VFIC Honors Mary Baldwin Alumnae

July 16, 2002

The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges has honored three Mary Baldwin graduates: Louise Rossett McNamee and Mary Elizabeth Reed Smyth for lifetime achievement, and Kathern (cq) Elizabeth Meyer as a VFIC scholarship winner.

McNamee, a New York advertising executive who began as a Harlem kindergarten teacher and advertising researcher, became the first woman to have her name added to the prominent ad agency Della Femina McNamee WCRS. A 1970 graduate, she is now president of Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG. She has been named advertising woman of the year by Ad Week magazine and one of America’s 50 most powerful women by Ladies Home Journal. At Mary Baldwin University, McNamee was given the first Career Achievement Award, presented the Smyth Leadership Lecture, joined the school’s “CEO in the Classroom” program, and is a member of the Board of Trustees.

Smyth, Class of 1947, is a philanthropist and educator. After graduate study, she taught in Waynesboro, Virginia, and was recognized in 1951 as one of the Top 20 teachers in the nation. She and her husband, H. Gordon Smyth, are partners in philanthropy. They established the Smyth Foundation in 1990 to award scholarships, have helped more than 40 students, and have also provided travel grants to public school teachers. At Mary Baldwin, Smyth and her husband have established a lecture series, endowed a scholarship, and contributed to many projects. They have also provided for additional scholarships and programs through their estate plans. The Smyths live in Nellysford, Virginia.

Meyer, a Williamsburg native, is a 2002 graduate of Mary Baldwin University with a major in psychology and minors in sociology and ministry. She was a VFIC Beazley Scholar for four years and hopes to receive certification as a mediator before she begins graduate work eventually leading to a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

The VFIC recognized the three, among others, at its recent 50th anniversary meeting.