Distinguished Awards

2018 Distinguished Alumna Award

Yiota Souras '88

Yiota Souras, an accomplished attorney who provides senior counsel for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is fighting back against forces of corruption, exploitation, and corporate irresponsibility – and she is doing it with toughness, resolve, compassion, and a nod of gratitude to her St. Catherine’s roots.   She is the  personification of our school motto – “What we keep we lose, and only what we give remains our own.”

Yiota graduated from St. Catherine’s in 1988 as a Senior Prefect and went on to receive a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from Fordham University.  She then gained seven years of experience with corporate litigation and white-collar investigations at international law firms in NYC and Washington, DC.  In her sixth year as a young associate, she became involved in the legal defense of Guantanamo Bay detainees, an experience that opened her eyes to the power of life-changing pro bono work.

In 2006 Yiota joined the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and now serves as their Senior Vice President and General Counsel, with responsibility for all legal affairs including oversight of contractual, litigation, compliance, governance, and intellectual property matters.  She also advises the President, CEO, and staff about legal issues pertaining to NCMEC’s mission.  In 2015 she testified in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations, looking into the actions of individual websites and their role in sanctioning advertisement for child pornography and sex trafficking.  Again in 2017, she testified in front of the Senate Commerce Committee to discuss Senate Bill 1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act.  This bill prevents technology companies from hiding behind claims of internet freedom to skirt their responsibilities and instead holds them accountable for the advertising they provide that enables child trafficking.  Thanks to Yiota’s research, testimony, and participation in numerous briefings and media events, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on April 11, 2018.

A documentary entitled “I am Jane Doe” features Yiota uncovering the hidden players of the child trafficking problem.  In early April, St. Catherine’s Upper School students watched this film in preparation for Yiota’s visit to the school as part of the Camp Speaker Series.  During her visit, Yiota shared with the girls her insights on her work and engaged in smaller classroom discussions related to the trafficking of children.  She told the girls, “All of you will have so many opportunities when you are asked to do something.  You will have to listen and take everything you learned at St. Catherine’s and everything you know about right and wrong, and you will know how to make it happen.  You will know how to change things to make it better.”

In an interview with the Fordham University School of Law Magazine, Yiota talks about her personal journey as an attorney and is asked how her experience at St. Catherine’s shaped her interest in defending girls and children.  She replies, “the deepest influence my experience at St. Catherine’s had on my current work was the emphasis on finding a role in society where your work benefits others. This influence was echoed years later at Fordham Law School, which makes service to others a core part of the education experience.” 

For her inspiration to our students, for her loyalty to our school, and for her commitment to using her legal expertise and innate sense of decency in service to others, we proudly and thankfully present the 2018 Distinguished Alumna Award to Yiota Souras.


Distinguished Alumna Award

The Distinguished Alumna Award was established by the Ellett-St. Catherine’s Alumnae Association in 1969 to honor, annually, an alumna who has helped to make her city, state or world a better place by giving of her talents in the true spirit of the school motto: What we keep, we lose; only what we give remains our own. The award is intended to honor a St. Catherine’s alumna who has distinguished herself in her field, either as a professional or as a community volunteer, and who is an outstanding example of what one can achieve when grounded in the St. Catherine’s experience.  

From suffragists, dramatists, artists and writers to preservationists, ministers, lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs, St. Catherine’s distinguished alumnae from every decade have exemplified the school motto through their good works and generous spirit around the world.


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  • Past Recipients of the Distinguished Alumna Award

