The Distinguished Alumna Award is given annually to an alumna who has made a significant contribution in her field of interest and whose accomplishments have had an effect on the larger community. I proudly present it to Suzanne Ellery Chapelle ’60.
While a student at Springside, it is no surprise that she was a high honor roll student who served as the Yearbook Editor, Affiliation Committee President, and participated in Glee and Service Clubs. In addition, Sue participated in several programs organized by the American Friends Service Committee for high school students, which provided her with an introduction to activism. As an undergraduate at Harvard, but especially as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins, she was very involved in civil rights efforts. She participated in Baltimore Neighborhoods’ housing testing programs, the goal of which was to identify realtors and renters who were not obeying the open housing laws so cases could be brought against them in court. Her work continued in the summer of 1965, when she taught at Philander Smith College, an HBCU in Little Rock, and joined with local activists in desegregating public facilities. As a professor at Morgan, she has pushed for the addition of environmental studies and worked to show its relevance for the African American community.