2014 Honorary Degree Recipient — Elizabeth Van Orsdel Moulds
On behalf of the president and board of trustees, it is my very great pleasure to honor Elizabeth Van Orsdel Moulds.
Betsy, we are proud to acknowledge you as a Pine Manor alumna from the class of 1964 – and today we are pleased and proud to present you with an Honorary Degree. This recognition, the highest honor that your college can bestow, is because of your great accomplishments on behalf of Pine Manor. It is also because of your extraordinary charitable work in other parts of the world.
You have been a member of the college’s board of trustees since 2006. You have worked tirelessly and with devotion on a wide variety of initiatives. Your influence has touched many important areas of the college. You have chaired the Enrollment Committee; you have Co-Chaired the Student Engagement Committee; you have been a key leader on the Development and Alumnae Relations Committee. In addition, you have travelled widely around the country representing Pine Manor, meeting and engaging other alumnae. You were instrumental in helping to develop the Northern California Alumnae Club. And, finally and most importantly, you served brilliantly for three years as Chair of Pine Manor’s Centennial Celebration. In the words of one of our faculty members: “Betsy was the very heart and soul of the Pine Manor Centennial.”
This example of commitment is present in the other areas of your life. You started a charitable NGO in 1998 and continue its work to this day. Norte Americanos para Orocuina provided relief work after Hurricane Mitch devastated the Village of Orocuina in Honduras. You developed 5 Colonias there, buying the land and building 125 homes for those left homeless. Your community service projects continue to focus upon education and health. Back home in California, you are a founding member and past president of the Portola Valley Schools Foundation, which work reflects your earlier career as a teacher in the Eastside Union High School District in San Jose, California. Before that, you were a Peace Corps Volunteer, working in health care, providing aid to villages in Brazil. Your outreach to those in need has been lifelong and far-flung – especially far, in your case, as you are a fifth generation Hawaiian!
It is impossible to honor you without commending the support of your wonderful husband of 42 years, Steve Moulds. Together with Steve, you created Moulds Family Vineyards in Napa Valley, where, since 2000, you produce premium Cabernet Sauvignon wine grapes. You and Steve are the proud parents of Reed and Hayden, and the delighted grandparents of Hunter and Jackson Moulds.
Pine Manor College has been the grateful recipient of your unique combination of gentle kindness, unwavering strength, and thoughtful care. Our alumnae, faculty, administrators and staff have benefited from your sound advice, your hard work and your profound support. You have given all of this with characteristic grace. For all you have done – and all you continue to do – we are proud to honor you today.
The honorary degree was presented by the Chair of the Board, Serena Strazzulla Kokjer Greening ’59.