Nov 1, 2011    #184
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green

Mary Kay McPhee is the 2011 ATHENA Award Recipient

Longtime volunteer and donor of UMKC honored by The Chamber

Kansas City, Mo. Mary Kay McPhee, a longtime volunteer and donor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), is the 2011 ATHENA Award recipient. She will be honored at the ATHENA Awards reception on Tuesday Nov. 1.

"It has been my great privilege to have worked with Mary Kay and to have seen firsthand the impact of her tireless volunteer efforts on our campus and most certainly on the students who have benefited from her leadership and service," said Curt Crespino, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement. "She is the consummate volunteer and a great source of inspiration to me and all those who shared in - and observed - her efforts. This award is well deserved."

McPhee is recognized as one of Kansas City's most dedicated and cherished volunteer leaders. Her model for building grassroots support has proven successful in organizations throughout the metro area, including the Kansas City Free Health Clinic and the Greater Kansas City AIDS Council.

McPhee recognizes the importance and impact an urban university has on the surrounding community. Her understanding of the issues facing students, particularly women and minority students, contributed to many programs at UMKC, including the Women's Council-Graduate Assistance Fund, the STARR Education Endowment, the Herman Johnson African American Scholarship, the Women and Gender Studies department and the UMKC Women's Collaborative. In addition, McPhee and her husband Bill Pfeiffer donated paintings and art reference books to the Miller Nichols Library in honor of Pfeiffer's late wife Corky Pfeiffer.

"I am humbled by this recognition particularly given the company of women who have received it before me," said McPhee. "I want to thank The Chamber and all involved for supporting the development and mentorship of women."

Also honored at the ATHENA Awards will be Mary Bosco, who will receive the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. This is only the second time that The Chamber will recognize a young professional with this award.

The ATHENA Award is named for Athena, the Greek goddess of intelligence and wisdom, arts and sciences. The award honors a person "who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence, evoted time and energy to the community, and, especially, opened the doors of leadership opportunity to women." The award was first presented by The Chamber of Commerce in 2001.

About UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.


This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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