Smith College Club of Minnesota Medalists

In 2017, the Club began awarding the “Smith College Club of Minnesota Medal”. The award, modeled after the Rally Day awards, honors a regional alumna who has lived a life of distinction. The event continues to be a festive, fundraising gathering with activities, food, conversation and a silent auction.

Medal Receipents

2022: Margaret (Peggy) White Leppik, ’65

In this era of rapid political change and concern about the future of American democracy, we honor a Smith alum whose involvement in politics, government, and public affairs is an inspiration. Peggy spent 12 years in the MN State Legislature and has served on numerous commisions. She has a lengthy history of involvement in the League of Women Voters as well as other organizations, including the MN Smith Club. She shared her thoughts about our current state of affairs as well as her reflections on her experiences.

2021: Martha “Marty” Wallance Swain ’71

In 2020, we awarded the 4th Minnesota Smith Medal. This honor recognizes one of our own who exemplifies the exemplify in their lives and work “the true purpose” of a liberal arts education. The three outstanding MN alumnae who have previously received the award in recognition of their professional achievements and outstanding service are Margaret Wurtele ’67, Cathy Haukedahl ’74, and Jane Anderson Howard ’75.

Marty is a life-long Minnesotan, growing up on a hobby farm in Mound (affectionately dubbed “Hump, Minnesota” by her acerbic new friends in Franklin King house freshman year). She was familiar with Smith College early on, as one of her older sisters was in the class of 1963, and she attended long-ago Smith Day in the Country events as a high schooler when they were held in alums’ lovely homes. She has spent her career in the field of medical publishing, working for medical magazines published by Harcourt Brace and McGraw-Hill and more recently for medical/public health websites published by a dot-com startup called ican and now the University of Minnesota. She lives with her husband, Ron Swain, near Excelsior and in the winter in Arizona, and her two children, Nick and Carrie Heiberg live in the Twin Cities area. The Minnesota Smith Club has been a constant in her post-college volunteer life; she’s served in many capacities from what used to be called Candidates Committee all the way to President.

Smith Day has been a constant too, with Marty in many posts including chair of the event “a time or two,” and she worked on the Oral History books, planning, interviewing, writing, editing, and production. “The Minnesota Club is a constant source of inspiration, fun, and friends,” she says.

2018: Catherine Farrington Haukedahl ’74

2017: Margaret Von Blon Wurtele ’67

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