|Friend of Wooster Square|
An annual program to honor our heroes
|Our 2019 Award Recipient: Elsie Blackshear Chapman|
When Elsie Blackshear Chapman moved to New Haven in 2003,
after 30-plus years with IBM, she “absolutely fell in love with this city, its culture, its diversity, and its architecture, and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.” She soon became a development officer for the Yale Alumni Fund; in early 2007, she left Yale to spend more time pursuing her broad range of volunteer interests.
Over the years, Elsie has served on many boards. She is past president of both the New Haven Free Public Library Board of Directors and the Historic Wooster Square Association. Currently, she is president of the New Haven Free Public Library Foundation Board of Directors, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and a board member of the New Haven Preservation Trust. She serves on the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism. She also is a member of the New Haven Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an international corporation of nearly 15,000 professional
women of color and one of the nation’s oldest volunteer service organizations.
Elsie’s impressive contributions to New Haven were recognized in 2016 when Yale University President Peter Salovey and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp presented her with the Yale University Seton Elm-Ivy Award for her many years of civic service. She also received the 2017 Junior Achievement of Southern New England’s “Spirit of Hope Award” and in 2018 was inducted into the Gateway Community College Foundation’s Hall of Fame for her contributions to the Gateway Executive Mentoring (GEM) program.
A tireless volunteer, Elsie’s breadth of volunteerism, enthusiasm, and spirit to take on leadership roles expresses her dedication to new Haven and to making her community a better place.updated 4/29/19
The 2018 recipients:
William G. Iovanne Wooster Square native William G. Iovanne (Bill Jr.) is president of Iovanne Funeral Home, celebrating its 90th year in business. Bill succeeded his father as head of this venerable Wooster Square institution that he joined in 1980. The two were Grand Marshals of the 2012 Columbus Day Parade, held in New Haven and concluding here in Wooster Square Park. Bill continues the family traditions and the devotion to neighborhood. And he serves as Master of Ceremonies for the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Marianne Mazan Marianne Mazan’s and her late husband Richard were fixtures in New Haven and in the Wooster Square community. Marianne was at Richard’s side when he was on the Historic District Commission, helping make Wooster Square New Haven’s first Historic District in 1970. She also worked with him as part of the group responsible for planting the Yoshino cherry trees around the Park. In the late 80s Marianne served on the committee responsible for getting the lights and iron benches installed in the Park.
|Previous Friend of Wooster Square Award Recipients|
• David Moser, Landscape Architect, City of New Haven
• New Haven Fire Department • Engine #4 & Truck #1
• I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing
Corridor Improvement Program * Q Bridge
• Peter Webster * Co-Chair, Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival
2016 • Christy Hass
2015 • Luisa DeLauro, former Ward 8 Alder, New Haven’s longest serving Alder
2014 • Theresa Argento & William Iovanne, Sr.
2013 • Beverly Carbonella
2012 • Alex Bragg, Bill Buick & Peter Thompson
2011 • Officer Peter Krause, New Haven Police