1896, MARY RUTNAM left the country of her birth to serve a people of a different race,
creed and custom. Since then, she has for 62 years applied her heart, her mind and her
medical knowledge with insight and understanding to the problems of the Ceylonese people,
whom she has made her own.
From her inspiration and leadership, volunteer and government-supported social services in
many fields have grown and been sustained. Perhaps her greatest contribution has been the
introduction into Ceylon of women's institutes, known as the Lanka Mahila Samiti, that
have done much to alter the status of village women.
Dr. RUTNAM has labored particularly to enhance the self-respect of the less fortunate by
showing them practical ways to improve their lot. At the same time, she has helped the
more fortunate to recognize that it is their social responsibility and, indeed, their
privilege to help their fellowmen.
Her life and activities have been characterized by a spirit of service kindred to that of
our late President. He, like her, cared for all people and believed in their dignity and
In electing MARY H. RUTNAM to receive the first Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service,
the board of trustees recognizes her gift of service to the Ceylonese people and the
example she has set by her full life of dedication as a private citizen to the needs of