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GCU’s WILD Program Celebrates Women Leaders at WILD Awards Ceremony

Women smiling for Women in Leadership Development program.

Georgian Court University’s Women in Leadership Development (WILD) program celebrated achievements and honored individuals with special WILD awards at the recent 14th Annual WILD Leadership Banquet.

Evelyn Saul Quinn, M.S.W., M.Ed., ’74, vice president for mission integration

The ceremony, held on May 6 at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood, also included the presentation of cords to graduating seniors and the recognition of the peer advisory board.

Ten special WILD awards were granted at the event. Among WILD’s highest honors is the Legacy Award, which was officially renamed the Evelyn Saul Quinn Legacy Award this year. It honors the contributions of Ms. Quinn, M.S.W., M.Ed., ’74, vice president for mission integration, who founded WILD in 2003.

WILD awards banquet students
Josephine Murphy ’18 and Christina Morgese ’18

The award is given to a graduating senior and longstanding WILD member, and a “true representative of what it means to be a WILD woman, what it means to uphold the Mercy core values, has really left an impact on GCU,” according to Sara Leader, coordinator of student leadership and engagement. The recipient of the Evelyn Saul Quinn Legacy Award was Marisa DeVito ’18.

Ms. Quinn, who will step down as vice president for mission integration and return to teaching at GCU in the spring, was presented with the Visionary Award.

The recipients of the other WILD awards included WILD Woman of the Year: Marisa Bonamassa-Cimino; Service Award: Amy Townsley; Emerging Leader Award: Elizabeth “Lily” Antonowicz; Outstanding New Member Award: Ashley Oliveira; Peer Mentor Award of Excellence: Dana Sobel; WILD Pride Award: Regan Ennis; Academic Achievement Award: Krista Morton; WILD Advocacy Award: Rod Colón ’95; and Mercy Leadership Award: Christina Morgese.

A speech by GCU alumna Heather Smith ’16 and two student presentations preceded the award presentations. WILD’s highlights from the 2017–2018 academic year were also celebrated.

WILD embodies GCU’s historic special concern for women and provides many opportunities for female students to become engaged leaders on campus and beyond while developing valuable professional skills.

To view more photos from the event, visit our WILD Dinner 2018 photo album.

Story contributed by Heidi Chaya ’17. Photos by Phyllis Schiavone.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings, and in 2024, GCU was named one of the best Online Master’s Colleges in New Jersey.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.