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TWU's 17th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Luncheon ballroom

Texas Woman’s University honored Dale Petroskey, president and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber, with the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award at the 17th annual luncheon on February 27 at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion. Petroskey has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the public, private, and non- profit sectors. In April 2014, he became president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, one of the largest and most established business organizations in the state of Texas, representing 1,100-member companies. Petroskey’s career also includes service as Assistant White House Press Secretary to President Ronald Reagan; senior vice president for Mission Programs at National Geographic; and president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

“Throughout his career, Dale has served as an advocate for economic development through pro-growth public policy,” said Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D., Texas Woman’s University chancellor and president.  He sees the need for a strong talent pipeline to meet the future requirements of local businesses, and he supports educational initiatives and improvements to make this a reality. He is a visionary leader in the community, whom we are pleased to recognize for his incredible business acumen, dedication, discipline and persistence.”

Following introductory remarks by Virginia Chandler Dykes, Bob White, executive vice president, Bank of Texas, Private Bank, and longtime event sponsor, gave a tribute to Dykes, resulting in a standing ovation.

“Virginia Chandler Dykes observed a need to help and turned it into this program today,” said White. “I wouldn’t even want to try to add up the stories of the young men and women who have benefited from her efforts. People are impacted by this program year after year – a program that Virginia has done so well, so gracefully, and so lovingly.” 

Petroskey began his remarks to the room of nearly 300 friends, business colleagues and community leaders also praising Virginia Chandler Dykes and her lifelong work. “Virginia Chandler Dykes is the epitome of a TWU graduate.  She received her degree, did very well, and then decided to give back to the community.” He saluted TWU and Chancellor and President Dr. Carine Feyten. “She has the ability to connect to people, which is so very important for a leader and a university president. She clearly articulates the vision of TWU,” adding that he didn’t know anyone who could do it any better. 

Petroskey stated that he felt very blessed in his job to be “working hard for work worth doing with amazing business and civic leaders –such as Ralph Hawkins, Hilda Gavan, Norm Bagwell, Mary Brinegar, Steve Mansfield, Roslyn Dawson Thompson” and more – many of whom are longtime supporters of this annual luncheon.

The TWU award is named for alumna Virginia Chandler Dykes, who was director of occupational and recreational therapy at Baylor University Medical Center for 25 years. Dykes also established the Virginia Chandler Dykes Endowment to provide scholarships for TWU occupational therapy students. Luncheon proceeds will augment that fund.

The following graduate students representing each of TWU’s five colleges will be honored at the luncheon as recipients of scholarship funds:Janice Kishi Chow, College of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy); Amie Bedgood, College of Nursing; Patricia Flint, College of Professional Education (COPE); Paramita Basu, College of Arts and Sciences; and Meghan Labiak, College of Business.

In the past 16 years, more than $700,000 has been raised for scholarships from the proceeds of this luncheon. 

TWU holds the distinction of being the nation’s largest public university primarily for women with 15,500 students at its three locations in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Texas Woman’s is known for its contributions and leadership in the fields of education, nutrition, business, the arts and sciences, and especially in the nursing and health care professions. The university offers the student support, class sizes and campus esthetics more typically found at a private university.  

Attendees included former Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Recipients: Stephen Mansfield, 2017; Ralph Hawkins, 2015; Mary Brinegar, 2014; Lindalyn Bennett Adams, 2007; and Geraldine “Tincy” Miller; as well as David Berry, Rick Duschl, Manny Fernandez, Hilda Galvan, Don Glendenning, Steve Good, Tim Keith, Wendy Lopez, Brian McFarlane, Tim Moore, Scott Neuendorf, Kathy and Nat Parker, Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Sharon Venable, Mike Wilson, and Kirk Wiginton.

Guests enjoyed a luncheon of spinach and butter lettuce with brie and julienne of apple and sweet sherry vinaigrette; herb-dusted filet of beef with maître d ‘butter accompanied by Boursin cheese mashed potatoes, asparagus and a roasted tomato with milk chocolate mousse for dessert.

Presenting sponsor: Bank of Texas; Scholarship Sponsor: Luther King Capital Management; Platinum and Gold Sponsors: Baylor Scott & White, Texas Women’s Foundation, Locke Lord, Children’s Health System, Virginia Chandler Dykes; Silver Sponsors: Amegy Bank, AT&T, HKS Architects, Jones Day, JP Morgan Chase, KDC, KPMG, Lyco Holdings, Methodist Health System, Patricia Crocker, Sharon Venable, SW Medical Foundation, SMU Lyle School of Engineering, TDIndustries, TWU Foundation, TWU Regent Kathleen Wu, and TWU School of Occupational Therapy.

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