Women & Philanthropy 10th Anniversary Kickoff

The 160 Women & Philanthropy members and guests who attended the 10th Anniversary Kickoff at Paradise Valley Country Club enjoyed a morning of reflection on the past and inspiration for the future.


“Women & Philanthropy has become a model for women who want to learn, to be connected together and to the community, and who want to have an impact that is greater than themselves. We do this by pooling our resources, sharing our ideas and working together. That is the key to our success,” said Sybil Francis, co-chair of the organization.


Marel Brady and Deb Carstens


The day commemorated the faith and vision of the organization’s founding members — 39 of whom are still investors today. Francis thanked and honored the 24 who were in attendance, and noted that each woman received a plaque recognizing her founding role.


She reminded attendees that this anniversary coincides with her and President Crow’s arrival at Arizona State University and recounted how she immediately found a home with a small group of women committed to making the university a better place than they found it. Now, 10 years later, Women & Philanthropy has become a model for women who want to leverage individual action into collective action.


Julie Wrigley, a founding member, was introduced as the new honorary co-chair of Women & Philanthropy. She was recognized as a significant benefactor of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and School of Sustainability.


Co-chair Cindy Watts said an important highlight of the event was the idea that it takes each member to make Women & Philanthropy a success. She encouraged members to honor the 10th anniversary by investing beyond their annual commitment to establish a $100,000 Women & Philanthropy New American University Scholarship Endowment. The endowment will ensure that members create an enduring legacy at ASU, one that will nurture excellence and access in perpetuity.


Stephanie Hertzberg and Martha Abbott with scholarship recipients Shantel Price and Regina Duran


Members and guests had a chance to hear firsthand how scholarships change lives. Scholarship recipients Shantel Price and Regina Duran brought many to tears when they told their personal stories. Each woman explained how scholarships represent much more than money, they symbolize peoples’ faith in her ability to succeed.


Another powerful moment was when ASU President Michael M. Crow reminded everyone of ASU’s singular objective: to produce people who are capable of learning anything. By doing this, the university’s graduates have a greater probability of adapting to life’s challenges.


Finally, ASU Foundation CEO Rick Shangraw thanked investors guests, founders, leaders and students who make Women & Philanthropy such an important part of advancing President Crow’s vision of ASU as a New American University. He encouraged everyone to find ways to engage at ASU. Women & Philanthropy, he said, will help you to explore your philanthropic passions and make the most of your investment. 


At top: Founding member Julie Wrigley is the new honorary co-chair of Women & Philanthropy.



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