Women's Center gives Cornell president Distinguished Alumna Award

Elizabeth Garrett will be honored by Center in April


Since 1991 the Women’s Center has given the Distinguished Alumna award to women contributing to a number of diverse fields.

University of Virginia

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center has selected Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett to receive the University’s Distinguished Alumna Award for 2016.

Garrett is a 1988 Law School graduate and the first female president to serve at Cornell.

Law School Dean Paul Mahoney nominated Garrett for the award. Both Garrett and Mahoney formerly served as law clerks for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Mahoney and Garrett also worked together while she was a visiting professor at the University and again when he was a visiting professor at the University of Southern California, where Garrett was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to arriving at Cornell.

“President Garrett has had an extraordinarily successful and admirable career as a professor, academic administrator and public servant,” Mahoney said in an email statement. “I’d call her approach Jeffersonian — we’re proud to claim her as a graduate.”

Communications and Development Officer Leigh Ann Carver said the Women’s Center asks the deans of all University schools to nominate alumni whose achievements align with the University’s educational purpose.

“[The deans] nominate alumnae whose contributions at the highest level in their fields reflect the spirit of excellence and the ethic of service for which a University of Virginia education stands,” Carver said in an email statement.

The Women’s Center then has a selection committee choose an alumna from the group of nominees to receive the award.

“The members of our committee were unanimously impressed by her record as a scholar and a public servant,” Carver said. “President Garrett has been a positive force in myriad ways throughout her career and we especially value her leadership in higher education; we are proud to have her as [an] example of what U.Va. alumnae can achieve.”

Carver said Garrett responded graciously to receiving the award and will return to the University in April for the award celebration.

“I am deeply honored to be selected to receive the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center,” Garrett said in a message to the Women’s Center. “I am grateful for the excellent education provided by the University of Virginia Law School, and it will be a pleasure to return to accept the award.”

Since 1991, the Women’s Center has given the Distinguished Alumna award to women contributing to a number of diverse fields.

“[Award winners] have come from a wide variety of fields such as government, medicine, civil rights, athletics, business and journalism,” Carver said. “Celebrating the University’s most trailblazing women through the Distinguished Alumna Award and the other honors that we present every year is one way that we can contribute to the inspiring environment that students and faculty find at U.Va.”

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