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News Release

November 7, 2007

Rally Day to Recognize Five Outstanding Alumnae

An advocate for incarcerated women, a radiologist to U.S. presidents, the leader of the world’s largest scientific society, an authority on infant development and a member of the House of Representatives will all be recognized on Rally Day, Feb. 20, 2008.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – By February of their senior year, most students have given serious thought to life after graduation. So it seems appropriate that they don their caps and gowns that month to honor alumnae whose lives and work exemplify the purpose of a liberal arts education.

Held annually on the third Wednesday in February, Rally Day is a tradition that began during the earliest years of the college. On Feb. 20, 2008, five alumnae, whose combined Smith experiences span four decades, will be honored during the ceremony in the Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall.

Medalists Irene Cebula Baird, Anne Clayton Brower, Catherine T. Hunt, Lella Gandini and Tammy Baldwin were chosen by Smith’s Board of Trustees. They will speak at the ceremony and visit classes while on campus.

The Smith College Medal, designed by art professor Elliot Offner in 1988, depicts the Grécourt Gates and the Smith College motto, “To Virtue, Knowledge.” As ever, Rally Day is a time for the Smith community to gather, remember the past and look to the future.

The Medalists

Irene Cebula Baird, Class of 1945

Believing in the transformative power of literature and committed to the education and wellbeing of all women, Irene Baird has revolutionized the way female prisoners are treated in Pennsylvania correctional facilities and has gained widespread recognition for creating innovative models for helping prisoners.  Baird’s program consists of reading and writing groups that challenge inmates’ use of violence and their addictions and encourage them to change. By publishing several collections of inmates' essays and incorporating others into a play that was performed in community theaters, Baird has focused public attention on this often ignored population. As affiliate assistant professor of education at Penn State University, Baird continues to publish scholarly papers and to present at professional conferences.


Anne Clayton Brower, Class of 1960

The Reverend Anne Clayton Brower, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in skeletal radiology whose book “Arthritis in Black and White” is now in its third edition.  As the 1997 recipient of the Madame Curie Award for the nation’s most outstanding woman radiologist, she was cited for her role as a pioneer in the field. Her patients have included U.S. presidents from Richard Nixon through George H. W. Bush. Brower now combines her medical background with her devotion to the spiritual component of the healing process. An Episcopal priest, she founded the Center for Healing Ministries in Norfolk, Virginia and is senior chaplain at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., whose most recent book, “I Am Not Ready to Die Just Yet,” came out last year.


Catherine “Katie” T. Hunt, Class of 1977

Catherine Hunt is president of the American Chemical Society, the largest scientific society in the world with over 160,000 members, and serves on the board of directors of the Council for Chemistry Research, where she is active in drafting science and technology policy statements and advocating for funding for science research on Capitol Hill. Throughout her career, Hunt has received numerous honors, including being one of just 25 women to represent the United States in the People-to-People Ambassador Program’s Women in Science Delegation to Cuba in 2001. She was also recently named one of Pennsylvania’s “50 Best Women in Business.”



Lella Gandini, Class of 1978

Lella Gandini is an outstanding professional authority on infant and toddler development and care. For more than 25 years, Gandini has been a leader and an advocate in the field of early childhood education and has been recognized internationally for her scholarship and teaching. As a proponent of the Reggio Emilia approach to childrearing she has been instrumental in disseminating the program, which had its origins in Italy.  Her contributions to Smith, which she attended as an Ada Comstock Scholar, have been significant. She has taught Italian at the college, developed teaching internships for students studying on their junior year abroad in Florence and has been a consultant to the Smith College Center for Early Childhood Education at Fort Hill. 


Tammy Baldwin, Class of 1984

In 1998, Tammy Baldwin became the first woman elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of Wisconsin and the first non-incumbent, openly gay person to be elected to Congress. She has been re-elected in each of the four subsequent elections.  Assuring healthcare for everyone is the issue that inspired Baldwin to pursue political office and is the issue that keeps her there. She is a forceful supporter of civil rights and an advocate for those in our society whose voices too often are not heard. She serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee and spoke at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004.


The program will also include presentations of Faculty Teaching Awards, given by students to one junior and one senior faculty member, and the Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award, given by students to outstanding Smith staff members.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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