Gloria Steinem Named 2010 Radcliffe Institute Medalist

Celebrated Feminist Activist to Receive Medal, Deliver Luncheon Address at May 28 Radcliffe Day Festivities
May 13, 2010

Cheryl Klufio

Cambridge, Mass.—The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has announced that Gloria Steinem, a pioneering feminist, award-winning journalist and best-selling author, will be awarded the 2010 Radcliffe Institute Medal at the Radcliffe Day luncheon on Friday, May 28, 2010, at 12:30 p.m. Radcliffe Institute Dean Barbara J. Grosz will give opening remarks and present the medal and Steinem will deliver the luncheon address.

Each year during Harvard Commencement week, the Radcliffe Institute bestows its medal on an individual whose life and work have substantially and positively influenced society. The 2009 recipient was Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Other honorees have included Madeleine Korbel Albright, Margaret Atwood, Linda Greenhouse, Toni Morrison and Donna Shalala.

This year, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study celebrates Gloria Steinem’s unrelenting pursuit of equality for women and minorities. A feminist icon, Steinem has had a lasting impact on women’s rights in the workplace, at home and beyond, and she has made a lifelong career of writing and organizing around a range of social and political causes. For her many achievements, she is being honored with the Radcliffe Institute Medal.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College in 1956 and spending two years on a Chester Bowles Fellowship in India, where she was influenced by Gandhian activism, Steinem extended her interests to many spheres. Gender roles, race caste systems, child abuse, nonviolent conflict resolution, the plight of indigenous peoples and international organizing for justice and peace have been at the center of her efforts and among the issues on which she frequently lectures and writes.

In 1972, Steinem cofounded Ms. magazine, where she served as an editor for 15 years and continues to be a consulting editor. She also helped to found Choice USA, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Women’s Media Center, among other organizations.

A prolific writer, Steinem is the author of the best-selling Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (Holt Paperbacks, 1995), Moving Beyond Words (Touchstone, 1994), Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem (Little, Brown and Company, 1993), and Marilyn (Signet, 1988). Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies and textbooks, and she is an editor of The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History (Mariner Books, 1999). She is currently working on “Road to the Heart: America As If Everyone Mattered,” a narrative of her more than three decades as a feminist organizer.

In 1993, Steinem coproduced and narrated the Emmy Award–winning Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories, an HBO documentary about child abuse. Also in 1993, she coproduced, with Rosilyn Heller, an original television movie for Lifetime titled Better Off Dead (1993), which shed light on the complex interplay between the sociopolitical forces that oppose abortion and support the death penalty. In the same year, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

Named one of the 25 most influential women in America by Biography magazine, Steinem has earned numerous honors for her writing and work on social justice. These include the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Ceres Medal and the Society of Writers Award, both from the United Nations, the Liberty Award of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Parenting magazine (for her contributions to promoting girls’ self-esteem) and the University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

Radcliffe Day 2010—which brings together alumnae/i of Radcliffe College, the Bunting Institute and the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program—continues the celebration of the Institute’s 10th anniversary. In addition to the luncheon, the day will feature a panel discussion titled “Feminism Then and Now,” with Susan Faludi ’81, RI ’09, Susan McHenry ’72, Priyamvada Natarajan RI ’09, Nell Irvin Painter PhD ’74, BI ’77, and Diana Scott ’81. There will also be tours of the Institute’s world-renowned Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.

Radcliffe Day is open to Radcliffe and Harvard alumnae/i and their guests. For more information on Radcliffe Day, please visit

Members of the media seeking more information about the Radcliffe Institute should contact Cheryl Klufio at 617-495-8608.

About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is a scholarly community where individuals pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions and creative arts. Within this broad purpose, the Institute sustains a continuing commitment to the study of women, gender and society. For more information, please visit

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