Centre College board of trustees member Angie McDonald Evans ’91 was honored with a Woman of Distinction 2020 award by The Center for Women and Families (CWF) at the 33rd annual Celebration of Service & Survival on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Louisville.
Since 1988, CWF has recognized outstanding women in the community through the Woman of Distinction Award. An individual honored as a Woman of Distinction has given a lifetime of professional and/or volunteer services that has left an indelible mark on the Kentuckiana community. To date, 182 women have received this honor.
“It is one of the greatest honors of my life,” said Evans on receiving this award. “The past Women of Distinction are a powerful, impactful, amazing group of trailblazers, philanthropists, business women and influencers. I’m in awe that these ladies thought me worthy enough to join this sisterhood. I vow to always be an advocate for women, girls and healthy families in both my professional work and my community engagement.”
After graduating from Centre with a B.A. in English, Evans received her juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
For the past 25 years, Evans has held leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. She is currently vice president for corporate responsibility and community affairs at LG&E and KU Energy. In this role, Evans is responsible for leading community engagement and investments, key corporate responsibility programs and grant-making processes. Prior to joining LG&E and KU Energy, she was vice president of community leadership at the Community Foundation of Louisville. She also served as director of planned giving at the University of Louisville, as a vice president and private banker at National City, now PNC, and began her career in the public sector, where she worked as special assistant to Mayor David L. Armstrong and as the director of Affirmative Action.
“The Center is so fortunate to be honoring these amazing women as we celebrate the 33rd year of Women of Distinction,” CWF President Elizabeth Wessels-Martin said. “The theme for the celebration is Writing a New Chapter, and the five women we honor this year have helped write new chapters in our community and beyond. They have also helped to write new chapters at The Center and for many victims of violence. Each one of them has made significant contributions to the welfare of children, advocating for the oppressed and voiceless and breaking the glass ceiling for the advancement of women.”
In addition to her service on Centre’s board, Evans serves on the board of directors for Actors Theatre, American Printing House for the Blind, Bates Community Development Corporation, Community Foundation of Louisville, James Graham Brown Foundation and Women Influencing Louisville. Her former board appointments include Louisville Urban League and the Kentucky Science Center. She is a graduate of Leadership Louisville, Ignite Louisville, and in 2014, she graduated from Leadership Louisville’s Bingham Fellows Program focused on improving West Louisville.
Evans’ strong attachment to the College can be credited, in part, to the strong personal connections she made while a student.
“Milton Reigelman, Cowan Professor of English, Emeritus, was my professor and my boss at the Governor’s Scholars Program, and he will forever be my mentor and friend,” Evans says. “I know that Reigelman has always had my best interest and success in mind and our long-standing relationship is very important to me. Another is the late Bill Breeze, assistant to the president for endowment, from whom I learned so much and loved. Mr. Breeze was always so kind and supportive.”
The other women honored at the event included Maria Hampton, community leader in affordable housing (retired); Marta Miranda-Straub, community leader in social work (retired); Darlene Thomas, founder and executive director of GreenHouse17; and Marita Willis, community leader in affordable housing (retired).
Also honored was this year’s Nolen C. Allen Man of Distinction, Trinidad Jackson, a mentor and community leader in violence prevention.
Evans has this advice for young people who share her passion for serving their communities:
“Just start! Find an organization with a mission that you want to support and go volunteer. There is so much need in our communities, it is very easy for you to find a place or people who would value your involvement, volunteerism and interest. As a student at Centre, I volunteered as a candy-striper at Ephraim McDowell, a tutor at Toliver Elementary and in the black box theatre in Grant Hall, part of Centre’s Norton Center for the Arts. All of these volunteer engagements aligned with my passion and areas where I wanted to have positive impact.”
by Cindy Long
Feb. 28, 2020