Michael B. Cox, Jr. ’93
Nominated by Michael T. Farley ’93
Cox grew up playing rugby and ice hockey and continued his participation in both sports at Salve Regina. Now a father of three, Cox volunteers as a coach for the Friars Youth Hockey League and was formerly a coach with the Rhode Island Girls Hockey tournament and the Greater Providence Youth Hockey Association.
A volunteer coach for the Roger Williams University rugby program for six years, Cox brought his experience to Salve Regina in 2007 and restarted the club at his alma mater. Two years and thousands of volunteer hours later, he celebrated a best-ever fourth place finish nationally.
Now the head rugby coach for Providence College, Cox led the team to the national championships this season. He also helped the college develop an intramural ice hockey program. Cox’s personal rugby credits include playing for the Newport Men’s League and the Providence Men’s Club, and he continues to referee for U.S.A. Rugby at the high school level.
Karen Rajkumar Cooper ’88, ’91(M)
Nominated by Bonnie Troupe ’88
Cooper served as Salve Regina’s director of alumni activities in the 1990s before continuing her career in advancement at Bridgewater State College. In 1999, she became the director of the Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island, and in 2010 she joined ChildFund International as their first regional director for major and planned gifts in the New England region.
Now the director of principal gifts at Plan International USA, Cooper embraces its mission to end the cycle of poverty for children. Her efforts helped launch the global “Because I am a Girl” initiative in the United States and supported the creation of the first International Day of the Girl celebrated by the United Nations in 2012.
Locally, Cooper has consulted for Special Olympics Rhode Island and donates her time and expertise to the R.I. Multiple Sclerosis Society, a cause close to her family’s heart. Her professional associations include the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, where she serves as president and a member of the national board of directors.
Geraldine McLaughlin Osborne ’73
Nominated by Ochre Lodge alumni from the Class of 1973
For 39 years, Osborne has served as a special education teacher in Brockton, Mass. She is the senior leader in the city resource room at Ashfield Middle School, which serves a large population of newly arrived immigrant families. A Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MCAS-ALT trainer, Osborne has been a mentor for new special education teachers in the district.
Osborne is a member of Prom Angels, which provides a prom experience to disabled men and women in southeastern Massachusetts. As chair of the altruistic committee for Alpha Delta Kappa’s Mu chapter, she has steered initiatives such as clothing drives for women’s shelters, school supplies for homeless children, greeting cards for the elderly and warm socks for local emergency rooms.
An active member of the Cardinal Spellman High School alumni community, Osborne was awarded the St. Joseph Medallion for her fundraising efforts. A member of the Easton Democratic Town Committee, she has served on the scholarship committee and has donated many hours to local political campaigns.
Mary Ann Lafferty Della Valle ’63
Nominated by Maureen Dillon Hasson ’63
Della Valle held research assistant positions at Harvard Medical School and the Massachu-setts Institute of Technology before earning her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia. In 1974, she accepted a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and continued her post-doctoral studies in the Department of Genetics.
From 1988-2003, Della Valle was the director of the Laboratory for Biological Research in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and held nu¬merous faculty positions. She received the Lindback Award, the provost’s award for distinguished teaching and the Greek society’s distinguished professor award. Upon her retirement in 2010, the School of Nursing established a scholarship for nursing students in the pre-freshmen residential program that Della Valle helped to establish.
Della Valle is most proud of her work on behalf of college-bound students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Her devotion to her students went beyond the classroom, such as providing rides to Ikea for dorm room furnishings and treating them to home-cooked Italian meals by her husband Vincent.