Celebrating Four Fabulous Decades: 40 Years, 40 Women Honorees Announced

Westminster College first admitted women in 1979, changing the dynamic of the College forever ― and not simply because they showed up to receive an education. The vast majority of women who chose to attend the traditionally all-male college were risk-takers.

Today their collective take-no-prisoners attitude has achieved tangible results.

Nearly 3,000 women have passed through the historic Columns and achieved professional success since the first class of 32 women sat nervously through a class in Westminster Hall or Coulter Science Center four decades ago. Westminster women are specialized physicians, professors of medicine, CEOs and CFOs, Hollywood executives, business owners, teachers, principals, lawyers and law professors, politicians, judges and journalists. And this list just scratches the surface.

Westminster women typically are leaders within their communities and are active on multiple committees. Almost all juggle a variety of roles and responsibilities, and they do so with relative ease.

As the College continues to celebrate 40 years of women at Westminster, we are excited to introduce our 40 Years, 40 Women honorees, who initially were introduced in the most recent edition of Leadership magazine. Each distinguished alumna was personally nominated by her peers and voted on by a special selection group within the Westminster Women Advancing Together (WWAT) committee.

WWAT and its 40 Years, 40 Women selection committee worked tirelessly this past year in choosing those they felt accurately represent the best of a Westminster education and what it means to represent the College to the world beyond the Hill. The Blue Jay National thanks them for their efforts and celebrates the following 40 Years, 40 Women honorees, who will be extensively featured in Westminster Today next week through Alumni Weekend 2020, April 17-19:


Anne F. Foster, ’83
Mari Hirata, ’83
Cathy (Hill) Morrison, ’84 ΚΚΓ
Cathy Myers, ’84 ΚΚΓ
Leigh Ann (Ogle) Reaves, ’84 ΚΑΘ
Kathy (Maloney) Hogan, ’85 ΚΑΘ
Anne E. (Mcintosh) Schneider, ’85 ΚΑΘ
Julie (Voertman) Davidson, ’86
Jane Curtman-Schroeder, ’87 ΚΚΓ
Leigh E. Graham, ’89 ΚΚΓ


Kathy Hardy Senkel, ’91 ΚΚΓ
Jane Jackson, ’92 ΚΑΘ
Tonya Smith, ’94 ΔΔΔ
Wendy-Adele Humphrey, ’95 ΚΑΘ
Emilie Raymond, ’95 ΚΚΓ
Leigh Hildebrand, ’97 ΚΑΘ
Orinda Basha, ’98
Dao Le, ’98
Heather Meggers-Wright, ’98 ΚΑΘ
Sara Cross, ’99 ΚΑΘ


Elizabeth Malm-Buatsi, ’01 ΚΑΘ
Jacquelyn (Mather) Hutzell, ’02 ΚΑΘ
Jamie (Spurrier) Kondis, ’02 ΚΑΘ
Heather Gehlert, ’04 ΚΑΘ
Rizia Bardhan, ’05
Katie Murray, ’05 ΚΑΘ
Susan Sullivan, ’05 ΚΑΘ
Gera Stewart, ’06 ΚΑΘ
Liz Blood, ’08 ΚΚΓ
Katie Pilgram-Kloppe, ’08 ΚΑΘ


Nathchaya “Fon” Pongakkarawat, ’10
Hannah Proffitt-Allee, ’12
Anna Holyan Postiglione, ’13 ΚΑΘ
Mary Nestor, ’14 ΚΑΘ
Suravi Shrestha, ’15
Meredith Jane Bolen, ’16 ΑΓΔ
Fathimath Shafa, ’18
Ashley M. Wallace, ’18 ΑΓΔ
Celeste Cummings, ’19
Emily Lucitt, ’20

40 Years, 40 Women Special Groups

The Ayers Sisters

Kathryn Ayers Wickenhauser, ’11 ΚΑΘ
Caroline Ayers, ’14 ΚΑΘ
Amelia Ayers, ’16 ΚΑΘ
Sarah Ayers, ’21 ΚΑΘ

The Pickles

Michelle (Tarpey) Biever, ’89 ΚΑΘ
Jennifer (Elliott) Bone, ’89 ΚΑΘ
Karin (Erickson) Bradford, ’89 ΚΑΘ
Laurie (Groner) Honan, ’89
Laura (Long) Hanes, ’89 ΚΑΘ
Christy (Charleville) Nickolaus, ’89 ΚΑΘ
Dawn Walter, ’ 89 ΚΑΘ
Shannon Fickess, ’90 ΚΑΘ

The Sanders Sisters

Tamara G. Caston, ’06
Jessica E. Sanders, ’06
Jennifer E. Brown, ’08
Jacquelyn E. Anthony, ’11
Jorden E. Sanders, ’14

The WWAT Founding Members

Dr. Audrey Remley
Janice Mathews-Gordon, ’81
Betsy Schultz Humphreys, ’83 ΚΑΘ
Serena Lowe, ’97 ΔΔΔ
Leslie Brooke Hunt, ’99 ΔΔΔ
Sarah Goss Powers, ’04 ΚΚΓ



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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.