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
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
“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
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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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.”