Joan Firley of Jefferson City was named an Honorary Alumnus of William Woods University during Alumni Weekend April 19-21.
The retired president of Casualty Indemnity Exchange, Firley is a member of the WWU Board of Trustees. She also is the donor of an extensive art collection to the university. Among the more than 200 pieces she gave to the university’s permanent collection are works by such artists as Salvador Dali and Max Papart.
Firley has been a member of the WWU President’s Advisory Council for approximately nine years. She frequently attends cultural events on the campus and she served on the fund-raising Bid and Breakfast Auction Committee last year. Her husband, the late Art Firley, was also a WWU board member, and he donated the Firley Soccer Field at William Woods in his wife’s honor.
In addition to her involvement with William Woods, she is active with numerous other community organizations. She is a member of the Jefferson City Family YMCA Board of Trustees, University of Missouri Friends of Music Board of Directors and the American Heart Association Mid-Missouri Heart Ball Committee.
She was a founding member of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Advisory Board in 1991 and continues to serve on that board. She also serves on the Capital Region Medical Center Board of Governors and the Hospice of Jefferson City and Mid-Missouri Board of Directors.
A luncheon and awards ceremony on April 20 honored Firley and other award recipients. Allyson White Lewis of Jonesboro, Ark., received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a financial advisor and author of the book on investing, “The Million Dollar Car and $250,000 Pizza.”
Cindy Dietrich Logan of Louisiana, Mo., received the Outstanding Service Award. She is an artist and president of the National Alumni Board of Directors. Kelly Ballard, a national bank examiner from Gaithersburg, Md., and Sheila Culwell Middleton of Vandalia, Mo., director of operations for Opaa! Food Management, received Green Owl awards.
Warren Head of Palmyra, Mo., received the Order of the Owl. The award is given to honor the spouse of an alumnus who has shown a special interest in promoting and supporting the activities of the university. His wife, Katherine King Head, graduated from William Woods in 1940 and has long been active on the WWU Alumni Board.