Distinguished Alumnae Honored at Women of Leadership Gala


Five distinguished alumnae of The College of New Rochelle were honored at the 2014 Dorothy Ann Kelly, O.S.U., Women of Leadership Gala held March 6 at Glen Harbour Island Club in New Rochelle.

Accepting their awards were Mercedes Ruehl, award-winning actress of theater, film, and television; Patricia Tracey, Vice President of Homeland Security and Defense Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprises Services U.S. Public Sector; Sister Alice Gallin, O.S.U., educator, scholar and historian; Ellen Mooney Hancock, former Chairman and CEO of Exodus Communications; and Aulana Pharis Peters, retired Partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and former Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"They have distinguished themselves and demonstrated extraordinary leadership in predominantly male dominated fields," said President Judith Huntington, who presented the awards with Elizabeth LeVaca, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "They continue to exemplify the characteristics of their Ursuline education as independent, confident, self-assured women of intellect, conscience and compassion in the spirit of serviam."

Huntington also paid tribute to Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, "a multitalented, highly competent, visionary woman often referred to as the second foundress of The College of New Rochelle."

In 25 years as president, Sister Dorothy Ann "reaffirmed the College's commitment to the empowerment of women, the liberal arts, and access to education while integrating the Ursuline heritage and the Catholic intellectual traditions and social teachings," Huntington said.

Sister Alice Gallin graduated from The College of New Rochelle in 1942, and earned a master's degree from Fordham University and her Ph.D. from Catholic University of America. She worked as a research analyst in military intelligence, and taught history and served as Dean of Students at CNR.

In 1976, she joined the U.S. Bishops' Call to Action, a year long discussion of bishops and laypeople on social and economic issues. This prepared her well for her next position as Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Sister Alice also found time to serve as Interim President of St. Bonaventure University, as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Catholic University of America, and as a Visiting Professor at St. Louis University. She returned in the mid-1990s to become CNR's Scholar-in-Residence.

Over the years, Sr. Alice has given lectures, written articles, and produced six books. She has served as Trustee at four institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, and she has been the recipient of 21 honorary degrees from colleges and universities across the country. Her 22nd Honorary Degree will be awarded in May at CNR's Commencement.

Ellen Mooney Hancock graduated from CNR with a degree in mathematics, and almost immediately began her career at IBM. For 29 years, she worked at IBM in various staff and line executive positions. She was appointed vice president in 1985 and senior vice president in 1992. Her last position was as Senior Vice President and group executive, responsible for the networking hardware and software divisions, and the software solutions division.

Following IBM, Hancock joined National Semiconductor in 1995 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She was responsible for the company's technology, applications, and product development. She went on to serve as Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief Technology Officer with Apple Computer in 1996 where she was in charge of research, quality and assurance, multimedia and networking software development, and overall technical strategy.

Hancock then joined Exodus Communications, a leader in complex Internet hosting and managed services. She served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President through 2001. Most recently, Ellen served as President of Jazz Technologies and President and Chief Operating Officer of its predecessor Acquicor Technology from 2005 to 2007.

Currently, Ellen is on the Board of Directors at both Colgate Palmolive and Aetna. She is a Trustee of the Pacific Council and Springboard, and she serves on an advisory board at the RAND Corporation. She is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Marist College and on the Board of Santa Clara University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Committee of 200 Women Executives.
Hancock holds a master's degree in mathematics from Fordham University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of Western Connecticut. Through their generous support, Hancock and her husband, Jason, proudly named the Mooney Center after her parents – Helen and Peter Mooney. Most recently, both Ellen and Jason have devoted countless hours of guidance and resources to assist CNR in advancing its use of technology.

Aulana Peters with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from The College of New Rochelle in 1963 and earned her law degree from the University of Southern California in 1973.

She is a retired partner of the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She was a member of Gibson Dunn's Litigation Department and was actively involved in general business and commercial litigation with an emphasis on securities litigation, including class action suits, proxy contest litigation and SEC enforcement actions.

