2015 Alumnae Achievement Awards


Recognizing alumnae who have brought honor to themselves and to Wellesley College through their outstanding achievements.

The Achievement Awards, which have been presented annually since 1970, are the highest honor given to Wellesley alumnae. On Friday evening, October 14, 2016 the WCAA presented this year's Alumnae Achievement Awards to the following three recipients. You can watch the 2016 ceremony here. More than 300 alumnae, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends were in attendance.


Click here to learn more about the nomination process.

Maria Morris Hambourg '71
Photography Champion, Preeminent Art Scholar, Curator

Maria Morris Hambourg is a highly regarded art historian and curator. Her championing of photography led to the creation, in 1992, of the new Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with her as curator. It was the first time in decades that a new department had been established at the museum, and her success in creating it within a deeply traditional institution like the Met has been called “perhaps her most enduring achievement.”

Marian Burros '54
Transformational Food and Lifestyle Journalist

Marian Burros has been a transformative influence in American writing about food, food safety, health, and agriculture, both as a cookbook author and a journalist.

Coming onto the scene when Americans had tired of TV dinners but didn’t always have time to master the art of French cooking, Burros showed a knack for adapting complicated restaurant recipes for home chefs. Her books spoke to the needs of cooks at every skill level. With titles like Elegant But Easy (written with Lois Liebeskind Levine ’52) and Cooking for Comfort, they conveyed a message that cuisine didn’t have to be dauntingly complex to be delicious.

Debra Knopman '75
Engineer, Complex Problem Solver, Policymaker

Many of the biggest challenges facing humanity today are scientific and engineering problems: nuclear waste management, for instance, or environmental restoration or long-term water resources planning. And these are the challenges that Debra Knopman has been wrestling with throughout her career.