On Saturday, September 16, 2017, Randolph College presented Alumnae Achievement Awards to two outstanding graduates, Carla Alexander ’68 and Lucy Williams Hooper ’73. Also during the ceremony, Randolph named Skip Kughn an honorary alumnus for his many years of service to the College.
Since 1981, Randolph has presented the Alumnae Achievement Award to alumnae who personify the value of a liberal arts education and have brought distinction to themselves and to the College. Nominations for the awards come from alumnae and alumni, and the recipients are selected by an awards committee.
Past Alumnae Achievement Award recipients are listed on two plaques in the Anne Jeter Ribble Lounge in Smith Hall and include an impressive roster of women, including judges, senators, pilots, medical professionals, educators, ministers, TV journalists, environmentalists, and civil and human rights advocates.
“This is one of the highest awards our alumnae can receive from the College, and each year it takes a tremendous amount of effort to choose the award winners from all of our interesting, successful, and dedicated alumnae,” said President Bradley W. Bateman. “There are many examples of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, intellect, and grace and courage in the face of challenges. Tonight’s award winners are no different.”
Before presenting the awards, Bateman provided information about each of the recipients:
Carla Alexander ’68
Carla Alexander ’68 has dedicated her life and career to making a difference in the area of palliative and end-of-life care, specifically for those with HIV/AIDS. In fact, she has provided clinical care for people with the disease since the beginning of the epidemic.
After graduating from R-MWC in 1968, she went on to earn her M.L.S. from the University of Maryland before earning her M.D. form the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Board certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (or AAHPM), Alexander has practiced hospice and palliative care since 1986 and is a founding member of the AAHPM, serving as president in 2000. She has taught elements of palliative and end-of-life care related to HIV/AIDS throughout North and South America, 11 African countries, Eastern and Western Europe and the UK, Ukraine, and Asia. Her research has focused upon palliative and end of life needs of persons with HIV disease with a history of substance abuse and poverty.
Alexander currently serves as an assistant professor of medicine in the department of medicine of the division of infectious diseases for the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine, and is the medical director for the University of Maryland Medical System. She serves on the clinical council with all of the department chairs at the hospital. She is principal investigator for a three-year award for implementation of care and support for retention in HIV care from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Prior to joining the university, she was director of clinical affairs for Chase Brexton Health Services, Inc., a community-based facility that provided primary care for persons with HIV/AIDS.
Alexander was also the senior technical advisor and lead for palliative care and support between 2004 and 2012 with the AIDSRelief Consortium funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). During this time, she worked primarily in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, and Nigeria, plus Haiti and Guyana in the Caribbean. These programs introduced the use of antiretroviral therapy and the implementation of chronic care strategies.
Known internationally for her work, Alexander has authored or edited many publications including chapters on palliative care in A Guide to the Clinical Care of Women with HIV, A Clinical Guide to Supportive and Palliative Care in HIV/AIDS, and Clinical Challenges in HIV/AIDS. She was a primary author and co-chair of the working group for the Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care project entitled “Integrating Palliative Care into the Continuum of HIV Care: an agenda for change with Recommendations to the Field.”
She has also been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Lifesongs (community fundraiser for HIV services) First Humanitarian Award in Baltimore, Md.
Lucy Williams Hooper ’73
Lucy Williams Hooper ’73 has been a long-time supporter of the College, giving tirelessly of herself, her time, and resources for the Alumnae and Alumni Association and as a member of the Board of Trustees.
An economics major and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Hooper has made a name for herself in the field of finance. After graduating in 1973, she entered the banking industry as a trader and in fixed income sales for First and Merchant Bank, which later became Sovran Bank.
Breaking the glass ceiling in the male-dominated finance world was not easy, but Hooper has made her mark. She was the first female broker at Davenport & Company in Richmond, Virginia. Since joining the firm in 1981, she has held various fixed-income positions. She remains there today, serving as executive vice president and director of fixed income.
Just recently, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board named Hooper its chair. The board, which has 11 independent public members and 10 members from firms regulated by the MSRB, including broker-dealers, banks, and municipal advisors, establishes regulatory policies and oversees the operations of the MSRB. She’s been a member since 2014.
On campus, Hooper is perhaps best known for her long involvement with the College. She has served the Association in numerous leadership positions, including chapter president, district director, first vice president, and also the representative to the Board of Trustees. She also volunteered as a class agent and for Reunion.
Hooper spent 12 years serving her alma mater on the Board of Trustees, five of those as the Board’s chair. Through her leadership and expertise, Hooper was able to help guide the College through a tumultuous time, while also juggling her own time-consuming job and family responsibilities. Though she left her position as chair in 2012, she is still involved with Randolph’s Board of Trustees and chairs the investment committee, which is a subcommittee of the finance committee.
Hooper is also very active in her community. She has served as a director of the Virginia United Methodist Foundation and a was a trustee for the Children’s Museum of Richmond. She also has been a trustee for Randolph-Macon Academy since 2013.
Skip Kughn was hired by former President Bill Quillian and first began his career with Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in the Development Office in 1977. He is now just the second male—besides Quillian—to be named an honorary alumnus of Randolph College.
During his tenure, Kughn worked in Institutional Advancement, Development, Admissions, and College Relations. He served under eight different presidents and led three major capital campaigns. The Board of Trustees figured that at the time of his retirement in 2009, Kughn, through capital campaigns, 32 Annual Fund campaigns, and special fundraising efforts, had generated well over $200 million for the College.
In a special resolution honoring Kughn in 2009, the Board of Trustees described him as “a wise and caring counselor, a team player, a strong shoulder to lean on, and a person who is fair, devoted, kind, consistent, faithful, and dedicated.”
Kughn returned to the College in from February-October 2015 to serve as interim vice president for Institutional Advancement. He returned for the same role from November 2016-June 2017.
Before presenting the award to Kughn Saturday, Dixie Nash Sakolosky, president of the R-MWC Alumnae and Randolph College Alumni Association, recalled her own experiences working with him.
“Many of us remember what we fondly called ‘The Skip and Muriel Show’—the many trips that Skip and former Alumnae Director Muriel Zimmerman Casey ’53 took together to chapters and events,” Sakolosky said. “They truly knew and cared about alumnae and their families, their accomplishments, their joys, and their sorrows.”
Kughn said getting to know thousands of alumnae and alumni and others over the years is one of his fondest memories.
“In our profession, development officers tend to move frequently for professional advancement,” Kughn said. “I can think of five or six colleagues who have had similar tenures at their institutions. I’m not sure I would feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment if I had moved from institution to institution.
“I was surprised and shocked to earn this distinction,” Kughn added. “It is hard to put into words, since I devoted most of my professional life to R-MWC and Randolph College. I am humbled.”