Demiray receives Turck Global Citizen Award

Janet Collins Demiray of Stuart has received the Charles J. Turck Global Citizen Award from Macalester College. Demiray graduated from Macalester in 1966.
The Charles J. Turck Global Citizen Award honors the legacy of Charles J. Turck, president of Macalester College from 1939 to 1958. Lawyer, educator, social activist, internationalist, and churchman, President Turck championed internationalism throughout his tenure.
This award recognizes an alumnus/alumni who has advanced the internationalist spirit and lived up to the exhortation, “to be a worthy son or daughter of Macalester, you must listen to your hopes and not your fears.”
Demiray, known as Betsy during her high school and college years, credits Macalester with putting her on the road to her 35-year career with the Department of State. She served in Turkey, Kenya, the U.S.S.R, Poland, Romania, Zaire, Canada, Belarus, and Ukraine, as well as in Washington, D.C.
As part of the Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN), Demiray went to then-Yugoslavia, which further whetted her appetite for diplomacy. As part of the United States Information Agency (USIA), which later folded into the State Department, Demiray organized English-learning opportunities and cultural exchanges involving students, judges, lawyers and others. A key focus was supporting the development of independent media, particularly in Africa and countries of the former Soviet Union.
Serving in Moscow during the Cold War, Demiray and her late husband were followed wherever they traveled. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, there was a new openness and an immediate need for assistance in developing democratic, civil society. Demiray says she worked with many bright, idealistic, dedicated people in Belarus, and later Ukraine, in their move to independence.
emiray was Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, during the Orange Revolution, a series of citizen protests that overturned a fraudulent presidential election. She has frequently served as an official election observer in Ukraine since her retirement in 2005. At that time, she was presented with the Department of State’s Secretary’s Career Achievement Award.
Other acknowledgments of her accomplishments include the naming of the Janet C. Demiray English Teaching Resource Center in Kiev. Now at home in Virginia, Demiray chairs both the Blue Ridge Regional Library Board of Trustees and the Patrick County Democratic Committee.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,138 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

Janet Collins Demiray
Janet Collins Demiray

more recommended stories