First Ladies' Auxiliary

The First Ladies’ Auxiliary

“When we first open a space on campus, dedications are held and memorials are made.  After that, it is the College’s obligation to ensure that facilities are well-maintained as an acknowledgement of the generosity of our supporters.”

— First Lady Lynn Weatherman

That trust, to honor the memory of those who have served the College by maintaining and caring for the structures that bear their names, is what inspired Lynn Weatherman to found the First Ladies’ Auxiliary. The group is dedicated to maintaining Lyon’s beauty and taking on those projects that go unaddressed because of the more urgent needs of maintaining the College’s facilities and grounds.

With the help of former Lyon (then Arkansas College) first ladies, Carolyn Holloway and Sidney West, Weatherman announced the launching of the First Ladies’ Auxiliary in August 2011. The auxiliary held its first meeting Oct. 22, 2011, and approved an executive committee including Weatherman, Kate Cooke, and Diane LaCroix. Women who have an association with the Lyon College Board of Trustees, either by serving as a trustee or being the spouse of a trustee, are invited to join the auxiliary. However, Weatherman said men wishing to make a contribution in memory of a woman associated with the board have also been given membership. Members pledge a gift of $1,000 each, to be renewed annually, to fund projects chosen by the auxiliary.

The group’s first project was to refurbish the furnishings in the Bevens Music Room in Brown Chapel. The room had been remodeled in 1989 thanks to the generosity of long-time friend of the College, Marion Bradley Lyon, but no repairs or updates had been done since that time. The auxiliary raised enough funds for all the trim in Bevens to be painted and for the chairs and window seats to be reupholstered. The group also funded updates to the restrooms in the back hallway of Brown Chapel, including fresh paint, new fixtures, new ceiling tiles, and ventilation.

In 2012-13, the auxiliary made significant updates in the small chapel of the Brown Chapel and Fine Arts Building. Before, the chapel presented a very dark color palette, was completely carpeted (which impaired the acoustics), and the seating was in need of repair. Thanks to the efforts of the auxiliary members, the walls and floor tiles are now a warm hue that welcomes visitors.  New windows of frosted glass were installed, doing away with the need for interior window treatments.  The seats were reupholstered and a carpet runner was added in the aisle. The chapel has also become home to the music department’s harpsichord, which had previously been in storage and wasn’t readily accessible for practice.

Next up for the auxiliary is an update of the Alphin Board Room. The group plans to refurbish the furnishings, replace the carpet, and paint to give the room new life. Additionally, the adjacent kitchenette and powder room are receiving a facelift.