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Notre Dame of Maryland University Pays Tribute to Outstanding Alumnae: Hornig, Smyth, Love and Walters to receive awards at 2011 Honors Convocation

September 22, 2011

Notre Dame of Maryland University is paying tribute to outstanding alumnae and community leaders at its annual Honors Convocation ceremony on Saturday, September 24, at 11 a.m. in LeClerc Auditorium. The event brings the University community together to celebrate academic achievement and service. New students will take the Honor Pledge—now in its 75th year—and wear their academic regalia for the first time (the same regalia they will wear when they graduate).

“Notre Dame is proud to include such an extraordinary group of women among our graduates,” said Mary Pat Seurkamp, president of the University. “It is fitting that our incoming students, who recited the Honor Pledge for the first time this morning, are able to look to these accomplished women who have continued to abide by its principles in their personal and professional lives.”

  • Karen Stakem Hornig, Deputy Commissioner of the Maryland Insurance Administration and an alumna of the class of 1980, will be presented with the 2011 President’s Medal. The award is among the College’s highest honors and is presented to individuals whose outstanding personal qualities and achievements exemplify its mission. Ms. Hornig is being recognized for her extensive work in the community, professionally over the course of a legal and higher education career spanning more than 20 years, and through volunteer service with St. William of York Parish, Seton Keough High School’s board of trustees, the board of The Cathedral Foundation, and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. She has also served her alma mater as trustee associate and associate faculty.
  • Patricia Knott Smyth ’51 is receiving 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. It is named for Brig. Gen. Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40, who served the nation with leadership and vision and was one of the first women to attain the rank of U.S. Army general. Ms. Smyth has served the community through leadership roles for a broad array of organizations, many of them Catholic institutions. She was a trustee of Notre Dame from 1987 to 1990 and has been a leader and advisor for the school’s major institutional advancement campaigns. President Mary Pat Seurkamp awarded Ms. Smyth the President’s Medal in 1998.

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

  • The Regina Russo Hammel ’41 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award for professional achievement and/or contribution to the community goes to Pamela Walters ’01 M ’03, a distinguished educator and passionate advocate for the education of disabled children. She is currently the principal of St. Clement Mary Hofbauer School and head of the Archdiocese’s newly-established PRIDE Plus program to train teachers for children with disabilities.
  • Dr. Susan Love, a member of the Class of 1970 is the winner of 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. Dr. Love is author of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and a leader in the breast cancer field for more than 30 years. Dr. Love will be represented at the ceremony by Melissa McGuire, a Notre Dame alumna, breast cancer survivor and co-chair of the Notre Dame Love/Army of Women.

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.