News Archive

Alumnae Association names Achievement Award winners

6/24/2004 12:18:39 AM


LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Randolph-Macon Woman's College Alumnae Association named Martha Moore Sykes '47, Barbara Boyle Lemon '57, and Karen Thoreson Schlesinger '63 as winners of this year's Alumnae Achievement Awards. Alumnae Director Connie Shannon '75 and College President Kathleen Gill Bowman made the announcement during the College's Alumnae Reunion weekend held in early June.

Sykes was honored, in part, for her long and successful career in business. She served seven years as senior vice president for marketing communications at AmSouth Bank, a position from which she retired in 1991. Prior to that, she was executive vice president and partner in her own public relations firm, McDavid/Sykes Associate. She is also a former senior vice president and general manager of Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations Worldwide, a member of American Women in Radio and Television, and a former president and member of the Board of Women Executives in Public Relations. She is a winner of the Public Relations Society of America's highest honor, the much-coveted Silver Anvil Award.

She co-founded and performed in an off-Broadway company, Punch Opera, at the Cherry Lane Theatre and was instrumental in the founding of the New York City Opera Guild and served as the first president of that organization. In addition, she is a former member and current honorary member of the New York City Opera Board of Directors.

Currently a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, Martha was named one of that city's Top Ten Business Women in 1991. She is the founding chairman of the Birmingham Broadway Series, as well as the past president of the Birmingham Music Club, and past chairman of the Birmingham Festival of the Arts.

Barbara Boyle Lemon's contributions to the College, and her hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, have been notable. Elected to the Board of Trustees of the College in 1984, she served as chair of the Board's Development Committee, as well as chair of division and area campaigns for the College's capital campaign in the early 1980s and co-chair of the College's ambitious and successful Centennial Campaign in the early 1990s. She currently holds the title of trustee emerita. In her beloved city of Roanoke, she has served as president of the Shedd School Foundation; president of the Specific Reading and Learning Difficulties Association; president of the Junior League (of which she is a sustaining member); conservation chairman of the Roanoke Valley Garden Clubs; member of the Conservation Council of the Garden Club of Virginia; member of the Board of the Corporation for Jefferson's Poplar Forest; member of the Board of the Roanoke Valley History Museum and of the Roanoke Valley Historical Society, having served two terms as the president of that organization.

Schlesinger was honored for her dedication to bettering the lives of families with special needs children. Resources for Children With Special Needs, Inc., the organization that Karen co-founded more than two decades ago and continues to serve as executive director, is the clear and indisputable product of her passion for this often under-served population. Since 1983, the organization has provided information, referral, advocacy, training and support for parents of New York City children with disabilities and their families. In its first year, RCSN served 129 parents. Today, the program has grown to serve more than 8000 children each year. Such growth is testimony to both the need for such services, and the extraordinary commitment of the director.

Founded in 1891, Randolph--Macon Woman's College is a highly selective undergraduate liberal arts college of 780 women with a distinguished history of establishing global connections through international education. The College is a member of the International 50, a group of national liberal arts colleges recognized for their internationally oriented programs and has been recognized by U. S

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations