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News Release


Center for Women in Government & Civil Society's 25th Anniversary Celebration Honors Commitment to Public Life
Madeleine M. Kunin, former Vermont governor, is Keynoter; Six Women Leaders will be Recognized

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 11, 2003) -- The University at Albany Center for Women in Government & Civil Society will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sept. 18, 2003, with an address by keynote speaker Madeleine Kunin, a women's leadership symposium, awards presentations and a past presidents' reception.

The anniversary event will be held 3 to 8 p.m. at The Desmond, 660 Albany-Shaker Road, Albany. Tickets are $40 and reservations can be made by calling (518) 442-3898 or by downloading an invitation and reservation form at

UAlbany President Karen R. Hitchcock is honorary chairperson of the anniversary celebration. Keynote speaker Madeleine M. Kunin, former governor of Vermont, former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, will address women's leadership in her talk, "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Changed."

"Our anniversary theme is 'Expand Possibilities; Create Opportunities,' " said Judith R. Saidel, executive director of the center. "On this special occasion, we will pause to acknowledge with pride our shared history and renew our commitment to advancing women's participation and influence in public life."

Following the keynote address, a Silver Anniversary Symposium panel on women's leadership challenges will be led by Helen Desfosses, president of the Albany Common Council; Karen DeWitt, Capitol Bureau Chief, New York State Public Radio and New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.

Six women will be honored with the center's newly established Women in Public Service Leadership Award. They are: Wendy Durand, founding executive director of the Capital District Women's Bar Association Legal Project, Inc., Albany; Maud Easter, director of "Voices for Change: Immigrant Women and State Policy," a program of the UAlbany Center for Women in Government & Civil Society; Dr. Anne Elliott, executive director of Project Greenhope: Services for Women, Inc., New York City; Judith Enck, policy advisor in the Environmental Protection Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of New York State; Margaret Krause, chair of the board of directors of Northeast Health in Troy and Joan A. Male, executive director of the Joan A. Male Family Support Center in Buffalo.

According to Jacquelyn J. Hawkins, current president of the center's board of directors, "The award recognizes the outstanding service and achievements of women leaders who have benefited our communities and state in thousands of different ways in acts of public or volunteer service. They have all responded to people's needs and the missions of their organizations with tremendous commitment, intelligence and resourcefulness."

The award recipients were chosen from several fields of endeavor, including women who have demonstrated exemplary volunteer or staff leadership in a nonprofit organization or the community; brought about significant change in local or state government, or contributed to the growth and success of the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society since its founding in 1978.

The anniversary celebration will conclude with a 6:45 to 8 p.m. reception, hosted by the center's past presidents.

The Center for Women in Government & Civil Society is part of the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy of the University at Albany. Through research, teaching, leadership development, networking and public education, the center strengthens women's public policy leadership, broadens the access of women and youth to policy knowledge, skills and influence, advances equity for women in the workplace, enhances nonprofit management and leadership and informs policy makers and policy activists on issues related to women, children and families. In 1983, the center established the Fellowship on Women and Public Policy program. Other major programs are "Voices for Change: Immigrant Women & State Policy," the Liberty Partnership Program and Nonprofit Education Initiatives. The center is located on the UAlbany downtown campus, Draper Hall 302, 135 Western Avenue. For more information, contact the Center, (518) 442-3898, or visit

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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