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Vanguard Society

Alverno College

Ellen M Gardner - "As a result of my Alverno education, I learned to assume that a woman could do whatever she wanted to do as long as she was prepared and willing to work hard for it."
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In Celebration of Alverno's 125th anniversary, alumnae members of the Alverno College Board of Trustees proudly initiated the Vanguard Society as a new tradition for recognizing and celebrating the powerful impact of Alverno Women in local communities, across the nation and around the globe. The Vanguard Society brings together alumnae whose records of distinguished service, leadership and achievement have brought pride and distinction to the College.

As we celebrate 125 years of academic success, it's important to reflect on the achievements and strength-of-character modeled by Vanguard Society members and how they will certainly inspire and challenge Alverno students for the next 125 years.

Vanguard Society's Impact

Members of the Vanguard Society have achieved many wonderful – and varied – accomplishments. Here are some of the highlights of the collective impact they are making on our society:


Advanced Degrees


Deans and College
Department Heads

Nurse Executive of the Year

Outstanding Educator of the Year




CEOs and Senior Execs

Women of Influence

WI Manufacturer of the Year


Honorary Doctorates


Guggenheim Fellow

Humanitarian of the Year


MacArthur Genius Award


Prestigious Fellowships

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Member Spotlight

Debra H. Amesqua

Fire Chief, City of Madison

Debra Amesqua was the first female fire chief for the City of Madison serving from 1996 to 2012. Under her stewardship, the department expanded to meet the needs on a senior-level management training.

She's the first president of the Women Chief Fire Officers Association.

View Debra H. Amesqua's profile

Jovita Carranza

Deputy Admin. of US Small Business

"The Alverno promise of discovery and commitment to excellence are the signature characters that I systematically developed in all life endeavors."

View Jovita Carranza's profile

Nadine T. Guirl

Senior VP and Chief HR Officer of HR for ProHealth Care, Inc

"Yes. I'm an Alverno Woman. After more than 30 years since graduation, I'm still recognized for my energetic presence in public speaking; for my collaborative problem-solving abilities and positively regarded for always striving to see the whole picture. Alverno Abilities make my voice heard."

View Nadine T. Guirl's profile

Vanguard Society Members PDF