In honor of Bennington’s ninth president and current director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA), the College established the Dr. Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award.
Sponsored by parents of a Bennington alumna from the Class of 2000, the annual award recognizes a distinguished Bennington alumna/alumnus, faculty or staff member, or an individual from the larger Bennington community whose innovative and inspirational leadership in the nonprofit or for-profit sector has supported civic or cultural issues and improved the lives of others. This individual will be a well rounded and engaged citizen who is willing to take risks in order to solve problems and achieve results.
The $5,000 award will be announced each February as an unexpected honor at the College’s annual Senior Conference, allowing current students to connect with exceptional leaders who are affiliated with Bennington College.
“To be associated with an award that recognizes visionary leaders who have touched—and been touched by—this thought-leading institution, is an extraordinary honor,” said Coleman. “I’ll look forward each year to celebrating its recipient.”
Holly Block '80 was awarded the inaugural Dr. Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award in 2014. Read more about the award celebration.
The College invites anonymous nominations—nominations for the 2015 recipient will be accepted September 8–November 7, 2014. To submit a nomination, please fill out the nomination form.
Dr. Elizabeth Coleman served as the president of Bennington College from 1987 to 2013. Her tenure coincides with Bennington’s most significant period of growth in the College’s 80-year history. Coleman’s vision for the liberal arts and their role and re-invigoration in society has been widely recognized—she has spoken internationally on the topic, including concluding the 25th anniversary TED “Ideas Worth Spreading” Conference in Los Angeles, keynoting The Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado, and addressing the Royal College of Defense Studies in London.