The Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize
The Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize is awarded to members of the senior class for commitment to and capacity for public service. The 2014 winners are Hilary Rose O’Connell of Timothy Dwight College, Miranda Peeples of Calhoun College, and Emily Hong of Pierson College.
Hilary Rose O’Connell
[Editor’s note: The pronouns in this citation have been changed to reflect the recipient’s identification as genderqueer/non-binary.]
One of the foremost queer voices on campus, their leadership and accomplishments have transformed Yale College due to their strong sense of moral purpose, warmth, fairness, and compassion. Within three weeks of their freshman year they threw the closet door wide open and launched their Yale career as a queer woman, LGBTQ community organizer, and major in WGSS. With the boundless energy characteristic of them, they have provided leadership within Yale’s vibrant and diverse LGBTQ community as president of the LGBTQ Student Cooperative, on the Inter-Ivy board that brought the Annual Ivy League LGBTQ Conference to Yale, as chair of the Pride Committee that plans Pride@Yale, and as a freshman counselor known among all freshman counselors as someone to turn to about freshmen and LGBTQ questions and concerns. Their outstanding and long-standing commitment to service to Yale College does indeed show promise of strong caring and moral leadership in their future.
A Wilderness First Responder, an Emergency Medical Technician, a Walden Peer Counselor, a Yale Chaplaincy Fellow, a World Fellow Liaison, and this year the head freshman counselor in Calhoun…she embodies service to others. When Calhoun dean Leslie Woodard died this past October she faced her greatest test, yet somehow rallied the froco team, reminding them—and us—that the greatest opportunity for giving comes in the greatest moment of need. For her astonishing selflessness we are proud to recognize Miranda Peeples with the Roosevelt Thompson Prize.
An Environmental Studies major, she has served as a Community Consent Educator and as the head Freshman Counselor in Pierson. Nationally, she has worked to address inequities in digital access while serving as a fellow in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, sponsoring the Open Law Initiative to increase online accessibility to legislative documents. She has been awarded a Fulbright to support research in Korea on the role of urban youth in economic and environmental sustainability. Her dedication to public service on the local, national, and international level epitomizes the values honored by the Thompson Prize.