During her tenure at Gibson Dunn, Peters served as Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. When she retired from Gibson Dunn in 2000, she was appointed to the Public Oversight Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She served in that capacity until 2002.

In 2005, Peters was appointed to the International Public Interest Oversight Board for Auditing, Education and Professional Ethics Standards. Aulana also serves on the United States Comptroller General's Accountability Advisory Panel and on the Advisory Board to the Public Company Accountants Oversight Board.

In 2003, the Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni named Peters the 11th recipient of the William O. Douglas Award for her significant contributions to the development of the Federal Securities Law and to the SEC and Financial Community.

In 2008 Aulana received the Horatio Alger Award. Since 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans has honored the achievements of outstanding American citizens. In receiving this award, Peters is among other “shining stars” like Maya Angelou, Pearl S. Buck, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Hope and Oprah Winfrey.

In 2010, she was awarded the Medal of Honor by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for distinguished service to the accounting profession.

Peters serves on the Boards of Directors of 3M Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Deere & Company. She has also served on the Advisory Council to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange. She is a frequent lecturer on topics such as Federal Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance and has authored articles on securities regulation and financial services.

Patricia Tracey is vice president of Homeland Security and Defense for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services U.S. Public Sector. She is responsible for U.S. Public Sector services in support of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Defense components. These include the Air Force, Army, Office of Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness-Defense Manpower Data Center, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

In 2006, Tracey joined Hewlett-Packard, then Electronic Data Systems, leading the development of strategies to align services to changing customer mission priorities, and to the operational cadences of government customers requiring high availability and dynamic security.

Prior to joining HP, Tracey completed a distinguished 34-year career with the U.S. Navy, retiring as vice admiral. Her assignments included responsibility for surface ship operations and complex individual and unit training operations. As Chief of the Navy's $5 billion global education and training enterprise, she led a successful revolution in training technology to improve the quality, access, effectiveness and cost of Navy training.

Tracey serves as a director of the U.S. Steel Corporation and Armed Forces Benefit Association. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from The College of New Rochelle; a master's degree, with distinction, in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School; and a Fellowship with the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies Group. She holds an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Wilson College.

Mercedes Ruehl has won an Academy Award as well as Golden Globe, L.A. Film Critics, and Venice Film Festival awards for best actress in Terry Gilliam's film The Fisher King.

Ruehl began her career in regional theatre. After studying with Uta Hagen in New York, she performed the classics from Euripides through Shakespeare, Chekhov, Shaw and Molière in major theatres throughout the country.

Once back in New York, she performed at the Public Theatre in plays by Albert Innaurato (Coming of Age in Soho), Len Jenkins (American Notes), and Christopher Durang (The Marriage of Bette and Boo) for which she won an Obie. She won the Clarence Derwent Award for her role in Other People's Money and went on to star with Judd Hirsch in Herb Gardner's I'm Not Rappaport.

In the mid-eighties her film career got under way in Big, Married to the Mob, Heartburn, Funny People, Last Action Hero, and Another You. She returned to Broadway as Bella in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, winning a Tony, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama Desk, and Helen Hays Award, reprising the role in film opposite Richard Dreyfuss.

Other films include Indictment, North Shore Fish, Guilt by Association, A Girl Like Me, and independent films Amati Girls, What's Cooking, and Minus Man. She has appeared in the television series Frasier, Luck, Entourage, Law and Order, and most recently Monday Mornings.

In the late 1990s, Ruehl performed in the Circle in the Square's productions of Shadowbox by Michael Cristofer (Tony nomination) and Tennessee William's Rose Tattoo, after which she starred in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Back on Broadway she starred in Albee's The Goat or Who is Sylvia and won a Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination. She created the role of Peggy Guggenheim winning a second Obie Award in Woman Before a Glass.

More recently Ruehl created the role of Louise Nevelson in Albee's Occupant at the Signature Theatre and starred in Richard Greenberg's The American Plan for the Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as in a revival of Neil Simon's Prisoner of Second Avenue, opposite Jeff Goldblum at London's Old Vic Theatre.