About the Dorothy Ann Kelly Woman of Conscience Award


The award was established by the Board of Trustees in 1997 in recognition of Sister Dorothy Ann’s twenty five years as President of the College of New Rochelle. The award “recognizes and celebrates the moral leadership of women who, by acts of conscience have elevated humanity.”

Three women noted for their social and political activism were the first recipients of the award given in June, 1997 at a gala dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria honoring Sr. Dorothy Ann prior to her retirement from the presidency.

During the gala celebration, a video greeting from First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton was played for the more than 900 attendees (with whom Sister Dorothy Ann was a delegate to the 4th International United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing) in which she stated:
“Sister Dorothy Ann, you bring a rare combination of conviction and caring, values, and vision to the College of New Rochelle. You are indeed, a woman of conscience.”

  Scroll Down for more about past recipients of the award....  


Past Recipients of the Award


Mary Lou Kehoe McNaney (CNR’50), a resident of New Rochelle and former sociology major saw a growing need for a food program in her home town and in 1984 founded H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Eat) in a local church. H.O.P.E. has expanded into a center which includes meals for the needy several nights a week, a food pantry, and various other social services for local individuals and families. Following her conscience, Mary Lou acted on her realization of social and economic disparities in her own backyard—and did something about it. See: http://hopecommunityservices.org




1997 Mary Lou McNaney receives award from
Board of Trustees Chairman, Mauro Romita


Sr. Claire O’Mara , OSU (CNR ’45) Spanish major joined the Ursulines and spent her life serving the poor and disenfranchised in Mexico, Peru, and the Bronx. In the 1990’s she joined a growing annual protest movement vigil at Fort Bunning’s (Georgia) School of the Americas which had a training program for Latin American military. The deaths of a number of missionaries and catechists in Central and South America at the hands of the military, many graduates of the SOA, inspired many persons of faith, especially college students, to protest each November  outside the facility. In 1995, Sr. Claire and several others crossed the picket line and were arrested; she was sentenced to two months in federal prison.




1997 Sister Claire O’Mara, OSU receives award from
Board of Trustees Chairman, Mauro Romita

Rosa Parks (CNR L.H.D. ’85), the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement” who refused to give up her seat on a bus was applauded for her courageous act  that triggered a wave of protests that grew into a nation-wide Civil Rights Movement. For the rest of her life, Rosa Parks continued to actively participate in seeking the civil rights too often denied to African Americans. In 1987, the Harlem campus of the School of New Resources was named in her honor.


1997 Rosa Parks receives award from Board of Trustees Chairman, Mauro Romita