Paula Loring Simon ’68 Earns RAA’s Top Honor
The Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) awarded Paula Loring Simon ’68 its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, at the annual RAA Awards Dinner Oct. 3. The DSA recognizes truly distinguished service to a profession, to the nation, or to humanity.
“One would be hard pressed to find a more devoted alumna than Paula Loring Simon,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson in presenting the award. A Rensselaer Trustee since 1996, Simon has served as board secretary since 2007. Among her many commitments to Rensselaer, she was the first alumna to serve as president of the RAA, and has been an active volunteer for the Annual Fund, her regional alumni chapters, and the Class of ’68.
Simon’s career in information technology began at Honeywell. She went on to serve in leadership positions at organizations that included MetLife and the Municipal Bond Insurance Association, before turning to the nonprofit world, becoming chief technology officer for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and later for the Central Synagogue in New York City.
A champion of women in the engineering and technical professions, she served as national president of the Society of Women Engineers, 1978-79. In 1994, she established the Paula Loring Simon ’68 Scholarship for female students at Rensselaer enrolled in information technology and pursuing a secondary discipline in the School of Engineering.
On accepting the award, Simon said, “I am following in some big footsteps as the third woman to receive the Distinguished Service Award.” Nancy Fitzroy ’49 received the award in 1996, and Fannabell Fixman in 1978. “I’ve been fortunate to make lifelong friends at RPI,” said Simon. “I enjoy making possible the Rensselaer of tomorrow.”