Financial guru Susan Bondy and top official for the Secretary of Defense Gail McGinn given William Smith award
(April 7, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.—At a formal awards ceremony and dinner, the William Smith College Alumnae Association honored one of the highest ranking civilian women in the Department of Defense, Gail McGinn, and a celebrated financial analyst and syndicated columnist, Susan Bondy, with its Alumna Achievement Award. Part of the annual Famous Women's Dinner, the event on Friday, April 1, in Comstock Dining Room was attended by approximately 150 people, including students, alumnae, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends.
“Combining the annual Famous Women's Dinner with the Alumna Achievement Award presentation is the perfect alignment and celebration of historic 'famous women' and famous women in our own midst—our alumnae,” says Kathy Killius Regan '82, director of alumnae relations. “Though there were many outstanding alumnae who qualify to receive this award, Gail and Susan rose to the top this year. Their contributions to our alma mater and to our world are nothing short of exemplary, and we are sincerely honored to have had this opportunity to acknowledge them and thank them with this Award. They are inspirational.”
Bondy, a member of the William Smith Class of 1970, has shared down-to-earth financial advice and humor to a readership exceeding 20 million people through her long-running column “Bondy on Money.” She gained her knowledge by working as an investment analyst for some of the world's most prominent firms. She was featured on the cover of Money magazine's 10th anniversary issue, in an article titled “How To Get Your Finances Together – At Last.” In the same year her book “How To Make Money Using Other People's Money,” on cost-saving and money-making strategies received rave reviews and made the New York Times best-seller list.
McGinn, a member of the William Smith Class of 1973, has spent her life working toward the benefit of soldiers and their families. She was the senior career official responsible for policy oversight of the Department of Defense community quality of life program, including the operation of a K-12 Department of Defense school system overseas and in the United States, and a commissary and military exchange system to supply groceries and goods to military personnel and their families worldwide. She has provided personal leadership to the planning and development of programs geared to military family support, child development, family advocacy and domestic violence prevention, and casualty and mortuary affairs policies. Currently the Senior Language Authority for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, she works to improve foreign language capability within the Department of Defense and develops policies and approaches to address sexual assault within the Armed Forces.
“They both struck me as highly intelligent women and in some ways very different women,” says first-year Katy Goodrich, who is co-chair of the campus Women’s Collective and dressed for the evening as Margaret Sanger. “I thought it was great to bring in women who are in more male-dominated fields to kind of say 'hey, you can do it too.' They both had a strong presence in the room.”
Begun in 1999, the William Smith Alumna Achievement Award honors alumnae for distinction in their chosen fields. Past recipients include Virginia Bacheler '73, former host of the PBS children's show “Assignment the World,” and Dorothy H. Wickenden ’76, the executive editor of The New Yorker.