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Notre Dame of Maryland University Honors Outstanding Alumnae at 2012 Honors Convocation

September 24, 2012

Notre Dame of Maryland University paid tribute to three outstanding alumnae and community leaders at its annual Honors Convocation ceremony on Saturday, September 22. A cherished Notre Dame tradition, Honors Convocation brings the University community together to celebrate academic achievement and service, as new students take the Honor Pledge and wear the academic regalia for the first time.

  • The Honorable Kathleen O’Ferrall Friedman ’62 received the Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award. The distinction is bestowed annually upon a graduate who, through achievements in career and or community service, embodies the principles of Notre Dame. A trailblazing advocate for women’s rights, accomplished jurist, champion of families and civic leader, Judge Friedman was a founding member of the Women’s Law Center and helped found Baltimore’s House of Ruth. She served on Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees for 15 years, breaking new ground when she was selected as its first lay chair.

Immediately following Honors Convocation, Notre Dame’s Alumnae and Alumni Association honored additional outstanding graduates at an awards luncheon.

  • La Vida Cooper ’03 was presented with the Regina Russo Hammel ’41 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for professional achievement and/or contribution to the community. Since graduating from Notre Dame’s 5-year dual degree program for science and engineering, Ms. Cooper attained a master’s in engineering from The Johns Hopkins University and rose quickly through the ranks at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. A winner of the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Award, Ms. Cooper has remained involved with Notre Dame, most recently speaking with prospective students at the Women’s College Open House. She has also presented the keynote address at Notre Dame’s Scholarship Celebration for incoming students
  • Judy Geilfuss Dobson ’62 received Notre Dame’s Service to Society Award, presented to a graduate who best exemplifies the ideals of a liberal arts education through the application of her education, initiative and humanity to the betterment of the community, the nation or the world. For more than 25 years, Ms. Dobson has devoted her career to the poor and disenfranchised of Baltimore City, first with Catholic Charities, and most recently with the Franciscan Center and Archdiocese of Baltimore. She has been an active member of Notre Dame’s Alumnae and Alumni Association, serving as its president twice and as reunion chair twice. In 1996, she was awarded the President's Medal for her work with the Alumnae Association and her commitment to the less fortunate.


Notre Dame of Maryland University, founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, engages students as confident, capable learners and leaders, thriving in the vibrant, personal community of its distinguished Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and College of Graduate Studies. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Notre Dame’s graduates change lives—in their careers, communities and families. Visit www.ndm.edu.