Past Recipients: Distinguished Alumna of the Year

First presented in 1978, the Scripps College Distinguished Alumna Award was established to celebrate the notable achievements of Scripps alumnae and to focus attention on Scripps’ role in the education of women. The award each year is presented during Reunion Weekend.

Latest Recipient: Connie de la Vega ’75

Constance, “Connie” de la Vega was born and raised in Mexico. Because her mother was American, she grew up speaking and writing both Spanish and English and with dual nationality in the US and Mexico. This led to her interest in international issues, guiding her to major in international relations while at Scripps. After graduation, Connie went to the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she focused her studies on international human rights under the guidance of Frank C. Newman (who later became a justice on the California Supreme Court).  Professor Newman introduced her to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, during the summer after her first year of law school. She later spent a semester at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, where she worked on international human rights issues. After law school, she worked for 10 years at the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County, where she focused on housing issues. Connie then went to teach at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she first directed the Civil Litigation Clinic, handling housing and civil rights cases. One of the latter resulted in a published decision, Orozco v. County of Yolo. Another case resulted in a published decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of an inmate on death row, N.I. Sequoyah v. United States. She eventually started teaching international human rights and teaching and directing the program for the master’s in law program. Connie is an avid sports lover: While at Scripps, she played volleyball and basketball for Pomona College. During law school, she played intramural sports and continued with organized sports after graduation.

Past Recipients

Year Alumna Position
2020 Anne Maltman Campbell ’70 San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, co-founder of Every Kid, Every School
2019 Barbara Brooks Tomblin ’66 Historian and Author
2018 Michelle Cleveland ’00 Middle School Principal
2017 Carolyn Sheets Owen-Towle ’57 Minister, Author, Speaker
2016 Gayle Pope Morrison ’71 International Volunteer, Oral Historian
2015 Dwandalyn R. Reece ’85 Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture
2014 Margo Leonetti O’Connell ’64 Trustee, California Science Center
2013 Sally Reeves Osberg ’73 CEO, Skoll Foundation
2012 Maxine Borowsky Junge ’59 Artist/art therapist/writer/educator/social activist
2011 Virginia Stibbs Anami ’66 Educator/Writer/Scholar
2010 Gaye Burpee ’69 Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Catholic Relief Services
2009 Cynthia “Pae” White ’85 Artist
2008 Connie Butler ’84 The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2007 Louise Langlois Francesconi ’75 President, Raytheon Missile Systems
2006 Dr. Kathleen Brogan Schwarz ’64 Pediatric gastroenterologist
2005 Dede Allen ’45 Film Editor
2004 Barbara Cook Wormser ’59 Founder and President, Inland Harvest
2003 Alison Saar ’78 Artist
2002 Pamela Corey-Archer ’62 Minister-Counselor, Madrid, Spain
2001 Hannah-Beth Jackson ’71 Assemblymember, 35th District
2000 Beth Nolan ’73 Counsel, President of the United States
1999 Marsha Genesky ’80 Performer and Recording Artist
1998 Susan Fallows Tierney ’73 Economic and Public Policy Analyst
1997 Barbara Arnwine ’73 Civil Rights Attorney
1996 Elizabeth Arnold Stone ’71 Veterinarian
1995 Marjorie Merryman ’72 Composer
1994 Nancy Neighbor Russell ’53 Environmental Activist
1993 Pamela Bowren Vandiver ’67 Research Scientist in Ceramics
1992 Idelle Feinberg Weber ’54 Artist/Educator
1991 Ruth Ashton Taylor ’43 Television and Radio Journalist
1990 Jil Harris Stark ’58 Volunteer/Educator
1989 Ruth Markowitz Owades ’66 Businesswoman/Entrepreneur
1988 Jean Bixby Smith ’59 Businesswoman/Community Volunteer
1987 Suzanne Muchnic ’62 Art Critic/Journalist
1986 Tanya Cherry Tull ’64 Community Service
1985 Susan Lautmann Hertel ’52 Artist
1984 Nancy Cook Aldrich ’66 Physicist/Engineer
1983 Rosemary Radford Ruether ’58 Theologian
1982 Judith Nelsen Keep ’66 Federal Court Judge
1981 Ruth Churchill ’54 Marketing Director
1980 Laura Thurston Gutman ’57 Pediatrician
1979 Maryanne McNellis ’68 Journalist
1978 Ellen Hutchinson Ellis ’39 Community Service