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U.Va. Women’s Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary Distinguished Alumnae To Offer Advice To New U.S. President

October 23, 2000 -- Six distinguished women graduates of the University of Virginia — all leaders in their fields — will gather at their alma mater to offer advice to the next president of the United States. The Nov. 2 event is part of the U.Va. Women’s Center’s tenth anniversary celebration, "Women 2000: Shapers of the World."

Just as women have gained economic power, they also have won political clout and both candidates for president, Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George Bush, have tried to curry favor with women voters. While women want many of the same things that men do — peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness — their views on the issues and priorities often differ from those of men.

"The presidential candidates must see women’s views as crucial," said Sharon Davie, director of the U.Va. Women’s Center, "because when it comes down to it, women’s issues are the country’s issues."

The distinguished alumnae — who include a former astronaut and the first mother to walk in space, one of the top civil rights lawyers in the country, a physician who is a leading voice in medical research, and the president of a professional basketball league — are not shy about expressing their views. They hope to share their ideas on what they expect from their national leaders with the man who will be elected president on Nov. 7.

The panelists - all winners of the U.Va. Women’s Center Distinguished Alumnae Award - are Kathryn Thornton, former astronaut and U.Va. professor of aerospace engineering; Elaine Jones, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Valerie Ackerman, president of the Women’s National Basketball Association; Vivian Pinn, director of the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health; Mariann Stratton, retired rear admiral of the U.S. Navy; and Hanan Ashrawi, member of the executive committee of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights.

The "Women 2000: Shapers of the World" conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the U.Va. Grounds. It includes three panel discussions, with the third and final session, "Women Shaping the Future: Advice to the New President of the United States," at 2 p.m., at Culbreth Theatre. All conference events are free and open to the public.

A conference schedule is attached.

Conference supporters include TIAA-CREF, SunTrust Business Women’s Connection, Wachovia, Stevens & Co., Adelphia Business Solutions, the U.Va. Office of Development, the U.Va. Office of the Provost, and the U.Va. Office of the President.

For more information, call the Women’s Center at (804) 243-6834, or visit the Women’s Center web site at

Contact: Charlotte Crystal, (804) 924-6858

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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