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Leadership Development

Women's Leadership Awards

There are five University Women's Leadership Awards that are presented annually to women of the University community who have distinguished themselves through their achievements, service, and contributions to the common good.

Use this link to nominate a student for the 2019 Women's Leadership Awards. Nominations open on Friday, September 13th and close on Friday, September 27th at 5pm.

The Awards

Susan B. Anthony Scholarship

Susan B. Anthony

Sponsored by the Women's Club of the University of Rochester, this scholarship is awarded to two undergraduate female juniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment in co-curricular activities and academic achievement. This need-based scholarship is applied to the recipient's senior-year financial aid package; applications will only be sent to students with financial need as determined by the financial aid office.


Jane R. Plitt Award

Jane Plitt

Given in honor of a present day, former Rochesterian, the Jane R. Plitt Award helps recognize and foster the progressive activism of Rochester's women in history. Plitt, a Cornell Labor Relations graduate, has spent her life advocating for equal rights. Building on the Legacy of Jane Plitt's advocacy for equal rights here in Rochester, Ms. Plitt's sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Richard Kossoff, endowed this award in 1999 to be given to a woman undergraduate (full or part-time) who has demonstrated leadership on campus and/or in the Rochester community supporting equality for women. The recipient has demonstrated a long-term commitment for advocacy around women's issues. She is creative, determined, brave, and effective in mobilizing others to work with her.

Fannie Bigelow Prize

Fannie R. Bigelow

This prize is presented to an upper-year undergraduate chosen on the basis of her individuality and ability to form and express fearlessly, with conviction and sound judgment, her own opinions on vital topics. 

Dean Ruth A. Merrill Award

Dean Ruth Merrill

Sponsored by the University of Rochester Class of 1960 “City Girls,” inspired by Dean Ruth A. Merrill (dean of women, 1954–1960), this award is presented to an undergraduate woman who has grown up in the Greater Rochester region. The recipient of this award is an ardent advocate for the Rochester region and participates in University and community activities that promote the overall well-being of the residents of Rochester. She seeks to address the disparity of opportunities that currently exists for many people, and to make a difference through her own civic commitment and that of other University students she engages in the work. (This need-based award will be presented at the annual Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner; applications will only be sent to students with financial need as defined by the financial aid office.)

The Sue S. Stewart Leadership and Community Service Award

Sue S. Stewart

The Sue S. Stewart Award, made annually, recognizes a senior undergraduate woman whose life in the University has been distinguished by a commitment to justice, equality, and community service, as these relate to diversity and inclusion.

The student’s work will reflect the spirit of these principles and dedication to these qualities as expressed and inspired by the life and career of former senior vice president and general counsel of the University of Rochester, Sue Stewart. Qualifications also include a proven record of high academic achievement, and expressed ambitions and interest in professional careers of service to others, including the legal profession.