Manhattanville College Alumni

Notable Alumni

Throughout our 175 year history, many notable alumni have passed through our doors: trailblazers such as one of the first female aviators, and the first female governor of Puerto Rico, business leaders and entrepreneurs, doctors working on breakthrough treatments, prize-winning journalists, and award-winning performing artists. These are just a few of our outstanding alumni over the years, who have made an impact in their respective fields and communities.

Jane Briggs Hart '43

Aviator and Social Activist

Hart was one of the first female aviators in Michigan, actively advocated for women’s rights, and contributed to the funding of higher education. She became an aviator at an early age and the first female pilot in the state of Michigan, and her fascination of air travel went beyond planes. She participated in the Lovelace Foundation’s Woman in Space Program, where a group of women underwent a series of fitness tests developed by NASA as a way to select their astronauts. At the time, though, women were not allowed to become astronauts. Hart was actively involved in politics as well as social justice movements. She held several leadership positions in groups that advocated equal rights, and was a founding member of the National Organization for Women.

Sook Nyul Choi '62

Award Winning Author, Lecturer, & Educator

Choi has written three historic novels for young adults. Her trilogy, which includes "Year of Impossible Goodbyes", tells the story of a young girl growing up in Korea during the Japanese Occupation, World War II, and the Korean War. She has also written three children's books about multicultural issues. Her books have received numerous honors and awards, including the Best Books for Young Adults Award by the American Library Association.  The College Board selected "Year of Impossible Goodbyes" for inclusion in its manuals for English for Advanced Placement students. She is a noted lecturer on creative writing and education and a Fulbright scholar. Choi says, "The Manhattanville community provided a safe and strong center for me from which to explore my interests and passions with the confidence and conviction that I could accomplish any of my dreams — no matter the obstacles."

Sila Calderón '64

Politician, businesswoman, and former Governor of Puerto Rico

Sila María Calderón Serra is a Puerto Rican politician, businesswoman, and philanthropist who served as the eighth governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from 2001 to 2005. She is the first and, to date, only woman elected to that office. Prior to serving as governor, Calderón held various positions in the government of Puerto Rico, including the 12th secretary of state of Puerto Rico from 1988 to 1989, and chief of staff to Governor Rafael Hernández Colón. She was also mayor of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, from 1997 to 2001.

Karen Akers '67

Singer, Actress, Theatre World Award Winner and Tony Award Nominee

Akers was nominated for a Tony award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and won a Theatre World Award for her performance in "Nine," which opened on Broadway in 1982. Akers has also appeared in such feature films as Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Heartburn." She is a successful concert and cabaret star, performing throughout the United States, Europe and the former Soviet Union. She has appeared in many prestigious venues worldwide from Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, New York's Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, and London's Pizza on the Park. Her career also includes three performances at the White House.

Maria Elena Lagomasino '70

CEO, Hispanic Business Woman of the Year (2007)

Maria Elena Lagomasino is a high-ranking business woman who has been CEO and director of such companies as Coca-Cola and JP Morgan Chase. In August 2015, Lagomasino was named one of the 50 most influential women in Wealth Management by Private Asset Management. She was named Business Woman of the Year by Hispanic Business Magazine in 2007. In 2006, she was appointed by President Bush to help lead an effort to secure private sector funds to aid disaster victims in Central America and served on Secretary Rice’s Advisory Board on Transformational Diplomacy.

Michaele Christian, M.D, '70

Oncologist Dedicated to the Advancement of Treatment Options

Dr. Christian's passion for medicine led her to become an oncologist dedicated to research and the advancement of treatment options. At Manhattanville, Dr. Christian pursued a degree in political science, and also discovered a passion for art, taking numerous studio art classes. But, she never lost her desire to become a doctor, so she pursued her medical degree at Georgetown University. Among numerous awards, Dr. Christian received the Kober Award for highest academic achievement and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. Dr. Christian was appointed associate director of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis in 1997. Prior to that, she worked on overseeing the clinical development of novel anticancer drugs. She also continues to pursue her artistic passions, most recently in printmaking.

