The William Smith Alumnae Association awarded its highest honor, the Alumna Achievement Award, to Susan R. Strauss ’64, whose long career, both in and out of government, has been devoted to social change and social justice.
Presenting Strauss with the Alumna Achievement Award, William Smith Alumnae Association President Julie Bazan ’93 noted that Strauss’ “life of consequence…serves as a shining example for our entire Hobart and William Smith family. Your accomplishments and contributions to humankind are nothing short of extraordinary, and we are proud to have you among our most honorable William Smith Alumnae.”
The Alumna Achievement Award recognizes William Smith graduates who, by reason of outstanding accomplishments in their particular businesses, professions or community service, have brought honor and distinction to their alma mater.
Strauss, who worked for the Institute for Policy Studies and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and was later active in the labor union movement, was joined on stage by Chevanne Graham DeVaney ’95, P’21, Jacqueline Fisher ’18 and Maeve D. Kline ’19. Together, the panel engaged with one another and community members in the audience about the range of their service and advocacy work, the ideals behind it and how their time at William Smith shaped their outlook.
William Smith Congress President Sophie Ritter ’20, reflecting on the founding of the College, noted that “through the advances of the suffrage movement, the second feminist wave in the middle of the century, and to this very day, [William Smith] has continued to grow — not only in size but also in esteem and accomplishment.”
Founder’s Day, she said, offers “a chance to reflect on this place and the opportunities, successes, and discoveries women have made here for more than a century.”