When Cynthia Hunter Lang graduated from Marlborough in 1979, she never expected that she would be returning years later as the Woman of the Year. Hunter Lang, the award’s youngest recipient, has been successful in several fields, such as fundraising, sustainable hotel management, and social entrepreneurship.
“I was completely shocked. I was truly touched to arrive back on campus and to have all of this attention given to me. It was really special,” Hunter Lang said.
Today, Hunter Lang is very involved with social entrepreneurship, which she became interested in while working towards her M.B.A. at Stanford University. She currently serves as the Brazilian Initiatives Leader of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Ashoka, an organization that brings together the top entrepreneurs in each of its chapters’ regions as well as hosts promising entrepreneurs from around the world. Hunter Lang is also a founding member of the Urban Innovation Exchange of Rio de Janeiro, which focuses on the sustainable development of Rio de Janeiro, where Hunter-Lang lives for four months out of the year.
The Woman of the Year award has been given out every year since 1974 to an alumna who is, “usually someone who is not only involved with Marlborough but is involved in other aspects, whether it is time or philanthropy and gives back to their community whether with time, talent, or treasure,” Associate Director of Alumnae Relations Lauren Fritzinger ’87 said. Alumnae are able to nominate candidates for the award, and the recipient is then chosen by Marlborough’s Alumnae Council.
“I think that Cindy is fantastic. She’s stayed very involved in the Marlborough community and is a great role model for current students,” Fritzinger said.
During her four years at Marlborough, Hunter Lang discovered her passion for learning foreign languages while taking Mireille Mancinelli’s French classes. She went on to major in French at Stanford University. Her love for languages inspired her to learn Portuguese as well, which opened up many opportunities for her when she became interested in working in Brazil.
Hunter Lang said that Marlborough’s outdoor education trips to places such as Yosemite fueled her love for the environment.
“I had always gone on outdoorsy trips with my family, but when I was with Marlborough and went with my friends, it was an experience that really helped me understand [my] place in the world,” Hunter Lang said.
Hunter Lang’s passion for the environment and sustainability has continued throughout her life. From 1988 to 2009, Hunter Lang and her ex-husband were the owners of The Lodge at Sun Ranch, an award winning eco-tourism guest lodge in Cameron, Montana, which allowed her to learn about different ways to support sustainability including preserving the Big Sky Valley’s native vegetation and wildlife. After selling the ranch, Hunter Lang returned to Stanford to get her M.B.A in sustainable management and is now involved with a vast array of environmental causes and now serves on the Board of Sustainable Conservation, a California based nonprofit headed by fellow Marlborough Alumna, Ashley Boren ‘79.
Hunter-Lang credits Marlborough with helping to give her skills that have enabled her to be successful in the many fields that she has worked in.
“I think that [Marlborough influences you] in a way that you don’t understand in the moment and can’t really quantify. The level of confidence you have really just becomes a part of your being,” Hunter Lang said.
Being open to different possibilities is another factor that Hunter Lang credits for her success in so many fields.
“I think that’s been the most interesting for me career-wise: I’ve always been really open to new things…I do what I do because I love it, and I think that being open to new experiences has enabled me to do a lot of exciting things,” Hunter Lang said.