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Alumna awarded the Liberty Medal, New York State’s highest honor

Alumna Alice Holloway Young honored with Liberty Medal

Groundbreaking educator, community leader, and children’s advocate Alice Holloway Young ‘57W (MEd), ‘69W (EdD) received the highest honor that can be awarded by the New York State Senate. In March, Senator Samra Brouk presented her with the 2021 Liberty Medal at Monroe Community College’s Brighton campus.

The award is reserved for lifetime achievement and exceptional community acts. Young’s impact on education in Rochester and Monroe County spans more than 50 years. During that time, she has inspired countless students, educators, and community members. 

“Through her work with the Rochester City School District and Monroe Community College, Dr. Young played a life-changing role in the lives of thousands of children and adults in our community,” Brouk said in a press release. “She has also been an inspiration and a role model for me. It is my honor and my privilege to be able to bestow the Senate’s highest honor, the Liberty Medal, to Dr. Young.”

Born in 1923 in North Carolina, Young overcame many challenges growing up, and her parents always felt strongly about education. She started her career with the Rochester City School District (RSCD) in 1952 after moving to Rochester from the segregated south. She was among the first African American teachers in the district, and the first African American to hold the titles of Reading Specialist, Vice Principal, and Principal for RCSD. Additionally, she wrote and supervised the Rochester City School District’s first integration programs, including the Urban-Suburban program, the oldest voluntary desegregation program in the country. She retired from RCSD in 1985 as supervising director of elementary education.

Young is currently featured in the Rochester Museum and Science Center exhibit “Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World.” She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a 2019 Icon Success Leadership Award from the Rochester Business Journal; a 2018 Woman of Distinction honor from the New York State Assembly; the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award for Special Achievement, the highest honor conferred by the State University of New York Association of the Boards of Trustees of Community Colleges; the Urban League of Rochester’s Distinguished Community Service Award, among several other accolades.

At Monroe Community College (MCC), Young was a founding trustee in 1961 and chaired the Board of Trustees from 1978-98. She helped shape the direction of the college, and her work with MCC lives on through the Alice H. Young Teaching Internship for Ethnic Minority Graduate students, started in 1987, and the Alice Holloway Young Society for Charitable Giving of the MCC Foundation.