Girls Preparatory School honored recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award, the Margaret Rawlings Lupton Award of Excellence, and a new inductee into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday as Alumnae Weekend festivities got under way. In accepting the awards, one honoree described GPS as a place that "helped us find our voice and lead others." Another said, "It's has never been lost on me what an opportunity I was given to attend GPS."
At Friday’s luncheon, Nini D. Davenport and Lizzer Bright Graham, both members of the Class of 1977, received the Distinguished Alumna Award honoring them for professional achievement; service in home, church, and community; and commitment to GPS. Ms. Davenport is the current chair of the GPS Board of Trustees. She and Ms. Graham were on the Head Search Committee, Ms. Graham as chair, which hired Autumn Graves to be the next GPS head of school.
Honored with the Linda Standefer Chapin Governance Award in September 2013 in honor of her Board leadership, Ms. Davenport co-chaired several of her class reunions and served on the Alumnae Council. She co-chaired the GPS fundraiser VISIONS and the GPS campaign, Pursuing Greatness: The Second Hundred Years. In the Chattanooga community, she has served on the boards of ArtsBuild, the Hunter Museum, and Little Miss Mag Child Care Center.
Ms. Graham served on the 2006-07 Strategic Planning Committee, was instrumental in the development and implementation of the IMPACT Program to prepare girls for life beyond academics, and was president of the GPS Alumnae Council. She has co-chaired VISIONS and the GPS Alumnae Council and served for many years on the Board of Chambliss Center for Children. She is the owner of a jewelry design business.
Julie Betts Brandao and Holly Lynch Harwell, members of the Class of 1984, received the Margaret Rawlings Lupton Award of Excellence for having made a “significant impact in their communities in professional and/or voluntary activities.”
Ms. Brandao is vice president of Personal Lines Sales and a partner with BB & T Huffaker Trimble Insurance. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Bright School and is a member of the Calsted Foundation Board and the Downtown Chattanooga Rotary. She has served on the boards of the American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis, and Insurors of Chattanooga and was selected as one of the 2013 Chattanooga Women of Distinction.
Ms. Harwell, a member of the GPS Board of Trustees, has held her real estate license for 11 years and is currently affiliated with Real Estate Partners. She is currently board chair for the Memorial Hospital Foundation, board member of Choose Chattanooga, and a member of the Downtown Rotary Club. A graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, she was also selected as one of the 2013 Chattanooga Women of Distinction.
Lindsey Ward Erickson ’94 was inducted into the Girls Preparatory School Athletic Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements and contributions in swimming. At GPS, Ms. Erickson was a 17-time All American, a five-time individual state champion, and was the 1994 USA Today Tennessee High School Swimmer of the Year. At the University of Illinois, she set records in all five relays and was academic All-Big Ten for three years. Her GPS time in the 50-yard freestyle remains the longest standing school record.
Alumnae Weekend continued on Friday night with an All-Alumnae party at the Founders House, a brunch and special program on Saturday that ended with a winding of the May Pole, and individual class parties on Saturday night for reunion classes that end in '4' or '9'.