John M. Connolly
Scholar and teacher, dean of the faculty, provost, and acting president. Since arriving at Smith almost three decades ago, you have enriched the college with your vision and your values.
As a teacher of philosophy, your intellectual fervor excited your students, inspiring them to think critically and creatively. Your dedication to excellence has resulted in a devoted cadre of former students, alumnae who extol your merits as a teacher.
Your passion for the college and its mission was demonstrated when you were persuaded to serve the college as a member of the administration. As dean for curriculum and development, then dean of the faculty and, in 1998, the first Smith College provost, you gave long-term, sustained attention to Smith's curriculum, strengthening it immeasurably. You succeeded in persuading the faculty to understand a new approach to distribution requirements as the base for consideration for Latin Honors. You played a large role in the introduction of writing across the curriculum and the requirement that Smith students complete at least one writing-intensive course. Your hard work contributed to the establishment of the Picker Engineering Program, the first engineering program at a woman's college. A life-long environmentalist, a "true green," your commitment to the Environmental Science and Policy Program is personal and heartfelt. Your support for interdisciplinary programs and your leadership of the Praxis initiative are among your long-term contributions to the education of Smith women. You have earned the respect of every faculty member on campus.
Last year, you somewhat reluctantly agreed to serve as acting president of Smith. The trustees assured you that you would have an uncomplicated, inter-regnum year. Little did we know. The semester had barely begun, indeed only three days of classes had been completed, when the incredible tragedy of September 11 occurred. You provided outstanding leadership then and throughout a challenging year on the Smith campus. No individual is more profoundly committed than you to building a community based on mutual respect. You care deeply about justice, equality and the value of each individual. You have maintained a respectful, supportive environment at Smith. You have moved the institution forward, created a place where change and growth will flourish.
As you return to research and teaching, we wish you great joy in future endeavors. It is with admiration and gratitude that the Board of Trustees presents to you the John M. Greene Award for distinguished service to Smith College.
Rochelle Braff Lazarus '68
Chair, Board of Trustees
May 19, 2002