The annual ATHENA Leadership Awards program hosted by Austin College for the last six years has been postponed indefinitely for 2020. The awards process to honor women leaders working and living in Grayson, Fannin, or Cooke counties has been halted by adherence to steps to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.
The awards were scheduled to be presented during an April 24 luncheon on campus. Event organizer Cary Wacker, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement, said Austin College leadership is considering options to potentially reschedule the event once normal activities resume on campus and in North Texas. “We look forward to celebrating area women who have attained and embody a level of excellence in their profession and who dedicate themselves to empowering women to reach their potential,” Wacker said.
Austin College began presenting the annual ATHENA Leadership Award and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award in 2014. The ATHENA Award had previously been presented regularly by the Sherman Chamber of Commerce but the award program had not been active for several years.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. Related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA), Austin College cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. The College, founded in 1849, is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.