When the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce honors its Citizen of the Year, there normally isn’t a musical accompaniment.
But when the organization proclaimed Mary Baldwin University President Pamela Fox its 2011 Citizen of the Year on Tuesday night, the crowd of about 250 was serenaded with a surprise violin solo from Daniel Heifetz, founder of the Heifetz International Music Institute.
The stirring performance was fitting, as Fox is not only an elite musician herself, but was also instrumental in bringing the Heifetz Institute to Staunton. Fox was also recognized for her leadership in establishing new graduate programs in health sciences to the region.
“I am deeply honored, but this award is not for me alone,” Fox said. “It is the collective achievement of our entire team and great support from my husband, Dan Layman. Congratulations to all of Mary Baldwin University for an amazing year of achievement.”
According to criteria set by the Chamber, citizens of the year are recognized for their leadership though extensive civic participation. Honorees have an ability to inspire others toward positive change, and they demonstrate perseverance, optimism, and unfailing ability to bring others on board to participate in community activities.
The Heifetz Institute will kick off its six-week summer program at Mary Baldwin in late June. Meanwhile, development of the College of Health Sciences continues with a ground breaking expected this fall on a site off of Goose Creek Road in Fishersville. Both initiatives represent investments that will help ensure future success at Mary Baldwin and an economic boost to the community.
Mary Baldwin international students from China helping out at the event were thrilled to witness Fox receive the night’s top honor and honored to meet Virginia Secretary of Commerce Jim Cheng, who delivered the night’s keynote address at the Holiday Inn Golf and Conference Center in Staunton.
Fox became the president of Mary Baldwin University in July 2003, having served as a professor of music, dean, and assistant vice president for strategic planning at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for 20 years. Under her leadership, Mary Baldwin has committed to inclusive community, upholding the cherished traditions as a leading woman’s college, cultivating innovation and excellence in all academic programs, enhancing civic engagement and global citizenship, and building our campus for the future.
Photo (above, from left to right): Virginia Secretary of Commerce Jim Cheng, Pamela Fox, Daniel Heifetz, Chamber Chair Michelle Carter, and Chamber President Linda Hershey. Below: Video from the Chamber dinner featuring Pamela Fox.