Reunion Awards Recognize Service, Success

April 18, 2012

One of the most anticipated events during Reunion Weekend is the annual awards presentation. This year’s event followed Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox’s remarks about the momentum and future plans of the college on Saturday morning. Alumnae/i from all classes gathered to congratulate award recipients.

Emily Smith Medallion

Named in honor of distinguished Mary Baldwin alumna Emily McKelden Smith, this award was created by the Mary Baldwin Board of Trustees to “honor an alumna/us who has made outstanding contributions to her/his community, church, the college, and the Commonwealth.”


More than 25 years of service with the American Red Cross, decades of volunteer leadership for Mary Baldwin University, and an adult life filled with civic engagement have earned Linda Dolly Hammack ’62 distinction in her personal and professional life. She would be the first to admit that her activities have been immensely fulfilling. Linda retired in 2000 from a long career with the Red Cross, primarily in internal communication, prior to which she worked as a producer for WETA-TV, a public broadcasting station in Washington DC. Shortly after graduating from Mary Baldwin, Linda worked as an Mary Baldwin admissions counselor, and her volunteer service to the college includes positions on the Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors, the Advisory Board of Visitors, and the Board of Trustees. While a student at Mary Baldwin, she was active in the theatre department, and she continued her association by returning to help with productions and mentoring student actors who became involved with Theater Wagon productions through the late Professor Emeritus of Theatre Fletcher Collins. Her community involvement includes membership in Church of the Good Shepherd in Burke, Virginia, and in the Mantua Citizens Association. Linda was honored with the college’s Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award in 1989 and the Sesquicentennial Medallion in 1992.

Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award

Artist and former Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors President Emily Wirsing Kelly ’63 passed away in 1985. Her husband, Timothy Kelly, established a leadership award and a student scholarship in her memory through the Kelly Foundation.


IBM executive Claudia Brind-Woody ’77 will be recognized for her international leadership and innovation in the technology industry, as well as her activism on social issues and influential roles in higher education and business. In her 16th year with technology mogul IBM, Claudia serves as vice president and managing director for global intellectual property and technology licensing. When she’s not busy working on her own two pending IBM patents or overseeing the licensing of IBM patents and advanced technologies to software and information technology companies, Claudia co-chairs the IBM Executive LGBT Task Force. She is passionate about encouraging corporations to be more inclusive of LGBT employees and is in demand for speaking engagements worldwide, as highlighted by her naming to GO Magazine’s list of “100 Women We Love” in 2011. A Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude Mary Baldwin graduate, Claudia earned her JD degree at Georgia State University, an MBA from University of Texas at Austin, and an MS from University of Tennessee, where she also worked as assistant athletics director and assistant basketball coach of the Lady Vols under head coach Pat Summitt. In 2011, Claudia was on campus to be honored as one of the inaugural inductees into the Mary Baldwin Athletics Hall of Fame, recognizing her accomplishments in basketball and equestrian competition. Her career accomplishments include receiving the coveted IBM Chairman’s Award for her work in the Global Y2K team and serving as technology director for the Olympic Results System at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Community of Faith Awards


Devoted service to church congregations in North Carolina and Maryland as well as enthusiastic involvement in social welfare organizations and projects in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, define the life of F. Elizabeth Walsh “Libby” Read ’47. Libby’s passion for helping others led her to a fulfilling career as a social worker and volunteer service that has included 20 years as a guardian ad litem, work with Volunteers for Youth, and coordinating a car seat safety program in Chapel Hill. Active contributions to her faith community have been a constant. She has shared her time and energy with Northwood United Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, and First Presbyterian Church and Chapel in the Pines in North Carolina. Libby’s civic service also included a decade of volunteering at a homeless shelter, participating on the Governor’s Committee for Seatbelts on School Buses, and working as an Army Community Services volunteer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Selfless service to the congregation of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Fincastle, Virginia, has long been part of the life of Margaret Weaver “Peggy” Crosson ’67 . While juggling a busy career as director of patient relations, volunteers, and patient services for Carillion Medical Center and, more recently, executive director of Historic Fincastle, Peggy served St. Mark’s as a vestry member, search committee chair for a new pastor, and a member of other Diocesan volunteer groups. In recent years, she has volunteered in the church’s food pantry, initiated a women’s interfaith Bible study, and participated in a kerygma Bible study program. Peggy’s service is not limited to the church, however. Over the years, she worked as fundraising committee chair for Botetourt County Historical Society, the Valley Conservation Council, the southern Shenandoah Valley branch of Preservation Virginia, and as chair of Carillion’s TechForce Development Committee for the New Century Technology Council. Drawing on her experience in the field of healthcare, Peggy has graciously signed on to help Mary Baldwin in its latest venture by serving on the Health Sciences Facility Implementation Committee.

Service to Community Award


Jessie Carr Haden ’54 is an inspiring example of the impact one devoted person can make in the lives of fellow citizens. A career in teaching and school administration, volunteerism, and involvement with educational organizations in her native area of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, demonstrate her commitment to young people and her fierce loyalty to the groups that serve them. After earning her master of education at University of Virginia, Jessie embarked on a career in education that has spanned more than four decades, including serving as admissions director and dean of students at The Miller School of Albemarle in addition to teaching positions. Outside the classroom, she was intimately involved in the Parent Teacher Organization at her children’s school and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and she served as chair of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Technical Education Center. Her civic engagement has also included 10 years on the local school board — six of which she served as chair — and leadership in Delta Kappa Gamma, an international woman’s educational organization. Tabor Presbyterian Church in Crozet has benefitted in innumerable ways from Jessie’s faithful involvement, which includes, in her own words “everything from cleaning and cooking to teaching and preaching.” Jessie has also found time to share her spirit of service with Mary Baldwin University by undertaking roles on the Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors and several Reunion committees.

Career Achievement Award


There is no question that Jan Triplett ’72 deserves recognition for the professional accomplishments that led her to her impressive position as CEO of the Business Success Center in Austin, Texas, but it is the eagerness with which she helps other small business owners that truly makes her a standout. Jan earned her master’s degree from University of Denver and PhD from University of Texas at Austin, putting down roots in that city and assuming leadership roles throughout the years including vice president of the Austin Literacy Council, vice president of the Texas Green Technology Network, and founder of the Women’s Chamber of Texas. Through her company, the Business Success Center, Jan provides sales, marketing, and financial management strategies to new, growing, and under-performing businesses. She has extended the reach of her expertise by speaking at national and international conferences, serving as the Texas governor’s delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business, and authoring business strategy books, among many other activities. Her company was named an Austin Green Business in 2008, and she has worked to encourage businesses to hire individuals with disabilities. Jan has been featured in Executive Female, Austin Business Journal, and on the American Express blog Open Source. She is also an active volunteer at All Saints Episcopal Church, the Austin Farmer’s Market, and a local women’s mentoring program.