Birge honored as Person of the Year at Fairfield University

Dr. Susan Birge

Dr. Susan Birge

A Stratford resident has earned a distinct honor at Fairfield University.

Dr. Susan Birge, an assistant vice president and director of counseling and psychological services at Fairfield, is the university’s Lucy Katz Person of the Year award winner. The recognition, given by the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, is given to a woman on campus who has made an outstanding contribution to women’s issues at the university.

In selecting Birge, the faculty recognized that her multiple years of service have greatly improved not only the health of students, but also the climate of the university at large. She was acknowledged as a champion of the diverse needs of Fairfield’s female students and lesbian, bisexual, gay, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) students. Birge was noted for having amplified resources related to sexual abuse, eating disorders, addiction, domestic violence, sexual orientation, bullying, and harassment.

Said Anna Lawrence Ph.D., associate professor of history, “Susan Birge brings intelligence, compassion, persistence, unlimited energy, and creativity to her role — all qualities that our good friend Lucy Katz exemplified.”

Birge is a former recipient of Lauralton Hall’s Claven Award and Women of the Year in Stratford. She has a long history of community involvement and currently serves on the board of the Lordship Improvement Association, a group dedicated to enhancing and preserving the distinctive character and natural beauty of the Lordship waterfront community.

Lucy Katz, a lawyer and professor, joined Fairfield University as an assistant professor of business law. She was one of two original co-coordinators of the Women’s Studies Program and served as chair of the Department of Management in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. In 2005, she was appointed to hold the inaugural Robert C. Wright endowed chair in Business Law, Ethics and Dispute Resolution.She was a courageous defender of social justice, with a particular focus on women’s issues, and lived out that focus in her life and in her prodigious work.

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