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Distinguished Alumna or Alumnus Award

Celebrating our alumni leaders

This award was established in 1983 to recognize those alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions or to their communities over a long period of time, and thus reflected very favorably on the College of Charleston.

2016 Distinguished Alumna AWARD

Michelle Asha Cooper, Class of 1995 

An English major and member of Delta Sigma Theta at the College, Michelle Cooper received her master’s degree in Africana Studies from Cornell and her PhD in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland.  She has held positions with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance for the U.S. Department of Education, and since 2008, she has been president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, D.C.  In this role, she oversees the organization’s research portfolio and programs.  She also develops new ideas and strategic approaches that help low-income, minority, and other underserved student populations gain access and achieve success in college. 

Cooper has been named one of the Top 25 women leaders in higher education and received the  Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.  She is a 2016 recipient of the Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship and has recently co-authored the book, Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success. 

Cooper has also been actively involved with the College, having served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA OR ALUMNUS AWARD PAST RECIPIENTS

1983




1984
1985

1986

1987

1988

1989
1990

1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998

1999
2000
2001
2002

2003

2004
2005

2006
2007
2008

2009
2010

2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016

Pierrine Smith Byrd '22 *
Willard N. Hirsch '24 *
F. Mitchell Johnson '37*
Gus H. Pearlman '33 *
John Arthur Siegling '28 *
Louis E. Condon '50 *
George B. Buell '22 *
Paul M. Macmillan '03 * 
Frances Smythe Edmunds '39*
Carl J. Likes '37 *
James B. Edwards '50 *
Richard H. Gadsden '50 *
C. Desmond Koster '43 *
E. Lawrence Powers '38 *
Richard F. Dame '64 *
Myrtle Craver Riggs '46 *
Frank W. Ryan '40
Margaret Virginia Smith Townsend '40 *
Frances Gooding Buell '24 *
William H. Grimball '38 *
John A. Hamrick '37 *
Solomon Breibart '36 *
Louis D. Rubin '44 *
Hall T. McGee, Jr. '35 *
Angelo Peter Creticos '42 *
Peter C. Gazes '42
H. Biemann Othersen, Jr. '50 
Suzanne Fair McCall '79
Marjorie E. Peale '36 *
David A. Caldwell '76
Anne Bellinger Villeponteaux '58 *
William E. McLeod '06 *
Nadine Orsoff Vogel '85
Jeanne Fowler Stiglbauer '76
R. Keith Sauls '90
Jean Rouse Spell '58
James F. Hightower '82
Joseph W. Cabaniss '47
H. Davis Adkisson IV '84
Morris D. Rosen '42 *
Arlinda F. Locklear '73
Charles T. (Bud) Ferillo, Jr. '72
Sharon Brock Kingman '80
Neil W. Draisin ‘65
Mel Marvin '62
George B. Rabb '51
Mariana Ramsay Hay '82
Brucie Howe Hendricks '83
Michelle Asha Cooper '95

 * Deceased