Distinguished Alumna

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The Katherine Delmar Burke School Distinguished Alumna Award is given each year to an alumna who embodies the values at the heart of the school’s mission to educate, encourage, and empower girls. The recipient exemplifies a life of learning, service to community, individuality, and the ability to make a difference in the world.

Distinguished Alumna: Eileen Gu ’17

Eileen Gu is an exceptional talent in the world of freestyle skiing and a trailblazer for aspiring athletes. With a dual American and Chinese heritage, she has bridged cultures and broken barriers through her performances on the slopes and beyond.

At the age of eight, Eileen Gu began skiing and quickly developed a passion for freestyle skiing. She rose to prominence on the international stage in the 2020-2021 season when she claimed her first World Cup victory in a halfpipe event in Calgary, Canada. Her meteoric success continued as she dominated the freestyle skiing circuit, accumulating several World Cup titles and a gold medal at the 2021 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships in Aspen, Colorado. Eileen's groundbreaking performances at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing solidified her status as a global sensation. She won three medals, including two golds in the halfpipe and big air events, and a silver in slopestyle, making her the first freestyle skier to achieve such a feat in a single Olympic Game.

Apart from her athletic achievements, Eileen is an outspoken advocate for cultural exchange and understanding. With a modeling career that has seen her grace the covers of prestigious magazines, she has become a symbol of diversity and breaking barriers. In addition to competing in freestyle events around the world and serving as a spokesperson for international brands, Eileen is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at Stanford University.

Distinguished Alumnae Award Recipients

Eileen Gu ’17 

Lisa McKnight ’82 
Shafia Zaloom '85
Blair Rosenblatt Shane '85
Ebony Frelix Beckwith '91
Mary Shen O'Carroll '90
Zoe Duskin '97

Robin Hauser '78e

Erica Howson Fortescue '89

Lareina Yee '87

Nancy Bibbero Cherney '70

Pauline Moffit Watts '66
Rachel Skiffer '88
Vendela Vida '85
Jean Afterman ’75
Ann Blumlein Lazarus ’67
Dr. Mary Maillard Piel ’73
Mary Lowrey Gregory ’71
Dr. Bella Shen Garnett ’89
Nancy Hellman Bechtle ’55
Heather Martinez Zona ’81
Elisa "Bambi" Escamilla Schwartz ’56 

Nominate a Distinguished Alumna

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2024 Distinguished Alumna. Nominations will close in mid-November 2023, and we look forward to announcing the recipient!
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.
Burke's admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.