Carlow University will honor seven as Women of Spirit® April 21

Drew Wilson -

Women of Spirit

PITTSBURGH - Carlow University will add the names of seven outstanding Women of Spirit® to an honor roll that numbers more than 150 at the university’s 15th Women of Spirit® Awards Gala on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Awardees were nominated and then considered by a Women of Spirit® selection committee made up of former awardees and university officials. The awardees were chosen based on several criteria, including a strong commitment to values, accomplishments that have led to new knowledge or discoveries, and innovation or leadership that has brought about change for the good of humankind.

The awardees are:

The Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark, President Judge, 5th Judicial District, Pennsylvania.

Cynthia Hundorfean, Chief Executive Officer, President, Allegheny Health Network.

Kristen S. Kurland, Professor of Architecture, Information Systems, and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University.

Karen L. Larrimer, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, Head of Retail Banking, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Anne V. Lewis, Board Chair, Oxford Development Company.

Nancy D. Washington, PhD, Educator and civic leader.

Sister Susan Welsh, RSM, President and CEO (retired), Pittsburgh Mercy Health System.

The seven awardees come from different fields but have distinguished themselves and benefited our community in a variety of ways through their leadership, character, and accomplishments; much like the university that honors them.

“Women of Spirit® have long been a driving force in our city and Carlow University itself has an almost century-long tradition of producing exceptional women leaders,” said Lewis. “I’m both honored and humbled to be recognized by this remarkable Pittsburgh Institution and this very special award.”

Carlow’s influence on the community is apparent to both those born and bred in Pittsburgh as well as those whose professional calling brought them to our great city.

“As a native of Pittsburgh, I have seen and felt Carlow’s positive impact on our community. I, too, have strived throughout my career to make a difference not only by building a better PNC in support of our employees and customers, but by helping to better the lives of others through my deep commitment to volunteerism and community engagement,” said Larrimer.

Washington arrived in Pittsburgh in 1969, just as Carlow changed its name from Mount Mercy.

“I have watched and admired the school as it made courageous decisions about programming for working adults and planning for the successful inclusion of all in its academic and athletic structures,” she said. “It is an unexpected delight to be noticed for the work that I have done by an institution that, itself, has demonstrated outstanding work for the benefit of our community.”

The awardees view service as an integral part of the honor.

“Part of Carlow’s mission and values involves service which calls us beyond ourselves to prioritize the needs of others over our own self-interest,” said Judge Clark. “As a public servant, I try to be a servant leader and to make sure that other’s highest priority needs are being served. I am thrilled to be receiving this honor from an institution that has a mission and values that I share.”

Of course, service takes many forms, and two of the awardees mentioned how the award is a thread that ties each awardee to each other and the community at large.

“I am very honored to be recognized as one of Carlow University’s Woman of Spirit,” said Kurland. “As a native of Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, I’ve dedicated the past thirty years toward improving the lives of its citizens through my teaching and research at the intersection of health, technology, and urban design. I’ve also been fortunate to help expand the region’s growth, educational opportunities, and equity for all through my work and volunteer efforts.”

AHN’s Hundorfean mentioned a similar theme in her organization’s response to the pandemic.

“AHN’s mission is centered around providing affordable, high quality care, close to where our patients live and work. This honor is an acknowledgement of the 21,000 heroes that come to work every day to deliver on that mission,” she said. “Community members and businesses, like Carlow University, continue to support us along our journey and we promise to always be there for you.”

And speaking of a promise to be there for the community, we cannot forget the original women of spirit who made this all possible.

“To be chosen as a Woman of Spirit by Carlow University is a humbling experience,” said Sister Welsh. “I view this recognition as an honor for all of the Sisters of Mercy who worked to make this university a place which responds and adapts to the needs of students and the community. For ninety years, Carlow has responded to changing needs.”

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