2008 Faces of Success Honorees  


Renowned Scholar, Educator and Philanthropist Recognized for  Innovations in Higher Education and Ongoing Contributions to Women and Community

Dr. Clara LovettFor more than 35 years, Clara Lovett, Ph.D., has been a passionate and persuasive advocate for innovations in higher education and the advancement of women in the workplace. On November 6, Dr. Lovett— President Emerita of Northern Arizona University, where she served from 1993-2001—was honored at the Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) 14th Annual “Faces of Success” Luncheon.

At the event—an annual Valley favorite—Dr. Lovett received the prestigious Jeanne Lind Herberger Award, named after one of AWEE’s early board members and most committed long-time supporters. The award recognizes women who have been at the forefront of AWEE’s leadership, philanthropy and investment in women, men, young adults and the community

"Clara is an extraordinary leader who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to empowering women and transforming their lives through affordable access to education and equal opportunity in the workplace," said Marie Sullivan, President and CEO of AWEE. “She is also an outstanding and generous benefactor, who has provided both her expertise and essential financial support to support AWEE’s mission and programs. Clara truly exemplifies the vision and values of the Jeanne Lind Herberger Award. We're proud to recognize her as our 2008 honoree."

"Public education is in my heart and my head," Dr. Lovett has said. "It is the source of our national strength and the surest route for women to better themselves and take their rightful place as equal partners in the workplace." She has energetically demonstrated this commitment in her professional life through her invaluable contributions as Chief for the European Division of The Library of Congress, Dean of Arts & Sciences for George Washington University, Provost/Chief Academic Officer for George Mason University, President/CEO of Northern Arizona University, and most recently, as President & CEO of the American Association for Higher Education.

In 1989, Dr. Lovett was named one of Washington DC’s "100 Most Powerful Women" by Washingtonian Magazine. Three years later, she was recognized as "Virginia Educator of the Year." In 2005, she was honored by the American College Personnel Association for her "Distinguished Contributions to Higher Education." The following year, governors and business leaders in the Western states recognized Dr. Lovett for her role as a Founding Trustee of Western Governors University (WSGU), an innovative online "university without boundaries" that utilizes distance learning to help students achieve their dreams for a degree and career success.

According to Dr Lovett, "WGU leverages the democratizing power of the Internet to enable women and men to cost-effectively gain the educational credentials they need at a time and place of their choosing. We are entering a new era when the marriage of public education and technology will transform lives and define our future as a nation."

In Arizona, Dr. Lovett has built statewide partnerships with K-12, community college districts and tribal governments and worked with former Governor Jane Hull and key legislators to establish and fund the Arizona K-12 Center, which supports ongoing professional development for Arizona teachers. She has also led the charge to build distance-learning capacity within Arizona universities, launching a successful $100 million fundraising campaign for Northern Arizona University. She continues to masterfully advocate for -- and facilitate dialogue between--  educators and political leaders about higher education reform. 

As an educator and philanthropist, Dr. Lovett has been an advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace through her private B&L Charitable Foundation, which she established together with her husband, Dr. Benjamin F. Brown. In 2006, the foundation sponsored a two-day Women & Work symposium to identify the key issues facing women in the workforce. The resulting policy recommendations were incorporated into a groundbreaking report that emphasizes women's needs for affordable education, training programs, childcare and flexible work schedules that allow women to balance life and work responsibilities.

In addition to her career in education, Dr. Lovett remains actively engaged as a leader in community life, pursuing her passion for arts and culture by serving as a Trustee of Thunderbird, The School of Global Management, and as Chair of the Board of Directors, The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Lovett demonstrates her lifelong commitment to securing equal opportunities and social justice for women through her enthusiastic and ongoing support of AWEE’s mission and programs. As a Jeanne Lind Herberger Award recipient, Dr. Lovett joins the ranks of a group of exceptional women that includes Elva Wingfield Coor, Betsey Bayless, Mary Jane Rynd, Deborah Carstens, Diane Cummings Halle, Governor Janet Napolitano and Ruth Downs.

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