Margaret Ann Tutwiler '80
In her application for admission to Davidson, written in 1977, Ann Tutwiler wrote, “I am an idealist. I believe that the world should and can be a better place for its inhabitants; and I believe I can help achieve that, both through political and social involvement.”
The John W. Kuykendall Award is presented to an alumnus in recognition of extraordinary service to his or her community, demonstrating leadership through servanthood in the spirit of Davidson’s fifteenth president. Exemplifying the servant-leader, Ann Tutwiler has spent her life working to improve living conditions among the global community.
Ann excelled as a student at Davidson, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in political science. She was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national honorary leadership fraternity, and was recognized in Who’s Who Among Students. While at Davidson, Ann wrote for Hobart Park, sang in the women’s chorus, chaired the speaker’s committee of the College Union Board, and spent a semester studying in Spain. Following graduation, she spent a year serving as a teacher and headmistress at Kimobo Friends Secondary School in Kenya. While in Kenya, she realized that developing countries such as Kenya would never be able to improve without profound changes in basic governmental policies. Simply put, unless farmers can grow food and governments can develop equitable trade policies, citizens in communities all over the world cannot prosper.
After several stints with global think tanks, a master's degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and papers published on poverty, agricultural practices and governmental policies, Ann co-founded the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council in 1987 to develop and advocate pragmatic policies that support an open global food and agricultural system. In her capacity as president and chief executive, she travels all over the planet to work with public, private, governmental and non-governmental organizations to educate and build consensus on global agricultural policies and ultimately to improve the lives of the world’s poor.
As an eighteen year old, Ann wrote, “I believe in mankind, I believe in its ability to continually better itself.” Her life reflects those principles. Because you believe in possibilities; because you are a humanitarian, a scholar, a leader, an idealist, and a change-maker; because you address issues with forthrightness and courage; and because you have a hunger to change the world, the Davidson College Alumni Association is proud to present you, Margaret Ann Tutwiler, Class of 1980, with the John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service on this day, April 30, 2005.