B.A., Denison University, 1981
M.A., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1984
Citation awarded June, 2006
As a teenager, Kim Cromwell displayed, according to an award she won, “a joy in living and a keen sense of justice.” The award, she says, nurtured her courage and optimism.
As the principal of Cromwell Consulting, which she formed in 1999 after 16 years in corporate America, Kim shows her client companies the profound impact that diversity and people strategies can have on organizations. Working with Fortune 100 companies, government agencies and non-profits, Kim provides coaching, leadership development and human-resource strategies that accelerate organizational success.
A recognized authority on diversity, Kim is frequently called upon to speak about the impact diversity strategies can have on organizational productivity. Quoted in Fortune magazine, heard on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace,” Kim was a founding member of the business advisory council of the Human Rights Campaign—the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil-rights organization in the country. In 1991, then-mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, invited her to be a presenter at a ground-breaking conference, “Invisible Diversity: Gays and Lesbians in the Corporation.” Since then, she has presented on a range of current workforce issues at the FBI and many national conferences, and is a frequent speaker and facilitator around the country.
As an activist and loyal alum, Kim co-founded the Denison Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Alumni/ae Association in 1989. The group’s work has helped restore, maintain and strengthen Denison ties for gay alumni. Many of them are now giving back to the college by contributing financially, and by consulting with faculty, members of the administration, and students about syllabi, readings, library holdings, diversity training for staff, and issues in the classroom. Kim has lectured to current classes and recruited other GLBAA alums to do the same. In short, she is a model of what a liberal arts education can accomplish in the world as well as a model for Denison’s students of the value and promise of that education.
As a volunteer, Kim is a big believer in giving back. In addition to her work with HRC, she has had broad influence here at Denison, serving Admissions as a DARTer, Career Services as an advisor, Alumni Affairs and the Annual Fund as a reunion committee member, and the Alumni Council as member-at-large, vice president of careers, and president of both the Council and the Society of the Alumni.
We honor Kim Cromwell ’81 for her pioneering spirit, her determination to stand up and speak out, and for the legions of people, unknown to her personally, who have a better life because of her courage.