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May 4, 2001


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DALLAS (SMU) -- Two Southern Methodist University employees were among those recently honored at the 24th annual Women Helping Women Awards dinner in the Women's Museum at Fair Park.

David Farmer, director of SMU's DeGolyer Library, and Marion G. Sobol, the only female full professor at SMU's Cox School of Business, were awarded the Maura Award from the Women's Center of Dallas for their efforts to further the issues of women.

The Maura Award is named for Women's Center of Dallas founder Maura Anderson McNiel, whose lifelong commitment to mentoring women and finding solutions to women's problems has helped the Women's Center of Dallas to bridge differences among women of all ages and stages of development.

Farmer, only the sixth man ever to receive the award, was selected for his efforts to preserve women's history with the creation of SMU's Archives of Women of the Southwest. The collection includes diaries, correspondence, lectures and files documenting the roles of women in business, law, medicine, government, education and homemaking. Recent acquisitions include the papers of real estate magnate Ebby Halliday, family law attorney Louise Raggio and journalist Lee Cullum, as well as the records of the Dallas Women's Foundation, the Dallas Summit, the Women's Council of Dallas and the Women's Issues Network.

In addition, he has participated and served on the program planning committee of SMU's Women's Symposium, the longest continuously running women's symposium in the world, to preserve the roots and history of the struggles for women's rights through curating exhibits.

Sobol, who mentors young women professors at SMU, has been a role model for more than 3,000 women, encouraging them to follow their dreams. More than 20 years ago, she started the Women in Management Group for women MBA candidates to help address issues like financial planning, breaking the glass ceiling and finding a mentor.

She has contributed to research on women's participation in the labor force and has published on issues of mothers in the workplace. She has served on the North Texas Board of the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation and as a board member of ECHAD, supporting federally sponsored housing for the elderly.

The Women's Center of Dallas was founded in 1972 with a mission to empower women to make meaningful changes in their lives and advance community awareness of women's concerns and achievements.

Previous winners of the Maura Award include former SMU Provost Ruth P. Morgan, Dallas family law attorney and SMU law alumna Louise Raggio, and former SMU Women's Symposium founder Emmie Baines and subsequent director Sandra Tinkham.