Contact: Ann Abbas
SMU Public Affairs
(214) 768-7655

April 15, 2003

SMU To Host 2003 Maura Awards For Women Helping Women

DALLAS (SMU) -- Five Dallas women and one organization will receive the 2003 Maura Awards in a ceremony hosted by SMU on April 30 in the Umphrey Lee Center on the campus. The honorees are Kathryn Walt Hall, Elizabeth "Liza" M. Lee, Susie Marshall, Anita N. Martinez, Thalia Matherson, and Attitudes and Attire.

For the past 25 years, the Maura Awards have been presented by The Women's Center of Dallas. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals and groups for their outstanding contributions to improving the lives of women and girls in the Metroplex. Beginning with this year's ceremony, SMU will be the presenter and steward of this distinguished award presentation. The Maura Awards are named for Maura McNiel, founding president of The Women's Center, in recognition of her strong commitment to mentoring women and finding solutions to women's problems.

Kathryn Walt Hall is a long-standing advocate for women's issues. She has been politically active in Dallas, promoting her agenda for improving the community through improving the lives of women. As U.S. ambassador to Austria during the Clinton administration, she served her country in a time of great change in the European community. Earlier in her career, she was an executive with Safeway Stores, where she developed and administered one of the nation's first affirmative action programs.

Liza Lee is headmistress of The Hockaday School, one of the nation's largest and oldest independent girls' schools, and president of the National Association of Principals for Schools for Girls. A strong role model for her students, she has raised educational standards in areas not traditionally pursued by women, including science and math, and empowered a new generation of young women to seek a larger role in the community and in the world.

Susie Marshall is president and owner of CompuTactics, Inc., a certified woman-owned business, and is a principal in launching On-Board Communications, Inc. A leader in women's business issues, she was a founder of the North Texas Women's Business Council and the North Texas Women's Business Development Center. She also helped establish an online e-marketplace for women and minorities.

Anita N. Martinez, who served three terms on the Dallas City Council, was the first Hispanic to hold such a leadership position in a major U.S. city. She is the founder of Ballet Folklorico, established to bolster self-esteem and foster discipline among youth and children. Through her efforts, the Anita N. Martinez Recreation Center was established in West Dallas, providing community women with health services, education and recreation.

Thalia Matherson is executive director of missions and administration for the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church -- the first ethnic person, first woman and first lay person to hold this position in the organization's 60-year history. Previously a trailblazer in the DISD, she was one of the first teachers to integrate classroom teaching and one of the first women in the district to earn a doctorate in educational administration and serve in an administrative position.

Attitudes and Attire is a nonprofit agency that promotes personal growth and self-sufficiency for women. Since its inception in l996, it has given more than 3,000 women a hand up in life by providing them with self-esteem workshops and outfitting them with clothing appropriate for job interviews and the workplace. Lyn Berman, founder of Attitudes and Attire, believes the key to its success is that women seeking help are given much more: they are given respect and hope.

Tickets to the April 30 Maura Awards reception, dinner and ceremony, at $100 each or $1,000 for a table for 10, are available by calling 214-768-4468.

Click on the photos below to view or download high-resolution .jpg versions.

Thalia Matherson Anita N. Martinez Kathryn Walt Hall Susie Marshall
Thalia Matherson Anita N. Martinez Kathryn Walt Hall Susie Marshall
Liza Lee Lyn Berman Maura Award winners group photo
Liza Lee Lyn Berman The 2003 Maura Award winners