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Alumni & Giving Blog

Keyword: award

The Alumni Loyalty Award honors a graduate who consistently demonstrates loyalty...Click here to read more.

The Distinguished Alumni Award honors a graduate who embodies the Stevenson University tradition of excellence through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, and humanitarian service. ...Click here to read more.

The Young Alumni Award is presented to a graduate of the past ten years who has achieved extraordinary success while remaining engaged and connected to the University....Click here to read more.

The Young Alumni Award is presented to a graduate from the past ten years who has achieved extraordinary success while remaining engaged and connected to the University. This year the Young Alumni Award recipient is Lauren Humphries, from the Class of 2008.

While attending Villa Julie College, Lauren was an accomplished and active student-athlete. She served as a writer and editor of The Villager, Vice President of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, and a member of Lambda Pi Eta, Sigma Alpha Pi, and Sigma Tau Delta.

In October 2004, as a student-athlete, Lauren won the North Eastern Athletic Conference women’s tennis singles championship. She made the Dean’s List and was named MVP of Women’s Tennis in 2004 and 2005. As a graduating senior, she was the recipient of the Elizabeth McWethy Award, the Fighting Heart Award, and the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, as well as being recognized by Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.

Lauren’s accomplishments are not limited to her years as a student. Since graduation, she became certified as a group fitness instructor, teaching classes at Towson University and during the national convention for Little People of America. She modeled in the first fashion show featuring women with dwarfism during New York Fashion Week in February 2015. In October 2015, she was the first person with dwarfism to run the Chicago Marathon.

She now works as the Marketing Manager for LUNGevity, the largest national lung cancer-focused nonprofit. Her skill set developed during her time as a Business Communication major has served her well in the positions she’s held professionally and as a volunteer. She is eternally grateful for the relationship she’s maintained with her college mentor, Chip Rouse. At the request of Chip and other faculty and staff, she has visited campus several times post-graduation to participate in panel discussions and networking events with current students.

Lauren appreciates the opportunities that Stevenson has created to engage alumni, and values the importance of supporting future generations of Stevenson students. With regards to the University’s future, Lauren notes that President Manning’s retirement marks a tremendous legacy of transformative change. She hopes that Stevenson University will continue to grow and expand, allowing more students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to be part of this great institution.

The Alumni Loyalty Award honors a graduate who consistently demonstrates loyalty and commitment to the Stevenson University community by devoting time and talent to enhance the overall success of the University. This person should be directly involved in advancing the success of the Stevenson community and providing consistent philanthropic support to the University. This year the Alumni Loyalty Award recipient is Fran Gunshol, from the Class of 1967.

With close ties to Villa Julie College, Fran’s decision to attend was encouraged by her family. When her sister, Sharon, attended Villa Julie, their father became very involved, initiating the Father’s Club at Carolyn Manuszak’s request. This served as an encouraging precursor to her attendance.

She notes that throughout her student experience, the professors and sisters at Villa Julie affirmed her abilities and gave her great confidence, for which she is forever grateful. In addition to her studies, Fran played on the field hockey and lacrosse teams. She was afforded the opportunity to travel to England after graduation with a classmate, Marsha Kovar '67, for the summer. She notes that perhaps they had one of the first Villa Julie study abroad experiences!

It was also her family that would encourage Fran to return to campus as an employee later in life. In her role as the Director of Alumni Relations, Fran helped to move Stevenson forward and was part of the team behind many major achievements. When the institution gained university status in 2008, she worked on a major capital campaign to support the growth of Stevenson University. She looks fondly upon her time as a staff member; collaborating with coworkers, growing personally and professionally, and enjoying the nostalgia of reporting to work each day in the Mueller House.

Since her retirement, Fran has continued working part time and is currently a consultant in planned giving and special projects for Notre Dame of Maryland University.  Throughout her career she has been responsible for moving organizations forward, raising funds and friends for non-profits, and connecting people and projects. She stays active in the community in a variety of ways and is currently serving on Board of Historic Hampton, Inc.

Fran is impressed with the growth of Stevenson and hopes that the University will continue to adapt, grow, and stay loyal to its mission faithfully done since the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur founded Villa Julie in 1947.