SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ trustees of the Order of William Pynchon announced their selection of two local residents, Carol Cutting and Sherry Elander, as recipients of this year’s Pynchon Medal.
“These are the times that we most need heroes, and we surely have them in this year’s recipients,” said Brenda McGiverin, chairperson of the Pynchon trustees.
Cutting has been the owner and operator of WEIB 106.3 FM since 1999. She persisted through a protracted legal battle to become the first black woman to operate a radio station in Massachusetts. In so doing, she fulfilled a 15-year vision of bringing representation of the region’s African-American community to the airwaves. She has also served in a host of change-making organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha and the National Assoc. of Black-Owned Broadcasters.
For nearly 24 years, Elander has served as a special-education teacher in Westfield Public Schools, with a special focus in helping students transition to life after their formal education. Throughout her career, she has built a program designed to bring college, career, and other life goals within reach for countless students with intellectual, developmental, and/or physical disabilities. The program she developed, and the network of advocacy she built, has become a model for districts throughout the state and for educators across the country. She has developed partnerships with colleges and universities, local businesses, and policymakers in Western Mass. and beyond, all with a view to maximizing opportunity for her students.
This year’s recipients were chosen from a pool of nominations received earlier this spring by the Advertising Club. All nominees are researched by the trustees, who then deliberate before selecting final recipients. All Pynchon medalists are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon trustees, who are the current and five past presidents of the Advertising Club. Pynchon Trustees for 2022 are Teresa Utt, David Cecchi, Mary Shea, Scott Whitney, Brenda McGiverin, and current Advertising Club President Kelly McGiverin.
The presentation of the Pynchon Medal and celebration will take place on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Delaney House in Holyoke. Event details and ticket information can be found at adclubwm.org or by calling (413) 342-0533.
More than 200 citizens have been inducted into the Order of William Pynchon since its founding in 1915.