By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Societies of Oklahoma City University will honor four Oklahoma City women lead-ers on Thursday, March 5 during the annual Awards of Excellence dinner. The event will take place at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, 7000 N.W. Grand Blvd., in Nichols Hills.
Sherry Beasley will receive the Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award; Sally Bentley will be given the Dulaney-Browne Library Society Award; Elaine Levy will receive the Kirk-patrick-Petree Opera and Music Theatre Society Award; and Donna Nigh will be hon-ored with the Oklahoma City University Distinguished Philanthropist Award.
“In our 28th year, we are glad to continue the tradition of honoring our community’s most dedicated servant leaders,” said Cathy Leichter, president of the Societies of Oklahoma City University.
“Sherry, Sally, Elaine and Donna are making a difference in the lives of so many. We are pleased to support OCU’s mission of service learning and leadership by recognizing these four distinguished women.”
A graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, Beasley is the owner of Interior Im-ages, an interior design firm. She is a member of the American Society of Interior De-signers,
She currently serves as a board member for the Oklahoma Historical Society, Allied Arts, UCO Foundation and the Saint Anthony Hospital Foundation.
Bentley is passionate about educating and improving the lives of children. She began her career as a teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Norman, and later became the board president of Harding Fine Arts Academy Charter School in Oklahoma City.
She has actively participated on numerous boards including Junior League of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, Payne Education Center, Leadership Oklahoma City, S.P.A.R.K Program at Westmin-ster Presbyterian Church, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU and Visionary Women of Oklahoma.
Bentley has been recognized for her service by receiving the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association of Community Leadership, the Paragon Award for Distinguished Leadership, the Youth Services Stars Award and the Junior League Sus-tainer of the Year Award. She also was selected as the Delta Gamma nominee for Pan-hellenic Women of the Year.
A dedicated volunteer and civic advocate, Levy currently is board president for the Oklahoma City Ballet and chair of the Canterbury/Jewish Federation Event.
She has served as chair for the Integris Gala, Ballet Ball, OMRF First Ladies Gala,
Heart Rhythm Institute’s Luncheon, Literacy Voice Dinner, Lung Association Luncheon and the Jewish Foundations 70th Anniversary Gala. Levy and her husband, Harrison, received the Governor’s Arts Award and Integris’ Volunteer Award.
Dedicating her life to civic leadership and empowering others, Nigh has been a cham-pion for individuals with special needs. As first lady of Oklahoma, she played an integral role in new legislation and funding for developing group homes in Oklahoma.
This program is now part of the annual state budget and is identified as the Donna Nigh Group Home Program.
Donna and George Nigh have established a number of foundations to provide deserving individuals with financial assistance. They include the Donna Nigh Foundation, which provides grants to people with disabilities; and the George and Donna Nigh Public Serv-ice Scholarship, which honors students in public service.
Nigh has served on numerous boards including President Bill Clinton’s Committee on Mental Retardation, City Rescue Mission, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Care-Point, Special Olympics and the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum.
Jane Thompson and Ann Johnstone are chairing this year’s Awards of Excellence.
“The Societies Awards were founded with the mission of recognizing women who pro-vide outstanding volunteer leadership in our community,” Johnstone said. “These four women fulfill that mission every day and have for many years.”
In addition to recognizing women for outstanding volunteer service, the Societies of Oklahoma City University provides scholarships for OCU students.
The Awards of Excellence is the only event dedicated solely to women who volunteer their time in the community.
Dinner tickets are $250 and can be purchased by calling the OCU development office at 405-208-7000.