Leukemia Society of America's Stohlman Award in
1988, the H. Marvin Pollard Award for Outstanding Resident
Teaching in 1983, the National Institute of Health's Clinical
Investigator Award from 1978-81, and other distinctions.
Julia Bolz has dedicated her life's work to making the world
a better place for women. In 2001, she traded her successful
career as a partner and practicing immigration attorney in
one of Seattle's most respected law firms for a commitment
to advocacy and grassroots action on behalf of women and the
world's disenfranchised in some of the earth's most inhospitable
locations. Bolz is currently working to provide aid and build
new business, education and healthcare structures in Afghanistan,
focusing on the welfare of girls and women in the war-torn
country. She returns to Seattle regularly to guide and assist
high school children in serving their community. In recognition
of her humanitarian efforts, Bolz was recently awarded Seattle's
Tom C. Wales Citizenship Award.