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February 27, 2001


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DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's 36th Annual Women's Symposium honored five Dallas-area women for their contributions to improving opportunities for women and girls through their community service with the Profiles In Leadership Award on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Honorees are community activists Adlene Harrison, the Rev. Sheron Patterson, Tegwin Pulley, Delia Reyes and Virginia Whitehill.

Adlene Harrison has been an active leader in the Dallas community, striving to better the City of Dallas and women across the country since the 1970s. Harrison served on the Dallas City Council as mayor pro tem from 1973 to 1977. In 1976 she became the first woman mayor of Dallas when Wes Wise resigned to run for Congress. She worked as a regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1977 to 1981. In addition, Harrison served as chair of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board from 1981 to 1986.

She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Women's Museum and for the Women's Center of Dallas. In addition, she serves as a board member of the Dallas Jewish Coalition. Harrison also works on the City of Dallas Human Services Commission. Her past civic involvement has included serving as a board member of the Tejas Girl Scout Council Inc., Metropolitan YWCA, Dallas Arboretum and Friends of Fair Park.

Harrison has been awarded numerous honors for her civic service including the Environmental Excellence Award, Women's Council of Dallas Distinguished Service Award and the Women Who Shape the News in the City of Dallas Award. For furthering the goals of the EPA Affirmative Action program, she received a Special Honor Award in 1980.

The Rev. Sheron Covington Patterson has worked to better the lives of women and girls by helping them find their potential, value and talents through her teaching, preaching and by her example.

A role model for African-American women entering the ministry, Patterson is the first African-American woman ordained as a pastor, a deacon and an elder in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She also is the first African-American woman to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree from SMU's Perkins School of Theology.

Patterson is the founder of Partners for Success, a program that helps women exiting welfare to transition successfully by matching them with professional women who become a friend and mentor. After turning the program over to the Women's Center of Dallas more than 10 years ago, the success of the program has continued.

She can be heard Sundays on her radio show on KRNB 105.7 FM. She also has written numerous books: The Single Women's 10 Step Guide to Power, 365 Mediations for Mothers of Children and New Faith--Women, Belief and God.

Patterson currently is senior pastor at Jubilee United Methodist Church in Duncanville, a church that she developed after the urging of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Tegwin Pulley left the classroom as a junior high math teacher in 1966 for a job at Texas Instruments, where she is now vice president and manager of TI Sourcing, Diversity and Global Assignments.

Her work has extended beyond TI and into the community, where Pulley is a civic leader and advocate for women's rights. She serves on the National Athena Foundation Board, Texas Woman's University Foundation Board, the Women's Center of Dallas Honorary Advisory Board, the YWCA Women's Resource Center Advisory Board, the LIFT (Literacy) Advisory Board and the Media Projects Board. In addition, Pulley is past president of Dallas County National Organization for Women, the Women's Issues Network, the Women's Center of Dallas and the Leadership Texas Alumnae Association.

Her high level of civic service has earned her numerous awards: the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce's Athena Award for career achievements and community leadership, the Women Helping Women Award from the Women's Center of Dallas and the Women of Excellence Award presented by Women's Enterprise magazine and the YWCA. She also received Leadership Texas recognition for her work as founding member of Options: The Math Science Project for Women and Girls.

Pulley, who earned her MBA from Southern Methodist University, advises young women to be responsible for their own careers, but to seek guidance from others.

Delia Reyes, the only women to serve as chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Reyes Consulting Inc., an Addison-based strategic marketing and public relations firm, and as CEO of Adrian Reyes Strategies, a subsidiary of Reyes Consulting Inc.

She also serves as director of the Texas Utilities Advisory Board for Dallas. She has consulted with several community and public service organizations such as Parkland Hospital, Head Start and Univision Spanish television station.

Her civic service extends to state and national levels. In 1992, former President George H.W. Bush appointed Reyes to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission. In 1995, former Governor George W. Bush appointed her director of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. She currently serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Regents for Texas Woman's University. She works closely with the Infant Center for unwed mothers at Sunset High School in Dallas and also has served on the board of directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas.

Reyes has received numerous awards throughout her community service including the Hispanic Achievement Award for Leadership by Hispanic Magazine, the Women of Excellence Award by Women's Enterprise magazine and the Dallas Mother of the Year Award from Dallas Can! Academy.

Reyes graduated from the Havana Business College in Cuba in 1961 as a certified public accountant. A year later, she relocated to the United States with her family from Cuba. She married Adrian Reyes in 1965 and has a son, Victor.

Civic activist Virginia Whitehill is a champion of women's rights, having given oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court during the historic Roe v. Wade court case that legalized abortion. She has continued to fight for the rights of women for the past three decades.

She is a co-founder of the Dallas Women's Coalition, Women's Issues Network, Dallas Women's Foundation, The Family Place (Dallas' first shelter for battered women), Women's Southwest Federal Credit Union, Dallas Women's Political Caucus, Veteran Feminist of America (Dallas) and the Women's Equality Action League. She continues to promote women's issues and is a supporter of the Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future.

Whitehill has been honored with such awards as Planned Parenthood's Champion of Choice Award, the Women's Council of Dallas County Distinguished Service Award and the Women Helping Women Maura Award of the Women's Center of Dallas. She was named a Mount Holyoke College Distinguished Alumna and was awarded the Myrtle Bulkley Award for Outstanding Service from the League of Women Voters of Dallas and the Texas Women of Courage Award from the Association of Women Journalists.

A native of New York, Whitehill graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor's degree in history. She moved to Dallas in 1960 with her late husband, James. She is the mother of two daughters and is a grandmother.

Last year's recipients of the SMU Women's Symposium Profiles in Leadership Award were the members of the 1966 committee that initiated the Women's Symposium. They included Ruth Altshuler, Vivian Castleberry, Billie Frauman, Jo Fay Godbey, Margaret McDermott, Louise Raggio, Elizabeth Rucker and Ruth Tatum.