February 5, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Editor's note: For photos of any
of the honorees, call (413) 585-2190 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIVE ACCOMPLISHED SMITH
INSPIRED LIVES"-TO BE RECOGNIZED AT RALLY DAY
Strategist and Pollster Celinda Lake
To Deliver Rally Day Address
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-For their extraordinary
professional achievements and outstanding service to their communities,
five Smith College alumnae will receive the Smith College Medal,
an award presented each February on Rally Day.
The event, which honors distinguished alumnae and faculty, will
take place at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in John M. Greene
Hall. It is free and open to the public.
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." Forty years later, an exemplary group
of accomplished professionals and public servants has been selected
to receive the award. They are Celinda Constance Lake, Class
of 1975; Jennifer Louise Kelsey, Class of 1964; Ann Matthews
Martin, Class of 1977; Eleanor Walsh Wertimer, Class of 1944;
and Lois Quick Whitman, Class of 1948.
Lake, an influential political strategist, pollster and advocate
of women's issues, will deliver the Rally Day address.
Described in the press as "the Godmother of Politics"
and "arguably the most influential woman in her field,"
Celinda Lake uses her prominence to promote issues important
to women, including healthcare, education, the environment and
human rights. The Democratic pollster for U.S. News and World
Report, Lake has also served as an advisor to the Wall Street
Journal and a commentator on a number of national news programs.
She served as chief pollster for, among a host of others, Senators
Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu and Carol Moseley-Braun; and Representatives
Geraldine Ferraro Pat Schroeder, Debbie Stabenow and Bob Wise;
and Governors Gary Locke and Mike Lowry. She has served in three
presidential campaigns. Her organizational clients include the
Sierra Club, the AFL-CIO, the Children's Defense Fund, the White
House Project, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaigns, Emily's
List, The Glass Ceiling Commission, the AMA and AARP.
Dr. Jennifer Kelsey, professor of health research and policy at
Stanford University, is a renowned leader and researcher in the
fields of epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders and women's
health. A decade ago, Kelsey was selected to run the World Health
Organization's special research program on osteoporosis. The
former chief of Stanford's division of epidemiology and a past
president of the Society for Epidemiological Research, Kelsey
has also served on advisory committees for the National Institutes
of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and various academic
institutions and non-profit organizations. Her honors and awards
include the Distinguished Alumni Award 2000 from Yale University's
department of epidemiology and public health, the American Public
Health Association's John Snow Award in Epidemiology and the
Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale.
Since Ann Matthews Martin began
writing children's books in the 1980s, her literature has touched
the lives of young readers all over the world. Martin's popular
Baby-Sitters Club series has been printed over 150 million times,
translated into 19 foreign languages, and spun off into a number
of additional series, including California Diaries and Baby-Sitters
Little Sister. Her books, most of them written for young girls,
address serious issues that are relevant to the psychological
development and education of their readers. Martin has used
the success of her books to create the Ann M. Martin Foundation,
an organization which uses the proceeds from Baby-Sitters Club
merchandise sales to benefit homeless people, children, education
and literacy projects and animals. She also co-founded the Lisa
Libraries, a non-profit organization that donates children's
books to schools, prisons and daycare centers.
In her career as a practicing attorney
in upstate New York, Eleanor Wertimer has worked with
the Oneida County Department of Social Services, served as a
law clerk to the chief judge of the New York State Court of Claims,
worked as the acting Utica city court judge and been a long-time
town justice. Wertimer has also spent a significant amount of
her time moving her community forward through volunteerism-devoting
her leadership to her local United Way, school board and children's
hospital and to several advisory boards for Oneida County, including
the jail advisory board, alternatives to incarceration, managed
care and ethics boards.
A pioneer in protecting and promoting
the rights and welfare of children both nationally and internationally,
Lois Whitman founded the children's rights watch division
of Human Rights Watch after enrolling in law school at the age
of 46. Whitman, who has also worked as a social worker, has
investigated and publicized the plight of children, striving
to achieve real change in child labor and to improve conditions
for street children, child soldiers and children in orphanages,
foster care and correctional facilities. She has worked in the
United States, Bulgaria, China, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Russia
Rally Day began in 1876 as a celebration
of George Washington's birthday. Since then, it has evolved from
a social occasion into a day-long celebration, at which seniors
are permitted to wear their caps and gowns for the first time.
The Smith College Medal-which was designed by art professor
Elliot Offner and depicts the Grécourt Gates and the Smith
College motto, "To Virtue, Knowledge"-has been awarded
at Rally Day since 1973.