September 10, 2014
In the WorldGirl Scouts

Woman of Distinction

President Laurie M. Joyner Recognized By Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

In recognition of her unique vision, community leadership, and her ability to transform the leadership landscape for women through her achievements, Wittenberg University President Laurie M. Joyner has received the 2014 Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

"Woman of Distinction honorees are women of outstanding success who are making significant contributions in an impressive array of fields," notes the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio website. "They give hope and inspiration to girls through their achievements and passion for our communities. By making major impacts in the focus areas, they are role models for girls and leading the way for future girl leaders."

Now in her third year as Wittenberg's first-ever woman president, Joyner is a thought-leader in the field of higher education, where she brings intimate insight into developing one's whole person and the transformative role the liberal arts plays in such development. She has especially inspired women colleagues and students with her willingness to share her own professional journey. Joyner annually hosts a Women in Leadership Luncheon to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the Springfield community and the success of Wittenberg alumnae, and she was an invited panelist last year for a discussion on women in leadership during the Association of College Education's Ohio Women's Network conference.

"My life was profoundly shaped by my own liberal arts experience, for which my parents sacrificed so much to provide me."
Laurie Joyner

As Wittenberg's 14th president, Joyner has also made it a moral imperative to provide students with every tool possible to ensure their full development as human beings and pave the path for meaningful living and lifelong success. She is also a staunch advocate for providing leadership development opportunities for students in both their curricular and co-curricular pursuits.

"My life was profoundly shaped by my own liberal arts experience, for which my parents sacrificed so much to provide me," Joyner said. "The experience changed my life, and I believe that is what we do at Wittenberg. We change the lives of students who go on to change the world."

Joyner's student-centered, mission-driven approach has also led to significant funding in the area of student success at Wittenberg. This summer, the university received a $194,445 College Success grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year. The grant is enhancing the level of support and resources provided to students, including allowing Wittenberg to hire three first-year success advisors. A virtual Center for Student Success has also been created, and Wittenberg has met its first-year enrollment goals for two consecutive years under her leadership.

Joyner currently serves on the boards of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield Foundation, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE), the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Presidents' Council and is also a member of the Springfield Rotary and The Wittenberg Guild.

Joyner graduated magna cum laude and received the Dux Sociologicus Award from Loyola University New Orleans. She earned her master's and doctorate in sociology from Tulane University.

The Woman of Distinction awards reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, at The Schuster Performing Arts Center, Mathile Theatre. The award was established to honor the many exceptional women in the Dayton region who are paving the way for girls. Honorees exemplify the Girl Scout mission by living with courage, confidence, and character, and making the world a better place.

Kylie Ponn '18
Kylie Ponn '18
Staff Reporter

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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