The Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award is presented to a graduate who, through achievements in career and/or community service, embodies the principles of Notre Dame.

Winners, who have graduated no fewer than five years ago, have demonstrated loyalty to the University and achievements in career and or community.


After her death in 2007, the award was dedicated to Brig. Gen. Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40, who served our nation with leadership and vision—particularly as one of the first women to attain the rank of U.S. Army general. The 2008 award was the first given under the new name.

2022 Award Winner

La Vida D. Cooper and President Marylou Yam

La Vida D. Cooper '03

For nearly 20 years La Vida Cooper has been a noteworthy leader in the civil aerospace technologies and capabilities arena. Cooper is driven by curiosity and a passion to help solve some of the nation’s biggest challenges via creativity, innovation and intrapreneurial practices.

Throughout her career she has managed the development of a diverse portfolio of cutting-edge technologies and overseen their maturation, demonstration and infusion for space-flight and ground applications to enable space science and space exploration endeavors.

Cooper’s primary areas of technology development include extreme- environment electronics design, applied physics, telecommunications and navigation for space-based and terrestrial applications.

She is presently the Associate Program Manager for a robust civil communications and navigation portfolio, leading the definition and implementation of present and future capabilities. Beginning October 1st 2022, Cooper will take on a new cross- government initiative serving as the Executive Director of a newly formed Federal Consortium for Quantum technology, research and demonstration.

Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics (Math minor) from the Notre Dame of Maryland University, an additional bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, having completed an undergraduate dual-degree program in 2003. Cooper also holds a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, received in 2005.

Past Winners
Year Winner
1991 Patricia Ann Denny Bathon ’49
1992 Veronica Walker Hackett ’67
1993 Mildred Buzek Otenasek ’36, Ph.D. 
1994 Margaret Dempsey McManus ’41
1995 School Sisters of Notre Dame
1996 Margaret Dougherty ’41
1997 Dorothy Brown, Ph.D. ’54
1998 Donna Ringger Easton ’70
1999 Suzanne Janes Peck ’64
2000 Alice El Koury ’39
2001 Margaret J. Steinhagen’54, Ph.D.
2002 Anne Bruggy Deming ’61, Ph.D.
2003 Mary Lu Schroeder McNeal ’50
2004 Regina McKeowne Hubbard ’43
2005 Candee Morici Swenson ’69, Ph.D.
2006 Dr. Doris Ann Trauner ’66, M.D.
2007 Kathleen Carney Buetow ’50, Ph.D.
2008 Dolores Warwick Frese ’58, Ph.D.
2009 Jo Trueschler '49
2010 Edith McParland Donohue '60
2011 Patricia Knott Smyth '51
2012 Kathleen O'Ferrall Friedman '62
2013 Margaret Haskell Farnham '92
2014 Mary Kay Shartle Galotto '64, Ph.D.
2015 Frances Hanna Flanigan '65
The Hon. Irene Murphy Keeley '65
2016 The Hon. Audrey J.S. Carrion '81
2017 Christina Bolmarcich, Esq. '97
2018 Joan B. Davidson '93

Victoria M. Genco Bell '69
Julie Courtney Ben-Susan '69
Andrea R. Bowden, Ph.D. '69
Cathryn Archibald Curia, CPCU '69
Mary Ellen Vanni '69

2020 Mary Beth Lennon '89
2021 Grace Solimando Zaczek ’70
2022 La Vida D. Cooper '03