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Tulane Alumni Association

 

Awards

 

Dermot McGlinchey Lifetime Achievement Award 2003

 

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The Honorable Lindy Claiborne Boggs

Lindy Boggs, Newcomb 1935, is one of the most remarkable women in American political history. The former Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne of Pointe Coupee Parish was the quintessential Congressional wife-campaign manager, general counsel, hostess, and homemaker all in one individual-of Louisiana's influential Democratic Majority Leader, T. Hale Boggs, (A*S '35, L '37). In the 1950's and 60's, the Boggses were notably active and effective Southern voices in the drive for greater racial equality and opportunity.

After Representative Bogg's disappearance in Alaska in 1973, Mrs. Boggs was asked to fill her husband's seat because of her extensive understanding of Congress and the issues before it. She won 75 percent of the votes in the special election. In her first term she achieved a landmark legislative victory when she succeeded in adding the words "sex and marital status" to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974. In 1976, Lindy Boggs became the first woman chairperson of the Democratic National Convention. She was actively involved in the struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and was particularly effective as a mediator and consensus builder between contending factions of Congress.

Although she remained highly popular with her constituents, she retired from Congress in 1991 to care for her daughter Barbara, who was terminally ill. She published her memoirs, Washington Through a Purple Veil, in 1994. Mrs. Boggs has also been lauded for her outstanding public service through such honors as the Bess Truman Award, the AMVETS Auxiliary Humanitarian Award, the Torch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, the Eleanor Roosevelt Centennial Award, the 1986 Veterans of Foreign Wars Congressional Award, the National Science Foundation Distinguished Public Service Award, and, in addition, served as the first female regent of the Smithsonian Institute.

In 1997, Mrs. Boggs received perhaps the greatest honor of her career when she was appointed Ambassador of the United States of America to the Vatican. She served in Rome for three years with great acclaim and distinction, retiring in March 2001.

Since her retirement from Congress, Mrs. Boggs has been involved with Tulane University as Special Counsel to the President, as a member of the President's Council, the Business School Council, the board of Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, as honorary co-chair of both Newcomb College Campaign Committee and the Executive Committee for the University's capital campaign, Tulane for the New Century, and as honorary co-chair of the Tulane Alumni Association's Centennial Celebration.

In recognition of Lindy Boggs' many efforts on behalf of Tulane, the Energy and Biotechnology Building was named in her honor, she was selected the 1976 Newcomb College Distinguished Alumna, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws in 1978. Her education at Tulane helped prepare her for many of the challenges she faced in her career, she said, she still enjoys playing a roll in its progress today.

"Newcomb College was a wonderful experience for me," recalls Mrs. Boggs. "I came to attend there because it was my aunt's alma mater and she wanted me to attend, but it turned out to be the perfect school for me. It provides an excellent foundation for all of its students."

Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901 alumni@tulane.edu