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Since 1995 the Distinguished Alumnae Award has been presented by the Alumnae Association to recognize alumnae who have achieved significant professional accomplishments, participated in civic and service groups for the betterment of her community and have helped advance the mission of the College. In 2008 Charm Sticks, a sculpture conceived and created by Marilyn Keating ’74 and Debra Sachs ’75, was installed at Moore as an enduring tribute to these outstanding women.
Emily Bittenbender ’89
Emily Bittenbender established Bittenbender Construction in 2003, a woman-owned general construction company. In 2005, the firm was the first and only woman-owned general contracting company to enter into a union agreement with the united Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Her company manages all phases of commercial construction and the client list includes cultural, academic, health care, corporate and retail organizations. Bittenbender’s firm has worked as general contractor or construction manager for countless projects, including Sister Cities Park and Pavilion and Discovery Garden in Logan Square, Please Touch Museum, the American Jewish Museum, Franklin Institute’s Amazing Machine, and projects for the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Temple University. In 2009, Bittenbender founded the Philadelphia Carpentry Systems, LP, another woman-owned carpentry and exhibit contracting company specializing in high-end custom carpentry.
Before founding her company, Bittenbender was vice president of design and construction for the National Constitution Center, overseeing all phases of design and construction for the $137 million museum. She also was the capital program director for the City of Philadelphia, bringing a private-sector approach to project and budget management to the city that included design and construction projects equaling $500 million.
Shortly after she graduated from Moore in interior design in 1989, she was project manager for Ewing Cole Cherry Brott. Bittenbender has received the “Small Business Person of the Year” Excellence Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Woman of Distinction” Award. Bittenbender serves as co-chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Construction Diversity and as a board member for many local associations. She was recently been appointed to the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan political watchdog group in Philadelphia.
Gail Bracegirdle ’67
Gail Bracegirdle was the inspiration and impetus for the Moore Alumnae Association Cards of Art. very successful Cards of Art project, four clever and colorful sets of individually designed playing cards designed by 218 Moore alumnae from across the country.
After graduating from Moore in 1967, Bracegirdle worked for 20 years as a textile designer for Georgia Woeber, a Moore faculty member who formed her own company. In 1992, Bracegirdle changed her focus and concentrated on watercolors, which she had also studied at Moore. She was drawn to the “clean, environmentally sensitive nature of the medium.” Constantly experimenting with watercolors, Bracegirdle uses them to create monotypes and collages.
Bracegirdle is a signature member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society and exhibits her work regularly in solo and group shows. She has received many awards for her work, including the Leeway Foundation’s Window of Opportunity Grant, which she used to study at the Vermont Studio Center. She often serves as a juror and has most recently curated a show for Artworks in Trenton, NJ. She is an active member of Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, NJ, and a founding member of Artists of Bristol, where she continues to be an active board member.
Bracegirdle teaches painting for several arts organizations and each summer facilitates plein air classes in Mercer and Bucks counties. She especially enjoys teaches classes at Neshaminy Manor Long Term Care Facility, where she enjoys the residents’ openness to art. Bracegirdle has exhibited in several alumnae exhibitions at Moore.
Gail Gaines ’89
When we think of Gail, we think fashion! For more than 20 years, she has designed and fashioned couture clothing for clients in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, DC. Classically trained in dressmaking, tailoring and French couture dressmaking, she creates seasonal and travel collections, as well as evening and sportswear. In addition to her couturiere line, she also updates wardrobes by redesigning the clothing and making original pieces to coordinate. Her design skills extend to home accessories, jewelry and fashions for men.
Gaines has served on Moore’s Alumnae Council, where she spearheaded the Lids for Kids community service project. She made hundreds of hats and patterns for us to follow. She organized our sew-ins and attended every workshop we had for children in local hospitals. She was also one of fourteen alumnae who decorated a giant boot made for Moore’s 160th Anniversary Celebration. Her boot is still housed at the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Gaines created Anvil for Allen, a story quilt outlining the life of Richard Allen, which is on permanent display in the historical museum at Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia. Gaines is also a Zumba fitness instructor and incorporates Latin and international dance into her programs. Gaines has taught a creative and practical course in sewing at Temple University Center City for many years and is adjunct faculty at Moore, teaching in the Fashion Design Department. She also taught in Moore’s SADI and Continuing Education programs. After graduation in 1989, Gaines worked at Eagle’s Eye and Cradle Togs.
|First Name||Last Name||Class Year||Honor Year||Major|
|Phyllis Franz||Beck||1940||1996||Art Education|
|Nancy Levin||Bergman||1952||1998||Art Education|
|Harriette Kimming||Bescoe||1957||1998||Art Education|
|Mary Cotheal||Burgess||1935||1997||Fine Arts|
|Louise||Curl Adams||1962,76||2001||Textile Design & Art Education|
|Ida Libby||Dengrove||1940||1995||Graphic Design|
|Anna Conwell||Eshom||1941||1997||Art Education|
|Janie||Feldman Gross||1974||2006||Advertising Design|
|Rose Brien||Finkel||1956||1998||Graphic Design|
|Mary Lou||Ford-Dallam||1966||2012||Art Education|
|Jane Howard||Fulton||1956||1998||Textile Design|
|Ruth Mayerson||Gilbert||1932||1995||Art Education|
|Frances Robertson||Graham||1966||2001||Interior Design|
|Mary Elizabeth||Hallowell||1943||1997||Interior Design|
|Mildred Sherer||Ivins||1953||1998||Fashion Illustration|
|Lynne||Jordan Horoschak||1966||1999||Art Education|
|Beatrice Hedly||Kirkbride||1928||1995||Fashion Illustration|
|Rose Ranieri||Kirkpatrick||1944||1997||Fashion Illustration|
|Kathryn Sobey||Leslie||1938||1995||Textile Design|
|Janice Hackenberg||Levit||1938||1995||Art Education|
|Lillian Stalker||Molloy||1940||1997||Art Education|
|Polly||Palmer Smith||1971||2006||Fashion Design|
|Ruth Van Sciver||Peckmann||1954||1998||Illustration|
|Louise Zimmerman||Stahl||1942||1995||Art Education|
|Ann Marie||Stiliha||1972||2002||Art Education|
|Jane||Young Likens||1966||2006||Fashion Design|