Joan Shaw Herman Award

Award History


The Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service is the only award given in the Concord Academy community. Established in 1976, this award honors Joan Shaw Herman ’46, who was paralyzed from the neck down after contracting polio the summer after her graduation. Although she remained confined to an iron lung for much of the remainder of her life, Joan worked constantly for the improvement of the lives of disabled persons.

Each year, the Concord Academy Alumnae/i Association presents the Joan Shaw Herman Award to a member of the CA community who has demonstrated dedication to service in either a professional or volunteer capacity. Nominees may be of any age and may be recognized posthumously; while Concord Academy is fortunate to be supported by many wonderful volunteers, this award is not for service to Concord Academy but to the world at large.

The Joan Shaw Herman Award nominations are both inspiring and humbling. It is a testament to the values of the CA community that we choose to give our only award in recognition of service.

2022 Centennial Joan Shaw Herman Award Overview


The 2022 Joan Shaw Herman Award recipient will be recognized during CA’s Centennial Year, and presented during the Centennial Days of Service and Sustainability on April 22, 2022. This is a special opportunity to celebrate a CA community member who has demonstrated dedication to service in either a professional or volunteer capacity. The 2022 recipient will have the unique distinction of representing the impact CA alumnae/i truly make in the world during a paramount time in our school’s history.

Our impressive field of past honorees have made their mark through work in medicine, the arts, social justice, environmentalism, education, science, and more. In 2021, we celebrated the work of two alumnae, Dr. Leslie Davidson ’66 and Dr. Ingrid Walker-Descartes ’91, for their contributions to child protection, health, and advocacy.

We look forward to hearing the stories of and tributes to your extraordinary classmates. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful submission.

Christmastide was painted by Joan Shaw Herman ’46 and copied from a color photo taken by Elizabeth Wheeler. It was painted with the brush held in her teeth and was begun March 1959 and finished October 1960.

Many thanks for the 2022 Joan Shaw Herman Award Selection Committee:

Jimmy Cai ’22
Hannah Fine ’22
Camden Francis ’22
Isabella Ginsburg ’23
Alexis Goltra ’87

Elizabeth Green ’91
Emmy McCormack ’22
Shreya Patel ’21
Katharine Rea Schmitt ’62 P’88, Chair
Stuart Warner ’77