September 2015 Articles

GSSWSR: A Century of Social Work

GSSWSR_BaileyAt the launch of a yearlong celebration of the 100th birthday of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, President Kim Cassidy got to the heart of the matter. Acknowledging the impressive legacy of its 4,480 graduates, she praised the school’s history of innovation and the continued excellence of the education it offers.

“They have greatly improved the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and organizations throughout the greater Philadelphia region, across the nation, and around the globe,” she said.

More than 100 years ago, a 1907 graduate of Bryn Mawr, Carola Woerishoffer, also saw the potential of social work to improve lives. After graduating, Woerishoffer dedicated herself to the social causes of the day. But her legacy extended well beyond her work among immigrants and factory workers, for she left a bequest to the college that established a department that later became the graduate school of social work and social research.

Today, Woerishoffer’s vision flourishes at Bryn Mawr, and this spring, as the GSSWSR marks its milestone birthday, school and college administrators and faculty, students, and dignitaries gathered to celebrate a proud tradition.

After special guest congressman Chaka Fattah thanked the social worker audience for their many years of service, GSSWSR Dean Darlyne Bailey took the opportunity to honor three graduates with the 2015 GSSWSR alumni awards. “After hearing even briefly from these remarkable women,” Bailey told the audience, “you will immediately understand why they are with us today and how, individually and collectively, they reflect the power of our profession.”

The lifetime achievement award was given to the honorable Allyson Schwartz, M.S.S. ’72, former congresswoman. Tawana Ford Sabbath, M.S.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’86, community elder, clinician, and professor, received the distinguished service award. Another distinguished service award went, posthumously, to Judith Kasser, M.S.S. ’65, the founder of the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work. (Pat Burland, M.S.S. ’56, also with the society, accepted the award.)

GSSWSRAbove: GSSWSR Dean Darlyne Bailey launches the festivities. Far left: Patricia Burland, M.S.S. ’56, with Tawana Ford Sabbath, M.S.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’86. Left: The Honorable Allyson Schwartz, M.S.S. ’72, accepts the lifetime achievement award.

Photographs by Paola Nogueras ’84.