Stephens College president receives education award

Thursday, April 16, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 10:01 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 16, 2009

COLUMBIA – Wendy Libby, the outgoing president of Stephens College, has received an award that identifies her as a distinguished leader in the academic community.

She was named the 2009 Outstanding Higher Education Professional by the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education Alumni Society.

Libby, who earned a doctorate in education administration from Neag in 1994, will receive the award at the school’s annual alumni awards dinner May 16.

Libby’s award is based on her scholarship, teaching and administrative contributions to higher education, according to a news release.

Described as an innovator and a progressive change agent, Libby is credited with refocusing and refining the mission of Stephens and re-tailoring academic programs to better meet the needs of female students.

“Dr. Libby united the campus, alumnae and community in a major institutional turnaround, launching a strategic planning initiative in Fall 2003 (The Renaissance Plan) to restructure the academic program, grow enrollment and gifts, restore deteriorated facilities and secure financial stability,” said Sarah Berghorn, communications coordinator at Stephens.

Some of Libby’s other accomplishments include introducing Stephens’ nationally recognized pet floor program in two residence halls and creating new majors, such as theatrical costume design and a digital filmmaking major.

Mark Shibles, a University of Connecticut professor, said in a nomination letter that Libby’s “work has been characterized by the ability to diagnose institutional and leadership issues, interpret problems from a variety of constituent groups, define problems and develop workable solutions that increase effectiveness.”

Libby has been recognized several times for her leadership. Most recently she received the Athena Award from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network in 2007 for her support of women in realizing their full leadership potential and for contributing to the quality of life in the community.

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