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Kirkland Commemorative Awards Bestowed

Nine Honored as Advocates for Women's Education

By Mike Debraggio
Posted June 10, 2002
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At the Kirkland Celebration at Hamilton on Saturday, June 8, special commemorative awards were bestowed on those individuals who have been leaders in continuously advocating for women's education on College Hill and who have enthusiastically sustained Kirkland's legacy for creativity, independence and experimentation.  Since Hamilton and Kirkland combined nearly 25 years ago, the education offered to men and women on College Hill has been significantly enhanced, most notably by Kirkland's emphases in the arts, curricular innovation and interdisciplinary study.

Each of the honorees was introduced to the 250 people in attendance by Hamilton President Eugene M. Tobin.  President Tobin and Kirkland College President Samuel Babbitt then presented each honoree with a beautiful Steuben apple.  Those honored in recognition of their commitment to women's education on College Hill included:

Samuel Fisher Babbitt H'69
His willingness to innovate and depart from the traditional, and his continued active involvement in the Kirkland community have helped create a women's college whose legacy remains strong and ever-present today.

Walter Beinecke, Jr. H'66
As Kirkland's first board chair and one of its most generous benefactors, he envisioned an institution that would be new in spirit as well as substance.

Richard W. Couper '44, H'69
As a young alumnus and trustee, he chaired the Hamilton Board's first Committee on Planning that ultimately recommended the creation of coordinate colleges, of which Kirkland was to be the first.

Eugenie A. Havemeyer
A former chair of Kirkland's Building and Grounds Committee, she advocated then, and continues to do so today, for the integrity of the Kirkland campus's large, bright spaces and communal architecture as representations of the College's innovative spirit.

Elizabeth J. McCormack H '93
A former professor, dean and president of an all-women's college, her national reputation for and commitment to educational innovation has been invaluable in her service as a trustee, first for Kirkland and continuing to this day for Hamilton.

Francis H. Musselman '50
As chair of the Kirkland Board of Trustees when the two colleges were combined, he provided effective spiritual, emotional and skillful leadership, and he remains a staunch and outspoken advocate for Kirkland' spirit on College Hill today.

Susan E. Skerritt K'77
The first woman president of the Hamilton Alumni Association and an enthusiastic and committed volunteer for both Kirkland and Hamilton, she remains intensely devoted to the ideals of both Colleges.

Charles O. Svenson '61
His financial expertise and legal acumen were invaluable as a Kirkland trustee, again at the time the two colleges were combined, and today as he works with his fellow Hamilton Board members in perpetuating Kirkland's legacy.

Susan Valentine K'73
The first Kirkland graduate to serve as a Hamilton Charter Trustee, she has provided the vision and leadership to reconnect scores of Kirkland women with their time on this hilltop.

After President Babbitt gave the inaugural Chuck Root '40 Kirkland College Lecture, the audience was led by bagpipes to the site of the Kirkland Marker for its unveiling.

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