Nini D. Davenport and Lizzer Bright Graham, both 1977 graduates of Girls Preparatory School, will be honored today as the school's 2014 Distinguished Alumnae during Alumnae Weekend Festivities.
The award is annually presented in recognition of a graduate's professional achievement, community service and commitment to GPS. Today's presentation marks just the second time in GPS' 107-year history that two women have been named Distinguished Alumnae; the first time was 1994.
Davenport, who currently chairs the GPS board of trustees, has served on the GPS Alumnae Council. She received the Linda Standefer Chapin Governance Award in September 2013 in honor of her board leadership and has served on numerous board committees, including the Head Search Committee. She co-chaired several of her class reunions, the Visions fundraiser and the GPS campaign "Pursuing Greatness: The Second Hundred Years."
In the community, she has served on the boards of ArtsBuild, Hunter Museum of American Art and Little Miss Mag Early Learning Center.
Graham, also a member of the board of trustees, chaired the search committee that hired Autumn Graves to be GPS Head of School. Graham served on the 2006-07 Strategic Planning Committee, was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Impact Program to prepare girls for life beyond academics, and was president of the GPS Alumnae Council. She has co-chaired Visions and the GPS Alumnae Council, and served for many years on the board of Chambliss Center for Children. She is the owner of a jewelry design business.
The Margaret Rawlings Lupton Award of Excellence recipients also will be named today. They are Julie Betts Brandao and Holly Lynch Harwell. The award is given in recognition of alumnae who have made a significant impact in their communities in professional and/or volunteer activities.
Brandao, class of 1984, is vice president of personal lines sales and a partner with BB&T Huffaker Trimble Insurance. She was named a Chattanooga Woman of Distinction in 2013, received the American Heart Association's Circle of Red in 2011 and the AHA Volunteer of the Year in 1993.
She serves on the board of trustees of Bright School and is a member of Downtown Chattanooga Rotary. She has also served on the boards of the Calsted Foundation, American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis and Insurors of Chattanooga. Her community involvement includes the Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute, Pink, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank's Hullabowloo, WTCI Be More Awards and United Way of Greater Chattanooga.
Harwell, also a 1984 graduate, is a Realtor affiliated with Real Estate Partners. She was finance chairman for former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp's 1996 re-election campaign and served current U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in the same capacity when he ran for mayor of Chattanooga.
She has served on the boards of the American Heart Association, ArtsBuild, Hosanna Community, North Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Festival and Choose Chattanooga. She currently chairs the board of Memorial Hospital Foundation. A member of the GPS Board of Trustees, she is chairman-elect of the school's Annual Fund.
She is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club, a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga and was named a 2013 Chattanooga Woman of Distinction.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...