Lyon College celebrated National Women’s History Month with brunch this week, where female students and staff discussed accomplishments and societal challenges for women. Brunch was followed by keynote speaker, senior student and Student Government Association (SGA) President Taylor Donnerson.
Junior Emma Gillaspy started the brunch by introducing the theme “Empowered and Acknowledged.”
“Today, we gather to celebrate the unique gifts we offer to our community and the world,” she said.
While attendees brunched, Gillaspy posed questions to the audience about their experiences as women.
When asked who her female role model was, sophomore Laura Mendez shared she looked up to her mom. Mendez said her mom moved to the U.S. without knowing much English and worked despite being in an unfamiliar country.
“I hope to be as brave as her one day,” said Mendez.
Following discussion, Donnerson shared her experience as a woman and how early on she applied herself to keep herself grounded, especially as she entered college. She said as a result of her determination, Donnerson became the first female African American SGA president at Lyon College.
“[During college], I learned that being a woman is just a characteristic of who I am as a person,” said Donnerson. “It doesn’t limit me...It doesn’t hinder anything.”
After Donnerson’s speech, Gillaspy presented Donnerson with the first ever Women’s Impact Award.
“The Women’s Impact Award is presented by the Office of Diversity in an effort to identify individuals that have significantly enhanced the Lyon College campus and surrounding community,” said Gillaspy. “The recipient demonstrates leadership and is committed to social change within our community. For me personally, Taylor has done wonders for me at Lyon...Honestly if it wasn’t for Taylor I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Lyon is more than just a college. It's a community distinguished by its academic curriculum, unique honor and social systems, and award-winning professors.