Caroline Rose Hunt, a member of MBC’s Class of 1943, received the coveted Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at Commencement May 21, recognizing her decades of support of the college, community service, and strength of character. The elite award from her alma mater now accompanies her other accolades such as being named one of the 50 most powerful women in the country in 1990 by Ladies Home Journal and induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. As a student and following her time at Mary Baldwin, Hunt has been a model of the award’s defining characteristics of “unselfish service, noble character, and spiritual qualities.”
Known around the nation and the world for her philanthropic efforts in education and other areas, Hunt has also been committed to service of Mary Baldwin. She and her sister, Margaret Hunt Hill ’39, provided the funding and vision for the construction of one of the college’s landmark buildings, Lyda B. Hunt Dining Hall, named in memory of their mother. She enthusiastically served many years on MBC’s Advisory Board of Visitors and Board of Trustees, and helped create the Bailey Scholars program at the college, one of the premier scholarships for Mary Baldwin’s brightest students. She holds honorary doctorates from Mary Baldwin College and the University of Charleston.
Hunt was not present at the ceremony, but she expressed deep gratitude for the award. “I’m certainly proud of my association with Mary Baldwin College and honored to be in the company of previous award winners,” she said from her office at Lady Primroses, Inc. in Dallas, Texas, where she is president and co-owner.
Hunt added that her family’s history with the college began when the institution was still called Mary Baldwin Seminary, perhaps close to 150 years ago, with the attendance of her great-grandmother, Nancy A. Purvis Hunnicutt.
Special Award Winners
Nzinga Salcedo-Hutchinson ’06, of Daytona Beach, Florida: Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award, recognizing “unselfish service, noble character, and spiritual qualities.” Never mind that Salcedo-Hutchinson’s native language growing up in Colombia was Spanish; no language barrier held back Ziggy — as her friends call her — when she and her mother moved to the United States when she was 10 years old. She continued to pick up language skills at MBC and graduated cum laude with a double major in Spanish and French. Salcedo-Hutchinson studied at the Institute for American Universities in Provence, France, and at Pontifica Universidad in Lima, Peru. She has been a Malone Scholar, the recipient of the PEG Academic Achievement Award, and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the national honorary society for first year students. Ziggy was a senator in the Student Government Association, a reporter for the student newspaper, a member of the VWIL band, COSMOS International Club, Circle K, and Latinas Unidas. She also worked with the Mary Baldwin communication department as a teaching assistant and as atutor for international students. She also tutored gifted sixth grade students in Spanish.
Therese Landin ’06, of Fredericksburg, Virginia: Martha Stackhouse Grafton Award, recognizing the senior with the highest cumulative grade point average. Landin served as VWIL first captain — leader of the corps of cadets — and was recently recognized as the top student among Air Force ROTC cadets at Virginia Military Institute and MBC’s Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership. Landin graduated summa cum laude with distinction in her majors, international relations and political science. She recently commissioned into the U.S. Air Force and will soon begin Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, then enter a highly selective pilot training program in Oklahoma.
James Yoxall ’06, of Staunton, Virginia: Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student. Yoxall started his education at Mary Baldwin College three years ago, planning to be an art major. As his study of China and his passion for its people, education, culture, and religion evolved, he transitioned into an Asian studies major and retained art as a minor. With Professor of Asian Studies Daniel Métraux, he designed an independent course of study on China, complemented by trips to the country to teach English and research various topics. Yoxall graduated cum laude with distinction in his major. He will continue to investigate China while earning his master’s degree at Union University in Vermont, where he also developed an independent course of study about cultural and anthropological aspects of China’s rural orphan population.
John Almarode ’06, of Stuarts Draft, Virginia: Master of Arts in Teaching Student of the Year. An introduction to brain-based learning theories at the outset of his graduate studies set Almarode on a path for which he his passion and promise. Almarode met brain-based learning pioneer Eric Jensen and was certified through his program to teach the techniques to other educators. He has led several local workshops about methods of teaching that correlate with how the brain collects and stores information, and he will travel to South Korea in June to promote brain-based learning. Almarode taught during 2005–06 at the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School in Fishersville, and recently began work on his Ph.D. in gifted education at University of Virginia.
Megan McDonough ’05, of Gywnn Oak, Maryland: M.Litt./MFA Ariel Award. While earning her Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, McDonough worked as the program’s graduate assistant. She was instrumental in creating the University Wits’ Web site and in producing the program’s newsletter, Folio. Given in 2006 for the first time, the award is named for the magical spirit in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in which the magician Prospero succeeds through the artistry and loyalty of his beloved servant, Ariel.
Jessie Labadie ’07, of Staunton, Virginia: Margarett Kable Russell Award for 2006–07. Labodie ’07 was selected for the award based on her prior academic achievement, the appropriateness of her project, and her project’s potential to enrich the college community. A French and Spanish double major, she will use the award to travel to the Basque regions of France and Spain to conduct interviews with government officials, citizens, and members of cultural organizations. Labodie intends for her project to explore the dissimilar political aspirations of people in the Basque region of France to those of culturally similar Basque region of Spain. She will present her findings in a research paper and with photos.