Stephens College President Dianne Lynch received a standing ovation yesterday after sharing the past and current state of the College with a crowd at the Boone County Museum and Galleries.
Lynch accepted Stephens’ induction into the Boone County Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes entities and individuals for their contributions to the community. During the recognition ceremony last night, she highlighted Stephens’ past but also reassured community members that Stephens is on solid financial ground and will continue to contribute to Boone County for centuries to come.
“If there is anything we know with certainty about Stephens College, it is that she has withstood the test of time,” Lynch said, noting that the college survived cultural and political unrest. “She has endured great wars, wrenching crisis and political reformation…She has teetered and recovered, expanded and retracted and always re-emerged.”
Lynch also highlighted the legacy of James Madison Wood—the longtime Stephens president who was responsible for growing the College between 1912 and 1947—and noted that Stephens has always been ahead of its time, whether implementing a radio station in the 1930s or an aviation program in the 1940s to teach young women to fly.
“If that’s not a metaphor for Stephens College, I don’t know what is,” Lynch said.
Founded in 1833, Stephens is the second oldest women's college in the country.
Other 2013 inductees into the Hall of Fame were longtime local journalist and volunteer Jane Duncan Flink, who also received a standing ovation, and Luella St. Clair, president emeritus of Christian Female College, the predecessor to Columbia College.
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