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OCU Societies to Honor Four at Awards of Excellence

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Societies of Oklahoma City University will honor four distinguished women of Oklahoma City during its annual Awards of Excellence dinner Feb. 27 at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club.

Honorees are Anne Kraft Gray, Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award; Marion Paden, Dulaney-Browne Library Society Award; Linda Whittington, Kirkpatrick-Petree Opera and Music Theatre Society Award; and Jenee Naifeh Lister, Oklahoma City University Distinguished Philanthropist Award.

Annie Bohanon and Jane Thompson are chairing this year’s Awards of Excellence and Cathy Leichter is the organization’s president. The Societies of Oklahoma City University focuses on recognizing women for outstanding volunteer service in Oklahoma City and providing scholarships for OCU students.

After retiring from her business career as a national certified school psychologist for more than 20 years, Gray continues to give back to the local community as a member of the boards of directors for Integris Mental Health and the Payne Education Center. She also is an advocate for the arts in Oklahoma City with leadership roles in the Orchestra League, Red Earth festival, Oklahoma Art League and Allied Arts. She is the communications chair for the YWCA capital campaign and serves on the board of Girl Scouts – Western Oklahoma.

Paden is the vice president for enrollment and student services at Oklahoma City Community College. With significant roles in more than 20 non-profit organizations, Paden serves in leadership positions for Christmas Connection, American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, Salvation Army, OU Breast Institute and the Cultural Development Corporation.

Whittington is the manager of Corner Energy LLC and is active in energy business organizations. She is an advocate for strong community leadership and an ordained elder of First Presbyterian Church of Edmond. She serves on the boards of directors for the Children’s Center and Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma. She is a founding member of the Juliette Low Leadership Society and serves on the boards of the Myriad Gardens Foundation, Civic Center foundation and Youth Leadership Exchange.

Lister is a wealth management advisor who uses her expertise and leadership skills for the benefit of various nonprofits. She serves on the boards for Casady School, St. Anthony Hospital Foundation, St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma State University Foundation Board of Governors and Oklahoma Children’s Theatre. She is co-chair of the Saints Vision Campaign for St. Anthony Hospital.