Kitty Pilgrim '76

Emmy, Peabody, and Dupont Award-Winning CNN News Anchor and Correspondent

Kitty Pilgrim ‘76, worked as New York-based anchor and correspondent for CNN for 24 years. Her travels have taken her on special assignments to Russia, Cuba, China, Japan, South Korea, Europe, and parts of Africa. In domestic reporting she covered economics, politics, and a range of other topics. Pilgrim anchored her own CNN morning show, “Early Edition” in 1998-1999 and was anchor for prime time broadcasts at CNN from 2001 to 2010. Pilgrim has won an Emmy, Peabody, Dupont, and the New York Society of Black Journalists Award for field reporting on social and economic issues in South Africa. Pilgrim became a fiction writer in 2010, and has published several successful novels. Pilgrim says, "Manhattanville was very nurturing in that it gave me the strength, confidence and tools to succeed in later life. Much of my success in later life is attributable to the quality of the education I received at the institution."

Dr. Jesus Jaile-Marti '83

Chief of the Division of Neonatology at White Plains Hospital

Jesus Jaile-Marti, MD, FAAP, was recognized as a 2016 Healthcare Hero by Westchester Magazine. Dr. Jaile is a crusader for the smallest patients at the hospital – babies born prematurely or with other life-threatening complications— who require the most intensive services. For more than two decades, Dr. Jaile has overseen the care of these fragile newborns to help them win their daily struggle for survival. He graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1987 and completed his residency, internship and neonatal fellowship at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Jaile has conducted a great deal of research in his field, and has published extensively.

Linda Kirkpatrick '99

Senior Vice President, US Market Development, MasterCard

Alumna and College Trustee Linda Kirkpatrick ’99 received the prestigious honor of being named one of the Young Global Leaders’ Class of 2015 from the World Economic Forum – a select group of young leaders who are making significant contributions to their industries, communities and society at large. Linda started her finance career with an internship at MasterCard in her junior year at Manhattanville. Since then, she has thrived in positions in finance, sales, communications, and investor relations at MasterCard. Kirkpatrick says it is a "privilege and a responsibility to stay connected to the organization that prepared me so well for my career and the increasingly global environment in which we live. I have a great sense of pride as a graduate.”

Laura Santucci '03

From City Hall and the White House to the UN

As the director of the United Nations Food Programme, the humanitarian organization devoted to fighting world hunger, Santucci is following her passion for international relations and social action. Based in Italy, Santucci is working to help countries struck by famine and other disasters. While working towards her degree in international studies from Manhattanville, Santucci was a student coordinator for the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, where she was very involved in the Center’s anti-war and anti-racism programs. Santucci has also held prominent positions in government, including chief of staff for Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, acting executive director for the Democratic National Committee, and as a special assistant to the White House. 

Andrew Deacon '07

Teacher of the Year

Andrew Deacon has only been at Torringford School for a short time, but he has already made an impact. His passion for education and commitment to learning led him to be honored as the 2017 Torrington district Teacher of the Year.  Deacon is a fourth grade teacher and numeracy coach at Torringford. He has been the recipient of other teaching awards, including the Lydia A. Diggins Award for literacy in teaching, and Lauren Rousseau Passionate Educator Award from the University of Bridgeport. 

James D. Fox ’11

Vice President at Wells Fargo

Fox graduated just 5 years ago, with a B.A. in finance and a minor in political science, magna cum laude, and he is already carving out a very impressive career path. Fox is a vice president at Wells Fargo in the Specialty Finance Group and a member of the Capital Markets Credit Analyst Society. He joined Wells Fargo in April of 2014 and is responsible for structuring credit facilities within the private equity and hedge fund asset classes. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he held various positions at Morgan Stanley in the Ultra-High Net Worth Lending Group. Joining as an analyst, he was promoted to junior underwriter and ultimately to portfolio manager. Fox credits Manhattanville as having "invaluably shaped me as an individual, student, and professional.”