Harvard College and the Women's Leadership Project honored Valerie J. MacMillan '98 yesterday as the first recipient of its Women's Leadership Award.
The award recognizes a junior or senior women who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and promise.
Nana E. Coleman '98, Kavita Kacholia '98 and Lamelle D. Rawlins '99 received honorable mentions.
Judge Margaret H. Marshall, a former vice president and general counsel of Harvard, became the first recipient of the Harvard College Women's Professional Achievement Award. Marshall is now an associate justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
"I think that recognizing women's leadership on campus is very important," MacMillan said. "It's nice to see Harvard College looking toward women instead of leaving all of women's concerns to Radcliffe."
Rawlins said she thought the other women "incredible."
"I'm honored to be in their company," she said.
Karen E. Avery '87, assistant dean of the College and a member of the selection committee, said in a press release that Marshall was chosen for her exceptional professional leadership "and the way in which her leadership has impacted women and benefited the community and the state."
The College will honor the recipients at a dinner ceremony on April 13. MacMillan will also receive a stipend of $750.
Pointing to her Idaho high school as the "first place that encouraged [her] to be a leader," MacMillan said she will donate 10 percent of her stipend to the Key Club of her alma mater to finance leadership training.
MacMillan, an Adams House government concentrator, was the managing editor of The Crimson in 1997. Her colleagues at The Crimson and her house tutor Alvin B. Tillery, a fifth-year government graduate student, nominated her for the award.
"She just really impressed me with her academic abilities and personal qualities as well," Tillery said. "She approaches everything with zest and enthusiasm."
He added that he is "very proud" of her accomplishments and said the award is "just another indication of the good work she has done at Harvard." Crimson president who nominated her on behalfof The Crimson, said MacMillan's presence "was agreat influence in the building."
"The Crimson has not had many women inleadership positions. She made women's leadershipcentral by serving as a great role model," hesaid. "She made the building more accessible towomen."
MacMillan said winning the award is "anincredible honor."
As a leader at The Crimson, MacMillan said shetried to "make the place accessible" and addedthat it is "so touching that [my fellow editors]saw me as an exceptional leader."
In addition to her leadership at the newspaper,MacMillan has served as a civics teacher in aBoston public school and as a Big Sibling forchildren with cerebral palsy.
As a member of the Woodbridge Society--eventhough she is not an internationalstudent--MacMillan designed and edited a bookletfor incoming international students. She is also alay reader for the Episcopalian Chaplaincy and amember of the Women's Leadership Network.
MacMillan, a Rhodes Scholar, will spend thenext two years at Oxford University studyingenvironmental change and management. She plans topursue a career in environmental policy