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Rebecca Rimel, Head Of Pew Charitable Trusts, Named U.Va. Women's Center's 1999 Distinguished Alumna

March 17, 1999 -- Rebecca Rimel, president and chief executive officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the nation's largest philanthropies, will receive the 1999 Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Virginia's Women's Center. She will be honored at a benefit dinner in the fall.

A 1973 graduate of the School of Nursing and a Charlottesville native, Rimel became in 1975 the first nurse to join the Medical School faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery. A specialist in head injury, she also served as head nurse of the Medical Center's Emergency Department and as coordinator of out-patient facilities.

She earned a Master's of Business Administration from James Madison University in 1983 and soon after, began working for the Pew Charitable Trusts as a manager for health programs. Rising through the foundation's ranks, she became president and chief executive officer in 1994.

"Rebecca's leadership at the Pew Charitable Trusts has been revolutionary," said Jeanette Lancaster, dean of the School of Nursing. She has led a traditional family foundation to achieve new heights of civic engagement through awards designed to improve the quality of the media and how other areas such as health care and education envision, and indeed, design their futures, she said.

Throughout her evolving career, Rimel has maintained ties to the Nursing School and the University of Virginia. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Campaign for the University, which is working toward a $1 billion fund-raising goal, and she chaired the Nursing Advisory Board from 1992-1997. Last year she joined the Alumni Association Board of Managers. In addition Rimel has served on the board of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (Monticello) since 1993.

As president and chief executive officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, based in Philadelphia, Rimel acts as liaison between the board and the foundationÍs program directors, grantees and the broader public -- including the media, government officials, the civic community and other foundations. With approximately $4.7 billion in assets, the foundation invested over $213 million in 298 nonprofit organizations in 1998. The Pew Trusts award grants in a number of areas -- culture, education, environment, health and human services, public policy, religion -- and supports a broad range of strategically targeted investments designed to advance knowledge and to translate it into effective action in the public interest.

Rimel is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles and book chapters on health and other foundation issues. In 1991 she was elected a member of the University's Raven Society, and in 1988 she received the Distinguished Nursing Alumna Award. She serves on a number of other boards, including the Foundation Center, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Advisory Board and the National Park Foundation.

The University of Virginia's Women's Center provides a variety of services to the University and local community, including an information helpline, mentoring, counseling, child care referral resources and support groups. The center offers a full calendar of events, bringing in artists and scholars to lead discussions and promote awareness of issues facing women and men locally and throughout the world. Rimel will be the ninth recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award, established in 1991 to honor a female U.Va. graduate who has demonstrated excellence, leadership and extraordinary commitment to her field, and who has used her talents as a positive force for change. The previous honorees are:

1998 -- Elaine R. Jones (J.D., Law '70), director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund;

1997 -- Valerie Ackerman (B.A., Political and Social Thought '81), president of the Women's National Basketball Association;

1996 -- Mariann Stratton (M.S.N., Nursing '81), Rear Admiral (ret.), Nurse Corps, U.S. Navy;

1995 --Hanan Ashrawi (Ph.D., English '79), human and civil rights activist in the Middle East;

1994 --Kathryn Thornton (Ph.D., Physics '79), NASA astronaut;

1993 --Katherine Couric (B.A., English '79), NBC "Today Show" anchor;

1992 -- Vivian Pinn (M.D., Medicine '67) director, National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health;

1991 -- Linda Fairstein (J.D., Law '72) deputy chief, Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of New York City.

Contact: Anne Bromley, (804) 924-6861.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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