Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

claven Award2015 webStanding with Antoinette Iadarola, Ph.D., Lauralton Hall president, front left, are award recipients Mercy Sister Mary Ettas Higgins, right; and, from left in back, Tony Guzzi, Michelle Guzzi and Karin Devine Mayhew; board chairman Michael D. Amato; and awardee Mary Ann Wasil.

MILFORD – Lauralton Hall honored six men and women during its $6-million capital campaign kickoff gala on May 9.

The campaign theme is “Because We Believe…The Campaign for Lauralton Hall.”

The evening included presentation of the Claven Award, given biannually to women who have strived to implement one or more of the core values of a Mercy education in their personal lives or careers, and the President’s Medal, given in recognition of faithful and generous devotion to and support of Lauralton Hall and other educational institutions.

The Claven Awards are named for Lauralton Hall’s foundress Mother Mary Augustine Claven.

The recipients of the 30th Claven Awards are Lauralton alumnae Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro; Sister of Mercy Mary Etta Higgins, formerly of Milford, now West Hartford; and Karin Devine Mayhew of Westlake Village, Calif.

The President’s Medal was bestowed on Tony and Michelle Guzzi of Fairfield and Mary Ann Wasil of Milford.

“All of the recipients are outstanding examples of individuals serving in the Mercy tradition,” said Antoinette Iadarola, Ph.D., Lauralton Hall president. “Their accomplishments align with Lauralton Hall’s mission of empowering women for life, not only here in Connecticut, but in the world at large through their philanthropic, professional and spiritual work.”

Congresswoman DeLauro, U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 3rd congressional district since 1991, was described as an exemplar of a Lauralton-educated woman; a lifelong learner, compassionate advocate for the underserved and responsible leader in today’s global society. Sister Mary Etta, a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Northeast Community, was recognized for her “lifelong commitment as a consummate Mercy educator, compassionate community servant and a loyal leader and friend.” Ms. Mayhew is a human resources professional, serving as senior vice president for organizational effectiveness at Health Net Inc. in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was acknowledged for her outstanding business achievements and her service to her church and to Lauralton Hall.

The President’s Medal was instituted during Lauralton’s centennial opening convocation in September 2005. It is awarded in recognition of faithful and generous devotion to and support of Lauralton Hall.

Mr. and Mrs. Guzzi were awarded the medal “for their committed philanthropic support of future generations of Lauralton Students.” Mr. Guzzi is president and CEO of EMCOR Group Inc. He graduated with highest distinction from the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned a Master of Business Administration with distinction from Harvard Business School. Mrs. Guzzi is a University of Oklahoma alumna and dedicated community volunteer. They were honored for having “provided Lauralton with the necessary support to launch the Because We Believe Campaign.”

Ms. Wasil is the founder, president and CEO of the Get in Touch Foundation. A friend of the school and a breast cancer survivor, she has been a health activist since 2004. Ms. Wasil formulated the Get in Touch Girls’ Program and Daisy Wheel, a health education initiative that teaches girls in grades five through 12 the importance of breast self-exams. Since its inception in September 2009, Ms. Wasil has guided the program to all 50 states and 28 countries worldwide. Lauralton Hall was the first school in the world to implement the program.

The awards were presented by Michael D. Amato of Orange, chair of the board of trustees, and Dr. Iadarola.

Information about the capital campaign is available at or by calling Sue Bonaventura, director of marketing and communications, at 203-877-2786, ext. 154.