Anne Devenney (1921-2000) was a founder, president emeritus and a pioneering leader of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, which started in the mid-1970's. An umbrella organization for nine community groups, the coalition champions home ownership, tenant-controlled housing, street safety and local investment. The award is named in honor of Ms. Devenney's tireless efforts in the local Bronx community.
The Anne Devenney Memorial Award in Urban Studies is presented to the graduating senior who best combines scholarship in urban studies with community service and community involvement during Encaenia, or Commemoration. Emerging from a tradition both biblical and Medieval, solemn and light, Encaenia is the evening on which the college honors the graduating class with awards and prizes.