USF Sarasota-Manatee to present Bertha Palmer Centennial Woman of Achievement Award

On Thursday, October 14 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Institute for Public Policy and Leadership and the Women’s Advisory Council of the Bertha Palmer Centennial will honor Dr. Mary Elmendorf with the Bertha Palmer Centennial Woman of Achievement Award for her more than seven decades of global leadership on behalf of women.

Dr. Elmendorf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a volunteer in prisons and with displaced persons for the American and British Friends during and after World War II. She served as the first Director of CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, in Mexico, and she has participated in all of the United Nations Conferences on Women since 1975. She has had a distinguished career in anthropology and has lived in Sarasota, Florida for more than forty years.

“Dr. Elmendorf is yet another example of the immense treasures that Sarasota stores amongst our local population and is the embodiment of human capital, contributing not only to the betterment of our city but the entire globe,” said Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner.  “As a former Peace Corps volunteer and USAID contractor working directly with Mayan populations on community-oriented development programs, it is with particular pride that I can represent the City of Sarasota in presenting this symbol of our admiration and respect for her service.”

The ceremony will include a screening of “A Powerful Noise,” a film developed by CARE, which tells the story of three women from Vietnam, Bosnia, and Mali who are changing the world. Following the film, Bonnie Greenball, Associate Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership, will lead a conversation with Dr. Elmendorf to explore her work with CARE, with women around the world, and her thoughts on the film. A reception sponsored by the Women’s Advisory Council of the Bertha Palmer Centennial will follow the event.

The event will be held at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Selby Auditorium, located at 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.  There is no charge for the event but registration is required. To reserve your seat, please visit or call the USF hotline at 941-359-4602.