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Veritas Award 1986

Excellence in Research Science and Education
Dorothy Cunningham ‘49

Dorothy Cunningham received a B.A. degree in Biology from Caldwell College, an M.S. degree in Zoology from The Catholic University of America and a Ph.D. in Physiology from Yale University.  Following appointments as Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant professor at Yale, she was Professor of Physiology at Hunter College for many years.

She is a researcher with numerous publications on physiological responses to environmental stress which include studies for NASA and the EPA.  Dorothy conducted research in laboratories at the University of Lyon, France; the University of Kyoto, Japan; and the University of Calgary, Canada.

Dorothy has served on numerous boards, including: the Board of Trustees of Caldwell College where, in 1972, Dr. Cunningham was the first alumna to join Caldwell’s leadership.  She has also served on the Executive Board of the Yale Science and Engineering Association, the Board of the Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Board of Trustees of the St. Thomas More Chapel and Catholic Center at Yale.

Two of Dorothy’s alma maters have bestowed prestigious alumni awards on our honoree.  She received the Yale Medal in 1985 – “the highest honor bestowed by the Association of Yale Alumni for Outstanding Service to the University.”  She also received one of Caldwell College’s first Veritas awards.

Dorothy is presently Professor Emerita at Hunter College and Research Affiliate (Environmental Health Sciences) at the Yale University School of Medicine.  She is a member of the Advisory Board of St. Vincent Ferrer High School in New York City, the Yale Graduate Student School Development, and an Associate Fellow of Trumbull College, one of the residential colleges of the University.

Excellence in Performing Arts
Beth Fowler Witham ‘62

Beth Fowler began her career as an actress in such Broadway musicals as Take Me Along and Baby.  That was just the beginning.

In 1990, she won a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in the musical Sweeney Todd, starring on Broadway as Mrs. Lovett.  She repeated the Tony nomination in 2004 as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The Boy from Oz starring Hugh Jackman. She also received the Los Angeles Ovation Award in 1995 for Beauty and the Beast.

Beth’s Broadway productions include: Gantry 1970; A Little Night Music, 1973; Over Here! 1974; 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 1976; Peter Pan, Mrs. Darling, (Broadway revival) 1979; Baby, 1983; Take Me Along, (Broadway revival) 1985, Teddy & Alice, Edith Roosevelt, 1987; Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett, 1989, Broadway; Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Potts, 1994; Bells Are Ringing, Sue, 2001; Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Potts (replacement), 2001 Broadway; The Boy From Oz, Marion Woolnough, 2003

Off-Broadway professional performances include: Preppies, 1983; Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett, 1989; Romeo and Juliet, Nurse, 1990 (and Florida); Hay Fever,1990, Florida, Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Potts, Los Angeles, CA, 1995; and A Second Hand Memory by Woody Allen, 2004.  Regionally, Beth Fowler most recently starred in All My Sons at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and The Spitfire Grill at the George St. Playhouse, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Beth made her movie debut in Deadly Force in which she played opposite Richard Crenna.  Other notable movie/TV appearances include In the Line of Duty: Manhunt in the Dakotas (TV, 1991); Sister Act (1992); Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993); Law & Order (TV, guest star, 1993); Mulan (singer, 1998); Ed (TV, guest star, 2000); and Friends and Family (2001).

Beth received a B.A. in Music and Music Education from Caldwell College.  A member of Actors Equity, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, her professional singing and acting credits also include stock/dinner theaters, cabarets, benefits and commercials.  She starred in two consecutive seasons at Guy Lombardo’s Jones Beach Music Theater and was a soloist with Lombardo and the Royal Canadians in Toronto, Canada. On the concert stage, Ms. Fowler has sung at the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and Town Hall in New York.

Prior to her professional acting career, Beth was an elementary teacher in the Upper Saddle River School District.  She was a classroom teacher and also taught music and summer school. She received a Title III grant for creative dramas.

Offstage, she is married to John Witham who is also a performer.  

Excellence in Government Law
Eileen Jones ‘57

As assistant director of the Veterans Administration Regional Office, Newark, Eileen Jones was the highest ranking female federal employee in New Jersey when she received the Veritas Award.  She retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1992. During her tenure, she served as the Station’s Total Quality Management Coordinator, participated in numerous seminars for women through the Federal Executive Board and developed a formal mentoring program for women at the Regional Office.

Upon retirement, Eileen was presented with a plaque from the station’s AFGE union local 2442, awards from several of the veterans services organizations, including a National Commanders Plaque from the Disabled American Veterans and a Distinguished Service Award signed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Eileen earned her B.A. in social studies from Caldwell College and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.  Starting her career in the Social Security Administration, Eileen moved to the Newark Regional Office of the Veterans Administration (VARO) in 1968 as an adjunct and later a legal rating board specialist.

In 1974, Eileen went to the Veterans Administration Central Office, Washington, D.C., where in 1977, she was appointed chief of the administrative review staff for compensation and pension.  She was the first woman to that post. Eileen returned to Newark in 1981 as assistant director for the Veterans Administration with some 300 persons under her jurisdiction. She was the second African American to hold an assistant directorship.

Eileen earned three superior performance awards from the Veterans Administration, including the Chief Benefits Director’s Service Award and the Disabled American Veterans National Commanders’ Award.  She has extensive involvement in the community including: the Arts Council of Orange (president); the Newark Museum; the Civic Action League; the Orange Community Advisory Board (vice chair); and the Caldwell College Economic Opportunity Fund Program.

In 1994, Eileen established the Elaine F. Jones Memorial Music Scholarship for New Jersey students as a tribute to her late sister.

While this award recognizes Eileen’s outstanding accomplishments in government, we also acknowledge her historic presence as the first African-American graduate of Caldwell College.