Virginia T. Davis,
Stamford Historical Society
Distinguished Service Award to
Mary Ann Lawlor
6 June 2011
by Ron Marcus, Librarian
Good evening. It is again my pleasure to present this year’s Virginia T. Davis, Stamford Historical Society Distinguished Service Award to one of our most outstanding volunteers.
This award is given in memory of a truly remarkable individual, whose devotion to the City of Stamford through this organization was summarized in a 23 March 1983 Advocate Editorial. “[Virginia] believed that a community’s sense of its own history gave it a solidity and depth that it otherwise would not have. She was right in thinking so.”
This year's award recipient served as a member of the Board of Trustees of St. John's University, New York, NY from 1981-2000. She has a B.A. from St. John's University (University College '61 – English), an M.A. in English from the University of California at Los Angeles ('62), an M.B.A. from Pace University, NY ('75) and a J.D. from Fordham University Law School, NY ('83).
Her publications include two college-level textbooks she co-authored, Business Law with UCC Applications, McGraw-Hill (1988), and A Framework for Quality, EMC/Paradigm (1995).
After a distinguished career, she and her husband Richard retired near Charlottesville, Virginia. She then became an active volunteer as the President and Program Chairman for the Associates of the Library of the University of Virginia. After moving to Stamford in 2004, she became an enthusiastic volunteer at the Stamford Woman's Club, serving as Recording Secretary and co-Chairman of the Woman's Club Garden Department.
Our award recipient initiated the Cozy Sundays program here at the Historical Society, which combines both knowledge of the Society's collections and the history of Stamford, in a comfortable, welcoming setting in which participants could become engaged with both speaker as well as subject. The programs were a modest success. Attendance however, so far had yet to reach expectations until the latest event in May with the showing of the film Boomerang, followed by a panel, comprised of three special guests who discussed its legal context as well as the usual liberties taken by "Hollywood." During the weeks prior to this, the unforeseen happened with unprecedented numbers of reservation requests, resulting in having to turn some away.
To the best of our knowledge, never, in the long history of this organization, has there been such an overwhelming, positive response to a scheduled event.
With gratitude for her time in developing this programming, especially the outstanding May 1 occasion in conjunction with many of the Society's dedicated volunteers and staff, it is now my privilege to present this year's Virginia T. Davis, Stamford Historical Society Distinguished Service Award to Mary Ann Lawlor.