Frey Wins Fay Prize At Annual RCAA Tea

At what could be Radcliffe College's last Strawberry Tea, Ariel S. Frey '99 was awarded the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize, Radcliffe's highest honor.

Radcliffe President Linda S. Wilson presented the award last Wednesday to the Kirkland House resident and neurobiology concentrator as about 300 of her classmates and local Radcliffe alumnae nibbled on the traditional strawberries and sipped ice tea served at the event.

As Frey stepped forward to accept the award, she was surprised with a special treat. Alerted of the honor a week in advance, her parents traveled from Acton to be at the event.

"I think one of my first reactions was 'Wait till I tell my parents.' And then they were there," Frey said. "I was completely shocked."

The award, established in 1907, is given to the most promising senior woman based on the candidate's scholarship, conduct and character.


Frey will use the $5,000 awarded as part of the prize as a start-up fund while she teaches next year in an urban Baltimore elementary school. She will attend Yale Medical School the following year.

"I don't know if I'm going to be going on worldtrips, but it will be nice to have the support,"she said.

Frey said she has been assured that the newRadcliffe Institute for Advanced Study willcontinue to administer an annual Fay Prize.

Yet she also noted a certain poignancy of beingthe last Radcliffe graduate to win the prize. Aspart of a proposed merger agreement betweenHarvard and Radcliffe, the class of 1999 is thefinal class of women to graduate from both Harvardand Radcliffe jointly.

"I think for our whole class it's a specialtime to be a part of Radcliffe," she said.

Like the fate of many of Radcliffe'sundergraduate programs, the future of theStrawberry Tea is unclear. The event officiallywelcomes senior women into the ranks of theRadcliffe College Alumnae Association (RCAA). Butthe RCAA has not yet decided if future femalegraduates of Harvard College should be included inthe organization.

At last Wednesday's tea though, members of theRCAA greeted the women of the class of 1999 withopen arms.

"We want to welcome you into the RCAA aspermanent members, effective next week," RCAASecretary Susan C. Eaton '79. "We want you to beaware that there is a network of women around theworld that you are about to join."

Wilson also welcomed students into "theremarkable tradition of Radcliffe women."

Some students who attended the event said thetea's symbolism contributed to the overflow crowd.

"[The tea] is one of the few things that's forwomen, one of the few events where you can cometogether as women," said Marcy A. Ellis '99.

Others were drawn by the event's gourmetoffering of hors d'oeuvres.

"It sounded like it would be a nice event-andthe strawberries didn't hurt," said Amanda L.Thompson '99.

The Doris Cohen Levi Prize, given annually to afemale senior for work in theater, was alsoawarded at the tea. Jessica K. Jackson '99 won the$500 cash prize. While at Harvard, the MatherHouse resident directed a production of LittleShop of Horrors and starred in City ofAngels and In Trousers.

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