May 30, 1996
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Radcliffe Awards to Honor Distinguished Women

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, PhD '68, writer and social commentator Katha Pollitt '71, and author Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Bunting '77, are among the distinguished women who will be honored by Radcliffe College during Commencement/Reunion Week. The award ceremonies, which will include the presentation of the Radcliffe Medal, Alumnae Recognition and Distinguished Service awards, and the Graduate Society Medal, will take place on Radcliffe Day, Friday, June 7.

Radcliffe College will also sponsor a symposium, "Writing Women's Lives," on Friday, June 7, at 11:15 a.m. in Agassiz Theatre, Radcliffe Yard. Participating will be Radcliffe Day award winners Pollitt, Heilbrun, Ruth Whitman, and Mary Catherine Bateson.

The Radcliffe Medal

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for No Ordinary Time -- Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Homefront During World War II, will receive the Radcliffe Medal from the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association (RCAA) during the annual luncheon at 1 p.m. in Radcliffe Yard on June 7. Goodwin's acceptance speech will focus on "The Art of Biography."

Goodwin's other award-winning writings include The Fitzgeralds & The Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson & The American Dream. Goodwin worked as an assistant to Johnson during his final year in the White House and, later, aided him in preparing his memoirs.

Her political expertise has made her a regular guest on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer and on ABC's Nightline. Goodwin has also been a consultant and on-air commentator for several Public Broadcasting System documentaries.

A graduate of Colby College, she earned a Ph.D. in government from Harvard, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a professor of government. Goodwin, a Concord resident, is married to writer Richard Goodwin. She is the mother of three sons, the youngest of whom will enter Harvard this fall.

The Radcliffe Medal was established in 1987 to honor individuals "whose lives and work have had a significant impact on society." Previous recipients include television journalist Jane Pauley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, American Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole, and formerWashington Post publisher Katharine Graham.

Alumnae Recognition Awards

Mary Catherine Bateson '61, Bunting '83, author and professor of anthropology and English; Katha Pollitt '71, poet, journalist, and social critic; and Ruth Whitman '44, AM '47, Bunting '69, poet, educator, and editor, are the recipients of 1996 Alumnae Recognition Awards from the RCAA. These annual awards are presented to women "whose lives and spirits exemplify the value of the liberal arts education."

Mary Catherine Bateson is the Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and the president of the Institute for Intercultural Studies in New York City. This spring, she has also been a visiting scholar at Spelman College in Atlanta.

During her career, she has held teaching appointments in the United States and in Iran. Bateson has written more than 40 books and articles, including her best known work, Composing a Life, and her most recent work, Peripheral Vision.

Bateson earned an A.B., magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe College in 1960 in just three years, and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1963. She was a fellow at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College in 1983.

Katha Pollitt is the author of more than 250 pieces of nonfiction, as well as dozens of poems, which have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and The Yale Review. Her book of poems Antarctic Traveller won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her latest book, Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism, was published in 1994 by Knopf (Vintage paperback, 1995) and earned her nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Essays and Criticism and for a National Magazine Award in Essays and Criticisms. Since 1982, Pollitt has also held several editorial positions at The Nation, for which she writes a bimonthly column, "Subject to Debate." She has also reviewed books for many magazines, including The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.

She earned an A.B. in philosophy from Radcliffe College in 1972 and an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University in 1975. Pollitt has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, a Fulbright Writers Grant for travel in Yugoslavia, and a Whiting Writers Fellowship. Pollitt is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities.

Ruth Whitman has been a poet, an educator, and a translator of poetry throughout her distinguished career. A lecturer in poetry at the Radcliffe Seminars at Radcliffe College from 1969 to 1995, she was honored with a Radcliffe Seminars Award for distinguished teaching in 1984.

Whitman's writings include The Passion of Lizzie Borden: New and Selected Poems (1973), Tamsen Donner: A Woman's Journey (1977), The Testing of Hanna Senesh (1986), Laughing Gas: Poems New and Selected (1991), and Hatshepsut, Speak to Me (1992). She was poetry editor for the Radcliffe Quarterly from 1980 to 1995.

Whitman earned an A.B. in Greek and American literature, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe College in 1944 and an A.M. in classics in 1947. A former Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College, she was a Senior Fulbright Writer-in-Residence at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The Graduate Society Medal

Carolyn G. Heilbrun, BI '77, Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emerita in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, will receive the 1996 Graduate Society Medal from the RCAA. The medal is given annually to alumnae of Radcliffe and Harvard graduate schools and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College who have made outstanding contributions to their professions.

An educator, Heilbrun has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 1960 and has held appointments as a visiting professor at a number of universities, as well as at Columbia and Yale Law Schools.

Her writing career has included several books, including Writing a Woman's Life, and numerous articles and reviews. Under the pen name of Amanda Cross, she has written 11 murder mysteries, as well as short stories and articles.

Heilbrun holds a bachelor's degree Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, and master's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. In 1977, she was a fellow at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. She has also received ten honorary degrees.

Distinguished Service Awards

Keller Cushing Freeman '56, Margaret Florencourt Mann '46, and Barbara Alpern Taubenhaus '46 are the recipients of Distinguished Service Awards from the RCAA. The awards are given annually to alumnae "for outstanding service to the RCAA, and through it, to the College."

Keller Cushing Freeman, a poet, educator, and author, has donated considerable time on behalf of Radcliffe College, where she was a student from 1952 to 1954.

A trustee from 1989 to 1993, Freeman was a member of the Radcliffe Board of Management from 1975 to 1978 and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Radcliffe Quarterly from 1991 to 1993.

She has also served as cochair and member of the Radcliffe College Class Gift Committees for her 40th and 35th reunions, and has been a regional representative and delegate to Radcliffe Alumnae Council in 1974.

Since 1960, Freeman has served on the Harvard and Radcliffe South Carolina Schools and Scholarships Committee. She was president of the Harvard Club of South Carolina from 1980 to 1982, and a member of the executive committee of that club from 1978 to 1983.

Margaret Florencourt Mann, a former research engineer for Project Whirlwind at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has served her alma mater in numerous ways since her graduation in 1946.

A former member of the Radcliffe College Fund Board, Mann was a member of the Program Committee for the Radcliffe College Centennial Celebration in 1979-1980 and a committee member of several alumnae councils. She was chair of the committee for the inaugural Commemorative Service and coauthor of the Litany that has been used for every subsequent service.

Mann has been class chair, chair of her 45th reunion, a class agent, and a member of many reunion committees and reunion gift committees. She has also been active in the Radcliffe Club of Boston. She has also served as president of the Radcliffe Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Iota of Massachusetts.

Attorney Barbara Alpern Taubenhaus, who is celebrating her 50th reunion this June, is a former associate and partner with the law firm of Gaston & Snow and predecessor firms, and a former associate of Ropes, Gray, Best, Coolidge & Rugg.

For many years after graduating from Yale Law School, Taubenhaus was pro bono counsel to the Radcliffe Club of Boston, to the RCAA, and to Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Radcliffe College, where she also served as Secretary.

She also held offices on the RCAA Board of Management and in the Radcliffe Club of Boston. Within her class, she was class chair and class secretary. Taubenhaus is chair of her 50th reunion.

 


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