Kate Rogers McCarthy ’35: 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

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Kate Rogers McCarthy ’35 has been an environmental warrior for more than 30 years. Her battlefield is the stressed slopes of Mt. Hood, where she has spent a good part of her life researching, photographing, and documenting errors in U.S. Forest Service processes and disclosure, and the sidestepping of environmental laws and regulations. During her 70th reunion this summer—and on her 88th birthday—she will be honored with the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award for exemplifying the philosophy her aunt Ruth Catlin wrote in 1928.

After graduating from Catlin School, Kate earned a B.A. in biology at Reed College. Her environmental pursuits led to many accomplishments, including founding the Friends of Mt Hood and the Hood River Valley Residents' Committee, and service on the Columbia Gorge Commission and on the board of Friends of the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Environmental Council. Over the years Kate traveled and testified tirelessly in support of more sensitive land use and protection of the fragile Mt. Hood ecosystem.

Kate’s connections to the school run deep: she attended the Catlin School from 1st through 12th grade, and alumni in her family include her sister Betty Walker ’38 and granddaughter Abigail McCarthy ’94. Her son, Stephen McCarthy, is a past board member.

The alumni board is happy to honor Kate, whose life and work display those qualities the Distinguished Alumni Award was created to recognize: effective leadership, creative and resourceful problem solving, a sense of calling, a desire to serve the greater good, the ability to inspire and motivate others, and an enduring legacy. Her efforts in conservation have already made a difference, and you’ll still find her today fighting the good fight there among the trees and rocks of Mount Hood.