    2018
    Yiota Souras '88

    2017
    Jane Hyde Williams 1967

    2016
    Louise Jenkins Maybank 1956

    2015

    Margaret "Mimsy" wood Jones 1955
    Anne "Panny" Gregory Rhodes 1960

    2014
    Kimberly Lichtenberg 1994
    Katherine Short Clarke 1949

    2013
    Meridith Leigh Rentz 1988

    2012 
    Helen Turner Murphy 1952
    Mary Zayde (“Bucci”) Rennolds Zeugner 1977

    2011
    Geline Bowman Williams 1941
    Liz Gilbert 1986

    2010
    Ann Reeves Reed 1950

    2009

    Louise Lewis Foster 1959
    Elizabeth McMillan Hagood 1979

    2008
    Dina Farley Foster 1983

    2007
    Sally Womack Hruska 1957
    Betty Baugh Harrison 1977

    2006
    Sally Walden Wieland 1956

    2005
    Frances Johnson Lee-Vandell 1960

    2004
    Kate Harwood Gooch 1959
    Nathalie Ward 1969

    2003 
    Janet Patton Lewis 1938
    Dorothy Robertson Parrish 1938

    2002
    Anne Stanley Chatham 1937

    2001
    Betty Bowe Wallace Hendrix 1946
    Sally James Michel 1956

    2000
    Penny Baldwin Williams 1955

    1999
    Gene Davidson Dahmen 1959
    Gene Brumfield Edmunds 1959

    1998
    Ada Gaye Gregory 1988

    1997
    Margaret Davison Block 1950

    1996
    Eliza Scott Nevin 1966

    1995
    Pamela Tucker 1966

    1994
    Minnie Bassett Lane 1949
    Jane Bassett Spilman 1949

    1992
    Ella Prince Trimmer Knox 1952

    1991
    Pocahontas Wight Edmunds 1921

    1988
    Anne Whitfield Kenny 1951

    1987
    Jean Staples Showalter 1930
    Margaret Ferguson Gibson 1962
    Caroline Armistead Riely 1962

    1984
    Viola Hubbard Woolfolk 1939

    1983
    Mary Tyler Freeman Cheek 1933

    1975
    Lee Smith 1963
    Elizabeth Davenport Hayter 1948
    Carolyn Buhrman Nettleton 1941

    1974
    Molly Haskell 1957
    Carolyn McCue Osteen 1960
    Mary Allen McCue (Honorary) 1959

    1973
    Fanny Graves Crenshaw 1908
    Annie Leigh Hobson Broughton 1926
    Cynthia Ann Billings 1950

    1972
    Mary Caperton Bingham 1923
    Florence Turner McCullough 1940
    Vienna Cobb Anderson 1953

    1971
    Anna Hill Johnstone Robinson 1930
    Fortunata Sydnor Trapnell Vanderschmidt 1947
    Katharine Kniskern Mather 1932

    1970
    Frances Laughlin Wadsworth 1927
    Elinor Fry Phillips 1920
    Edith O’Keefe Susong 1909
    Nancy Langhorne Cone 1944

    1969
    Adele Clark 1901
    Mary Wingfield Scott 1913
    Natalie McFaden Blanton 1913
    Emma Gray White Trigg 1909

2018 Distinguished Young Alumna Award

Holly Ziskal Habimana '98

Holly’s passion lies in bringing hope to some of the world’s most marginalized. The seeds of servant leadership were sown during her two years as a boarder, when she served as a Prefect, President of the Honor Council, and a member of Amnesty International.  She found life mentors here, and says, “St. Catherine’s showed me that I was capable of doing anything.”
 
Holly first started her nonprofit career at Women In Distress, a domestic violence agency, working with children, and then later at Leadership Broward Foundation in Florida. Holly’s can-do attitude and her drive to make a difference turned into a calling when, as a graduate student at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, she enrolled in a class focused on Rwanda after the horrific genocides.  She began working at the Akilah Institute for Women in Rwanda, the only women’s college in East Africa. She met her husband in Rwanda and would have stayed on, but because of Visa limitations, the couple had to move to the U.S. Working at the non-profit Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc., she furthered the mission of teaching youth in the Florida community healthy alternatives to risky behavior.
 
Feeling drawn back to mission work with the underserved in Uganda, Habimama was hired as the Executive Director of The African SOUP in Atlanta, Georgia.  The African SOUP works to improve the quality of primary education in Uganda by blending community development with national impact. The SOUP provides educational opportunities to over 600 children in rural Uganda and supports their families and the community through programs that focus on child nutrition, improved health, and economic empowerment. The SOUP also leads a national education reform effort focused on active learning. All of the SOUP’s programs strive to create long-term, sustainable solutions to poverty through education and community-driven impact. Under Holly’s leadership, the SOUP tripled its annual budget and increased the number of programs serving the children and community four-fold. They also added boys and girls dormitories, a bioenergy kitchen and latrine system, an early learning center, a library, solar panels, and fresh water wells, as the SOUP’s main campus was 18 miles off of the electrical grid with no running water.
 
Through her work with SOUP, Holly became more acutely aware of the difficulties girls and women face as they push back against traditional societal boundaries.  In November 2017, she left the SOUP to rejoin the Akilah Institute as its Associate Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations in Washington, DC.  The not for profit college, founded in 2010, offers a unique model of market-relevant education. The Institute’s website states that “We work closely with our partners in government, civil society, and the private sector to deliver a curriculum that prepares our graduates to move directly into professional careers and leadership roles. We focus on three of the fastest-growing industries in East Africa today: business management and entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information systems. Our results prove the value of our model: 88% of our graduates secure employment within 6 months of graduating, and earn, on average, 12x the national median income.”  Akilah believes in the importance of using role models to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in the ICT field.
 
