2007 Honorary Degree Recipients

(excerpts from citations read at Commencement)

ANNE NOLAND EDWARDS ‘70

Anne Edwards was honored as a Distinguished Alumna and extraordinary Trustee who was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1998 and to Co-Chair of the Board in 2002. With intelligence, passion and compassion she provided important leadership for the College as it pursued its mission of educating women for inclusive leadership and social responsibility.

Edwards brought a remarkable array of talents and connections to her service on the Board: she is a published poet, feature newspaper writer, art critic, artist and consummate volunteer. Her exceptional interpersonal skills have been responsible for developing and strengthening relationships between the College and alumnae all over the country. With special tact and kindness she has played a major role in reconnecting alumnae with the College and encouraging their participation in important fundraising efforts. Her genuine concern for the success of our students, her ability to inspire others, and her own personal generosity distinguish her leadership role.

Although Anne Edwards’s term on the Board of Trustees has ended, the College will continue to benefit from her wisdom and guidance as she assumes the duties and honor of being the National Chair of The Campaign for Pine Manor College, which will be launched publicly in the fall.

Her home is Alexandria, Virginia, where she gives generously of her time and talents -- most recently as Chair of the Education Committee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

PHILIP O. GEIER

Geier has very special connections to the PMC community. His mother, Suzanne Ernst Geier, Class of 1943 is a Trustee Emerita and his aunt, Sarah Ernst Christensen, was a member of the Class of 1946. His mother urged him to get involved with Pine Manor. She is a wise woman.

For over a decade Geier served as a Trustee of Pine Manor College and for the past nine years he has been co-chair of the Board. His contributions have been central to the contemporary relevance and significance Pine Manor enjoys within the landscape of higher education today. During Geier’s time on the Board, the College deepened its commitment to the education of women and repositioned itself to meet the changing needs of women and society in the 21st century. His wisdom, humor, and unwavering commitment to the benefits of diversity to promote understanding and positive change have reinforced the strengths of PMC.

Geier brought to his service on the Board a wealth of experience in teaching and educational administration, especially in international education. From 1993-2005 he was President of United World College in New Mexico. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association and been the Vice President of World Learning [formerly The Experiment in International Living]. His professional career has always reflected his passion for fostering citizen diplomacy, international understanding, and cross-cultural dialogue. Currently Geier is Executive Director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, the largest privately funded international scholarship program in the world.

YVONNE GOMEZ-CARRION

PMC honored Gomez-Carrion for her professional and personal dedication to improving healthcare for women. As a teacher, practitioner and mentor, she brings healing and hope to many, including several Pine Manor students.

As an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and as an associate in obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Gomez-Carrion is influencing those who will provide healthcare for women and their families in the future. As a practitioner, she provides care and wise counsel to the wide range of women who are her patients today.

Nurturing and mentoring others is second nature for Gomez-Carrion. Remembering what an important difference a mentor made in her life, she now volunteers to guide others, especially those from less advantaged backgrounds. Two Pine Manor students are among those who have interned with her; inspired and encouraged by her, both have moved on to careers and post-graduate education in medicine.
Raised in New York City, Gomez-Carrion earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a medical degree from Columbia University. Her awards include Chief Resident Unsung Hero from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. An author of many papers about women’s health issues, she has also written poetry, some of which she shared at Commencement.

SWANEE HUNT

In January PMC hosted Hunt’s book reading from Half Life of a Zealot, and at Commencement honored her as author, diplomat, educator, philanthropist, social reformer, and most especially as advocate for the role of women in shaping politics and securing peace.

Throughout her career Hunt has demonstrated the positive difference women can make in their communities, their nation and the world. As American Ambassador to Austria [1993-1997], she forged new paths in public diplomacy through her weekly newspaper column, radio addresses, and small group discussions. In addition, she extended her energies to the Balkan states, hosting negotiations and symposia to focus efforts on securing peace in post-Communist Europe.

In July 1997 Hunt organized the landmark conference, “Vital Voices; Women in Democracy,” that brought together over 300 women leaders and inspired her creation of “Women Waging Peace,” an initiative that advocates for the full participation of women in peace processes. Hunt’s book, This was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, which recounts her experiences in Europe, won the 2005 PEN/New England Award for nonfiction.

Currently Hunt is the founding director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and President of the Hunt Alternative Fund, a foundation committed to social change initiatives.

VICTORIA ROWELL

Victoria Rowell was honored for her work on behalf of foster children, bringing national attention to the needs of those who provide and are in foster care. She is the Founder and Chair of the Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan, which was begun in 1990 to support and enhance the physical, emotional and economic development of youth in foster care. She is also a successful actress who starred on The Young and The Restless and appeared in several films, and began yet another career as an author with the publication of her book, Women Who Raised Me.

Rowell’s remarkable and inspirational story began when she entered foster care at the age of six months. The love and enrichment of the first of her five foster mothers changed her life and became the foundation for her passion to reach out and help other children. As a little girl, Rowell received a pair of ballet slippers from her foster mother, who enrolled her in a classical ballet school. Within a year she won a Ford Foundation scholarship to the Cambridge School of Ballet, and, encouraged by her foster mother, moved to Boston to pursue this opportunity. In Boston Rowell became a member of four additional foster families and, after eight years of training, her exceptional talent earned her dance scholarships in New York City, where she danced professionally. Eventually modeling diverted Rowell from dance and led to a career in television and film.

Rowell’s work has earned well-deserved recognition. As an actress she received two Daytime Emmy nominations and ten NAACP Image Awards. As an advocate for children in foster care, she was honored by the Foster Parent Program of Los Angeles City College and received a letter of commendation from President Clinton.