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Iona College to Celebrate Outstanding Alumnae at Annual Trustees Scholarship Award Gala


New Rochelle, N.Y. — Fifty years ago, Iona College, a traditionally all-male institution, began welcoming female students into its full-time student body. To commemorate this historic moment, Iona kicked off a dynamic yearlong slate of events to celebrate “50 Years of Women at Iona College” and to honor its over 24,000 alumnae. A key event will occur on April 3, when Iona presents the 2020 Legacy Award and 2020 Women of Achievement Awards to notable alumnae for their career accomplishments and contributions to their communities. The event will be held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

“Women have had a profound and positive impact on Iona College over the past 50 years,” said Seamus Carey, Ph.D., president of Iona College. “Today, women represent 52 percent of our student body and they continue to forge new paths both personally and professionally through their intellect, leadership and dedication to service. As we recognize our alumnae’s accomplishments, it is a wonderful reminder of how an Iona College education gives our students the tools they need to succeed today and in the future.”

JoAnn Mazzella Murphy JoAnn Mazzella Murphy ’98H

At the event, the 2020 Legacy Award will be presented to JoAnn Mazzella Murphy ’98H, an Iona College trustee and co-chair of the Student Development and Mission Committee of the Board. In 1998, Mrs. Murphy received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for her dedication and support of the arts and cultural events at Iona. She is chair of the Iona College Council on the Arts and a 2006 recipient of the Brother Driscoll Award for Heroic Humanitarian Service. Mrs. Murphy was vice chair of Country Bank, the broker-owner of Ellinghouse & Stacy, and a former art and antiques gallery owner.

Distinguished alumnae who will receive the 2020 Women of Achievement Award include:

  • Cathy L. Cogan-Kelly ’81, Senior Director, Global HR Operations, PepsiCo
  • Theresa A. Gottlieb, Esq., ’78, Senior Trial Attorney, Bronx District Attorney’s Office
  • Flory Netsch Hiatrides ’83, ’86MBA, President, Treehouse Consulting
  • Jennifer L. Hohman ’90, Global Chief Marketing Officer, FCB
  • Anna Filipkowski Houlihan, MD, ’77, Pediatrician, Morris Heights Health Center
  • Eileen Ivers ’87, ’19H, Grammy Award Winning Fiddler
  • Rita C. Mabli ’74, ’76MBA, President and CEO, United Hebrew of New Rochelle
  • Catherine A. Vitali Mayus, Esq., P.C., ’72, Comprehensive Coaching Specialist for ADNY, Catapult Learning, LLC
  • Catherine R. McCabe ’85, Senior Managing Director (retired January 2020), TIAA
  • Amy Torigian Parise ’03MST, on behalf of Butterflies from Jodie, Jeanne Morris (posthumously) and Jeanne Torigian ’74 (posthumously)
  • Caress A. Penelton ’87, Executive Director for Global Technology Infrastructure, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Ingrid N. Thompson-Sellers, Ph.D., ’95MS, President, South Georgia State College
  • Margaret C. Timoney ’89, ’92MBA, CEO, Heineken USA

The gala will feature a special performance by Grammy Award winner and alumna Eileen A. Ivers ’87, ’19H, and entertainment by Chris Brown ’78 and The Bookends Band. For additional event information, please visit:

The 50 Years of Women at Iona celebration includes lectures, exhibitions, and special events hosted by the LaPenta School of Business, the School of Arts & Science and various campus organizations. Programs will highlight women and their contributions to the College and the larger society. A calendar with event listings is available online. The alumni office is available for any questions, information or ideas at Everyone is invited to participate by attending special events, visiting the Share A Story page, and providing photos to

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 45,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2020.” Iona College also recently launched a new fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility.