Wellesley Announces Recipients of the 2017 Alumnae Achievement Awards

October 13, 2017
Wellesley announces three recipients of 2017 Alumnae Achievement Awards

Wellesley College has announced the recipients of the 2017 Alumnae Achievement Awards, which have been presented annually since 1970 by the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, and are the highest honor given to Wellesley alumnae. Recipients are chosen for achievement and distinction in their fields.

The 2017 Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award recipients are: Elyse Cherry ’75, chief executive officer of Boston Community Capital (a non-profit community-development institution focusing on building healthy communities where low-income people live and work); Kwan Kew Lai ’74, an M.D. and a D.M.D. with a specialty in infectious diseases, who has volunteered her medical services all over the world; and Lorraine O’Grady ’55, an artist and critic whose installations, performances and texts address issues of diaspora, hybridity and black female subjectivity.

 “As the premier liberal arts college for women, Wellesley College has long championed women who have had a transformative effect on their communities and on the world. The Alumnae Achievement Awards honor women who continue this tradition,” said Wellesley College President Paula Johnson. “The contributions and accomplishments of this year's recipients – all leaders in their respective fields – range across diverse arenas, from strengthening low-income communities, to providing critical medical aid in developing nations, to creating art that changes how we look at women of color. By honoring these three remarkable women, we are also illustrating that Wellesley is a place where young women can explore and learn without constraint, developing confidence, resilience, and independence that will serve them no matter the path they pursue.”

The mission of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association (WCAA) is to support the institutional priorities of Wellesley College by connecting alumnae to the College and to each other. Chartered in 1880 and incorporated in 1916, the WCAA represents more than 35,000 alumnae, serving as a lifelong resource and encouraging alumnae to contribute to the continued excellence of the College.