The Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership held their annual Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner to honor the achievements of women in the UR community in the May Room of Wilson Commons on Feb. 10.

“Every age brings new concerns and issues, and young women say it’s hard to have it all,” keynote speaker Judge Laura E. Drager said.

“I’m here to tell you that you can have it all – you can have a career and a family. You just have to be careful that it is your definition of having it all.”

The dinner and ceremony honored six undergraduates, one faculty member and one graduate student.

Professor Emeritus of Religion and History Brenda Meehan, Class of 1970, received the 2005 Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the creation of the UR Women’s Studies and Russian Studies programs, her work in academia and her role as one of the founding members of the Susan B. Anthony Institute.

“[She] has excelled in every way during her career – as a teacher, as a mentor, as a researcher and as a colleague,” Susan B. Anthony Director Nora Bredes said.

Meehan was absent from the dinner and could not be reached for comment.

“UR has infused enlightenment about women’s issues that are well ahead of its time,” Drager said.

Drager, a former editor of the Campus Times and a former recipient of one of the awards presented, received her bachelor’s degree from the UR in 1970 and her judicial degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1973. She now serves as Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

She described the era in which she studied as an undergraduate as “seething” and “tumultuous.”

She also remembers feeling encouraged as a woman to participate in the discussion of ideas on campus.

Graduate student Lyndie Beth Siff was the first to receive the Graduate Women in Business Leader Scholarship from the Simon School of Business for her academic achievement, energy and spirited leadership.

Seniors Juliet Grabowski and Rebecca Neville were each awarded the Susan B. Anthony Prize for their contributions to the UR community and their academic accomplishments.

Grabowski is an Applied Music major with certificates in world music, art leadership and management studies.

“Every house needs a strong foundation,” Grabowski said. “Thank you to my friends, family and mentors who have helped make my life what it is today.”

Neville is a French major and is also a member of Grassroots, the Sailing Club and Leadership Rochester’s Civic Engagement Leadership Program.

Juniors Patricia McHale and Jennifer Muniak were awarded the Susan B. Anthony Scholarship. This scholarship honors students’ high academic achievement as well as their co-curricular leadership.

McHale, a member of the Golden Key Society and Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, is a Mechanical Engineering major and Materials Science minor.

She has also won a number of other prestigious scholarships and awards.

McHale was unable to be reached for comment.

Muniak is a Neuroscience major and Music minor, a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, D’Lion Organization, Medical Emergency Response Team and the Neuroscience Undergraduate Council.

“I am deeply honored that the committee has recognized my hard work here at UR,” Muniak said. “In college, our lives are full of uncertainty, and that’s very frightening. This award seemed to just say ‘Keep working hard [because] you’re on the right track.'”

Senior Emily Feldman was honored the Fannie R. Bigelow Prize on the basis of her individuality and her ability to form and express fearlessly, with sound judgment, her own opinions on vital topics.

Feldman is a double major in Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies and involved with Grassroots, Students for Social Justice, Women’s Caucus and was campaign manager for this year’s UR the Vote.

Junior Adrienne Monley received the Jane R. Plitt Award for her commitment to women’s equality on the UR campus and in the Rochester community.

Monley is an English major and Anthropology minor and in her spare time volunteers for Planned Parenthood.

She is also a columnist for the CT and works at the university’s Career Center as a peer career advisor and internship assistant.

The evening ended with a performance by UR’s a capella group Vocal Point.

“It was empowering to see so many great women in one room,” Vocal Point member and sophomore Rachel Thibo said.

Ling can be reached at jling@campustimes.org.



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