Alum Awards Honor Distinguished Service and Achievements

April 21, 2015

The annual alumni awards presentation during Reunion Weekend followed Mary Baldwin University President Pamela Fox’s remarks about the momentum and future plans of the college on Saturday morning. Alumni gathered to congratulate four award recipients.

Emily Smith Medallion
Named in honor of distinguished Mary Baldwin alumna Emily McKelden Smith, this award was created by the Mary Baldwin Board of Trustees to recognize alumnae/i who have made outstanding contributions to the college, their churches, communities, and beyond.

sally bingleySara Armstrong “Sally” Bingley ’60 was a dedicated and engaged student while at Mary Baldwin University, earning the Laurel Society Service Award her senior year. She graduated with a degree in history, and immediately began serving as a class leader, working to keep her classmates connected to the college and to each other. She became a well-known leader for the Richmond Alumnae Chapter, planning many festivities such as the Tulips & Juleps celebration in 1992. She worked for Aetna Life and Casualty Company for 30 years, serving as group medical claims supervisor, senior underwriter, and then account executive until her retirement. Outside of work, Bingley maintained a steadfast commitment to Mary Baldwin, as well as many other civic affiliations. She served on the Mary Baldwin University Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors from 1988 until 1996, filling various roles, from president to secretary. She also served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1996, and again from 1998 until 2012. In addition to her service, she has been a loyal and generous donor to the college, supporting the Baldwin Fund and many other fundraising initiatives through the years. She and her husband Charles established the C. Perry Nair, Jr. Endowed Fund for Study Abroad in honor of her grandfather in 2008. A passionate gardener, Bingley has volunteered for the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for more than 20 years. She currently volunteers in the gift shop and has served as the assistant shop manager. She received the Lewis Ginter Volunteer Leadership Award in 1999 and the Lewis Ginter Service Award in 2000. She has also served her church, and has held board memberships in civic associations, woman’s clubs, and the United States Postal Service Customer Advisory Council. Mary Baldwin also recognized Sally with the Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award at Reunion in 1998 for her distinguished service and leadership on behalf of the college.

Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award
Artist and former Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors President Emily Wirsing Kelly ’63 passed away in 1985. Her husband, Timothy Kelly, established a leadership award and a student scholarship in her memory through the Kelly Foundation. The Emily Wirsing Kelly Leadership Award recognizes alumnae/i who have demonstrated outstanding service and excellence in leadership on behalf of Mary Baldwin University.

Outstanding Alum Awardees, April 2015, Mary Baldwin UniversityKnown for her vivacious personality, Elizabeth Jennings “Liz” Shupe ’70 has a zest for life that many covet but few attain. Her wit, sense of humor, and warmth have endeared her to many, and her strong leadership and dedication have been a constant asset to Mary Baldwin University. Shupe graduated with a degree in psychology before heading to Pennsylvania and then to Vietnam through the American Red Cross to provide rehabilitation and drug detoxification counseling in military hospitals. Two years later, she returned to Mary Baldwin as the assistant dean of students. She earned her master of education in counseling and human services from the University of Virginia in 1975. She spent 36 years in higher education, serving as a career counselor; guidance counselor; director and manager of alumnae/i, parent, faculty and staff relations; and program coordinator at institutions in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kansas. Shupe’s 11 years of service on the Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors, regular Reunion participation, and continued contact with many of her former professors kept her connected with the college even though she was not always nearby. She also served as the director of alumnae/i and parent relations at Mary Baldwin University for two years. Shupe made time for civic activities, such as directing children’s ministries at her church and serving on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross. She is most thankful for the relationships she’s built with friends, family, and former colleagues and students.

Service to Community of Faith Award

Outstanding Alum Awardees, April 2015, Mary Baldwin UniversityCharlotte Tyson Mewborn ’65 has gone above and beyond to serve not only her church, but to promote Christian values in her community through her own civic engagement. Mewborn participated in many activities and clubs while at Mary Baldwin University, including the choir, the Westminster Fellowship, and serving as headline editor for the college newspaper Campus Comments. She earned her degree in English and then went on to become the assistant personnel director at Richmond Memorial Hospital. She also worked as a social worker, and then a teacher’s assistant before retiring in 2000. Mewborn is a member of the Farmville Community Arts Council, Friends of the May Museum, and Friends of the Farmville Public Library. She also volunteered as a Girl Scout Leader and a Cub Scout Leader. Charlotte has been a member of Farmville Presbyterian Church since 1968. Always eager to lend a helping hand and to offer guidance and support, Charlotte has served her spiritual community through a variety of roles, including deacon, elder, and clerk of session. She is a Sunday school teacher; a member of the chancel choir; and a member of the Presbyterian Women group for which she has served as moderator, chair of the Spiritual Nurture and Creative Ministries Committees, and bible moderator for Circle 4. She also edited the church newsletter for 30 years. When she’s not involved in church activities, Mewborn volunteers for the Farmville Community Soup Kitchen and Meals on Wheels.

Career Achievement Award

Outstanding Alum Awardees, April 2015, Mary Baldwin UniversityJulie Mays Cannell ’70 definitely isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. Her work ethic and dedication are admirable and have earned her a reputation that allowed her to build her own successful consulting company, J.M. Cannell, Inc. At Mary Baldwin, Cannell earned her degree in English, and shortly afterward went on to earn a master of librarianship from Emory University, and then a master of business administration from Columbia University. She was a reference librarian and instructor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs for five years before switching gears and becoming a security analyst and portfolio manager at Lord Abbett & Company, a role she filled for 20 years. Her vigorous time on Wall Street prepared her well for her next big career move of starting her own consulting practice. Today, Cannell serves the electric utility industry, advising on investor-related issues and is often called on for her expertise during regulatory proceedings. She is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts; CFA Institute, where she maintains a Certified Financial Analyst designation; the Wall Street Utility Group; and she’s a partner in CFSD Group, LLC, advising electric utilities on financing with regional and local banks. She built her company from the ground up while striking the right work-life balance for her and raising three sons who couldn’t make her prouder.