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Beacon Award: Marjorie Rendell

M. Rendell

The Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 1997, and First Lady of Pennsylvania, received the 2005 Beacon Award from Penn’s Trustees’ Council of Penn Women during a luncheon ceremony April 15.

TCPW’s Beacon Award, having been presented only six times in the past 18 years, recognizes an individual whose dedication and commitment to issues affecting women have achieved notable results.  

Judge Rendell, (CW ’69) a founding member of the TCPW, is chair of the Board of Overseers of Penn’s School of Nursing and a member of the Board of Trustees of Penn Medicine. She is a former University trustee, Penn Alumni Board member, overseer of the SAS Board and member of Penn’s Athletics Board.  

As the wife of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (C ’65) and first lady of the Commonwealth, she works with the newly-formed Pennsylvania Coalition of Representative Democracy to teach responsible citizenship to the state’s youth. She partnered with the Pennsylvania Commission for Women on its initiatives, including the Governor’s Conference for Women, and is a frequent speaker to women’s groups across the state.

After earning a law degree at Villanova University, Judge Rendell joined the Philadelphia firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher, where she subsequently became a partner. During 20 years as a practicing attorney, she specialized in bankruptcy law and commercial litigation. She served as a mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before being appointed to that court in 1994.

In October, Judge Rendell received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association, given annually to an outstanding female attorney.

Judge Rendell is active in area arts groups, serving as chair of Avenue of the Arts Inc. and on the board and executive committee of the Kimmel Center. She has been a long-time supporter of reading initiatives for children.

TCPW was established in 1987 as a national network of Penn alumnae who are leaders in their fields, with the charge of supporting, fostering and promoting the advancement of women and women’s issues within the University.   Members are also committed to improving the quality of the student experience, acting as role models and mentors for students and alumni, and encouraging financial support of their alma mater.  Members have given more than $53 million for Penn programs and initiatives.

Previous winners of The Beacon Award include: President Emerita Judith Rodin; U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; Virginia Knauer, special assistant to the president for consumer affairs, 1969-77 and 1981-88 and the first Republican woman to be elected to the Philadelphia City Council; Claire Fagin, professor emerita and dean emerita of the  School of Nursing and interim president 1993-94; and Al Shoemaker, who chaired the Board of Trustees, 1986-94 and was the inspiration for the founding of the TCPW.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 30, April 26, 2005


April 26, 2005
Volume 51 Number 30


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