Alumni News, Awards and Honors

Murray '56 and Hillary Clinton Win Barnard Medal

Barnard College honored Bennington alumna and former trustee Kay Crawford Murray '56, a pioneer for the advancement of women attorneys, with a 2009 Medal of Distinction at its 117th commencement last month.

Image of Kay Murray

Considered the College's highest honor, other recipients this year included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, PepsiCo's Chief Executive Indra K. Nooyi, and Irene J. Winter, Harvard University's William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts.

Former Vice-President of the New York State Bar Association and past Chair of the Committee on Women in the Law, Ms. Murray is recognized as a trailblazing attorney of color who has highlighted and helped assuage gender bias issues in the legal profession.

"Kay Crawford Murray has been an inspiration and mentor to many women, particularly young African-American women, because she took on the tough issues that were important to women, minorities and families at a time when few women of color even considered a career in the law," said Committee on Women in the Law Chair Taa Grays.

Murray, who has served on several committees of the American and New York State Bar Associations, has been the recipient of many distinguished awards, including the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility; the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare; the Edith I. Spivack Award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice. In 2008, she was the inaugural recipient of an annual award named in her honor, the New York State Bar Association's Kay Crawford Murray Award.

Ms. Murray served as general counsel to the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice from 1979—when the agency was established—until her retirement in 2002.