Below are a few testimonials from graduates affirming the life-changing mission of Akilah: 
 
"When Jacky Mutamba began her studies at Akilah in 2010, she was a 35-year old housewife and the mother of two small children. Five years after graduating Akilah, Jacky runs a large farm on the outskirts of Kigali on land that she and her husband bought together, and her children now attend private school with dreams of becoming a doctor and an engineer.
Starting with a small plot in 2013, Jacky has grown her farm to more than seven hectares, manages four employees (who have purchased their own land with salaries earned from her enterprise), and has plans to expand her business model to sell produce to schools to improve nutrition among children in Rwanda. For Jacky, joining Akilah was the catalyst that allowed her to lead on her own terms while building a financially solvent future for herself and her family."

"Nadia Kubwimana, another alumna of Akilah, is the founder of a women’s cooperative that translates from Kinyarwanda to mean “The Pride of Rwandan Women Fund.” Nadia credits her innovative leadership skills to Akilah, and now challenges herself to think bigger. Her hard work has been recognized by her community and surrounding areas, with more than 250 women working in 42 cooperatives. She is pleased with the progress she has witnessed, but has aspirations to expand so that women can continue to empower each other through economic opportunity."
 
Holly Ziskal Habimama’s life work is the embodiment of service to others, and we congratulate her as this year’s Distinguished Young Alumna Award recipient.  

Distinguished Young Alum Award

In honor of St. Catherine's 125th Anniversary, the Distinguished Young Alumna Award was established by the Alumnae Association to recognize an alumna who is celebrating a 20th reunion or younger. The award is given to an alumna who has demonstrated distinction through her volunteer work or through her leadership, achievements and accomplishments in her career or community.

2017
Darley C. Newman

2016
Carrie D. Wortham

Outstanding Service Award

Outstanding Service Award

Chris Williams

Since 1994, the alumnae association has recognized members of the St. Catherine’s family, including alumnae, parents, teachers, coaches and administrators, who have set themselves apart through loyal service and continuing dedication to the school over many years.
The 2018 recipient, Chris Williams, has generously bestowed upon St. Catherine's his time, talent and treasure in the true spirit of this award. 

As the father of Emma and Terrell, who graduated in 2015, and Grace, class of 2018, Chris was destined to become a fixture on campus.  So invested was he in his daughters’ education that he willingly wore many hats and championed many initiatives, beginning with the 2008 Campaign Feasibility Study.  He was a member of the Board of Governors from 2009 through 2016, serving as board chair from 2014-16. 
From 2011-13, Chris co-chaired with Missy Gullquist St. Catherine's capital campaign, For Girls Who Will Shape the Future.  During his Board tenure, he was a proponent of working towards a more robust College Counseling program; increased emphasis on a Major Gift Program; growing the School’s planned giving program known as The Arcade Society, with a focus on Board membership in particular; and he worked on yet a second Feasibility Study in 2016. 

Even after the conclusion of his term on the Board, Chris continues serving on the Board Finance Committee as a non-board member.  Chris also served as co-chair of the 2018 Senior Parent/Grandparent Gift Committee.  The graduation of his third and last daughter notwithstanding, we are extremely fortunate that Chris agreed to serve as o
ne of Honorary Chairs for the current capital campaign.  The 2018 Outstanding Service award was presented at graduation 2018 with our deepest respect and thanks.  

The Adelaide Rawles Flippen '30 Outstanding Service Award

The Adelaide Rawles Flippen '30 Outstanding Service Award was created in 1994 to honor that individual (not necessarily an alumna) who shows an outstanding level of commitment and service to St. Catherine's School. The recipient will have spent a great deal of productive time, energy and thought in helping the school on a particular project or will have demonstrated continuing dedication to St. Catherine's over many years. This award will probably not be given to a present school employee. The presentation of the award normally takes place at Graduation. 

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  • Past Recipients of The Adelaide Rawles Flippen '30 Outstanding Service Award

    2017
    Missy Gullquist

    2016
    Dee Dee Butler Sutton '76

    2015

    Lucy Stockdell

    2014
    Jean Cameron Grainger ’66

    2013

    Katherine MacNaughton Whitney '75

    2012

    Elizabeth Cabell Jennings '81

    2011
    Margaret and Dave Bloor

    2010
    Lang and Molly Gayle Meem '73

    2009
    Jackie Wilkins

    2008    
    Cal and George Jennison

    2007

    Gussie Johns Bannard ’73

    2006
    Susan Pfefferkorn ’73

    2005
    Annabel Morgan Edge ’64

    2004
    Bill Armstrong, Business Manager

    2003
    Mert Jones

    2002
    Jack Kenny

    2001
    Virginia Jones

    2000    
    Frances Brown
    Peggy Ross

    1999    
    Wesley Wright, Jr.

    1998
    Mason New (awarded posthumously)

    1997
    Dixon Christian

    1996
    Ted Price

    1995
    Betty Molster

    1994    
    Cabell Goolsby West '64