Carolyn L. Rose Receives President's Medal
from The George Washington University

Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg bestows the President's Medal on Carolyn Rose while Alison Brooks and Dennis O'Connor look on. Photograph by D.E. Hurlbert.

Carolyn Rose was awarded The George Washington University President's Medal by President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg at a ceremony on Monday, May 13, 2002, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Prior awardees include Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic; Abba Eban, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. and former Israeli Foreign Minister; Walter Cronkite, distinguished journalist and commentator; Victor Borge, musician/humorist; and Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union.

At a reception following the event, Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science J. Dennis O'Connor personally thanked Carolyn for her contributions to both George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institution, and, in particular, to the Department of Anthropology, for her leadership in forging a strong direction and vision for the future.

President Trachtenberg's Speech

The George Washington University is a collection of many treasures, and one of the best and brightest of these treasures is Carolyn Rose.

Carolyn Rose is an internationally distinguished conservation scientist who has set the standard for the field. She earned an undergraduate degree at Sweet Briar College in art history in 1971 and then set her sights on graduate school at The George Washington University, only to discover that the field that she wanted to study didn't exist.

Undeterred, she created both the field and the degree, earning a master's degree in 1976 in special studies with a concentration that is surely the most complicated in the university's history, since she chose to study in four areas: anthropology, art history and classical archaeology, conservation science, and museum studies.

Ms. Rose went on to become one of the first ethnographic conservators in the country. She became, in essence, a one-woman graduate school who has taught every prominent person in the field who works with anthropological objects. She was absolutely vital to the establishment of the Museum Studies Program at The George Washington University, taught the first course in conservation in the Anthropology Department at GW, and became the chair of the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

She continues to teach, advise and serve on the Museum Studies committee and to further strengthen the longstanding relationship between George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institution.

Somewhere in this country, a young person is looking through a microscope or conducting a chemistry experiment or learning the principles of metallurgy with the intention having a career in a field made possible by Carolyn Rose.

For her love of learning, her scholarship, and her great contributions to her alma mater, The George Washington University hereby bestows on Carolyn Rose the President's Medal with all the rights, duties, privileges and opportunities pertaining thereto.

 

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