Vassar College president and Yale alumna Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Bradley, PhD '96, has been awarded a 2023 Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal for her leading scholarship in public health and her unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of local and global communities.
The Wilbur Cross Medal is the highest honor that the Yale Graduate School bestows on its alumni. Named in honor of former Graduate School Dean and Governor of Connecticut Wilbur Lucius Cross, the award was established in 1966 to honor alumni of Yale Graduate School for outstanding achievements. Recipients of the medal return to campus to receive the award and spend time with their departments.
Prior to becoming the 11th president of Vassar College, Bradley was a professor of public health and faculty director of Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute, the Brady-Johnson Professor in the Grand Strategy program, and head of Branford College. She was a member of the Yale faculty for 20 years.
Yale President Peter Salovey described Bradley as a “visionary researcher, beloved teacher, wise mentor, trusted leader, and invaluable colleague.” About the award, Bradley said, “No honor could mean more to me than the Wilbur Cross medal, which has been awarded to so many distinguished scholars over the years by a university for which I deeply care.”
Bradley is renowned internationally for her work on the quality of hospital care and large-scale health system strengthening efforts within the U.S. and abroad including in China, India, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Rwanda, and the United Kingdom. In addition, she has been instrumental in founding the Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts and a collaboration on global liberal arts with institutions in Rwanda, India, and Scotland; both aim to leverage higher education to creatively address some of the most pressing and divisive global issues of our time.
She is a 2018 recipient of the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research, the highest distinction that researchers in the health services field can achieve. Bradley was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2017.
Bradley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in economics magna cum laude, earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in health policy and health economics from Yale in 1996.