Three esteemed professionals were the recipients of Randolph College’s 2016 Alumnae Achievement Awards, presented tonight by President Bradley W. Bateman.
The 2016 Alumnae Achievement Award winners were:
Muriel Zimmerman Casey ’53
Muriel Zimmerman Casey ’53 earned her degree in English and started her career as a teacher for Seven Hills School in 1963. By 1968, she was serving as both a teacher and counselor for the school. In 1968, she was named assistant headmistress, and she went on to earn her M.Ed. from the University of Virginia.
Casey began what would become a 30-year career at R-MWC in 1972, when she was hired as the alumnae director. During her time at the College, she was an integral part of her alma mater, forging relationships and creating programming designed to engage alumnae. When she retired in 2003, the Muriel Zimmerman Casey Alumnae House was named in her honor.
Casey has added to her legacy at the College since her retirement. She has continued to volunteer a tremendous amount of time, served as a mentor and guide to the alumnae and alumni office staff, and willingly shared her memories and expertise in the College’s history.
She is also very active in her community. She has been a lay reader at Trinity Episcopal Church, a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Washington, D.C., and a director of the board of the Lynchburg Mental Health Association. She has also served on the board of the Woman’s Club of Lynchburg, and was a member of the American Association of University Women and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Her husband, Mallan, passed away in 2006. They have three sons, David, Carleton, and William.
Casey also has a longstanding connection to the College. Four of her cousins are alumnae, as well as her daughter-in-law, Andree Buquet Casey ’84.
Heather Ayers Garnett ’86
Heather Ayers Garnett ’86 also spent the majority of her career at the College. As a student, she worked in the dining hall with Rie Meriwether Godsey ’77 and Becky Dawson Tweedy ’81. She earned her degree in economics, and during the spring of her senior year she was hired by Godsey.
In 1991, Garnett was selected to manage the College’s summer programs. A year later, she was offered the job of assistant director for the Alumnae Office. Fast forward five years, and she took over as the associate director. Through that role, she managed the Chapter activities and programs, oversaw special events, and worked closely with the Association Board.
Garnett went on to earn a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Lynchburg College.
In March 2006, she was named the College’s alumnae director and served in that position until last spring. During her tenure at the College, she was actively engaged and made important contributions to her alma mater. During the Board’s strategic planning process, Garnett worked closely with the Board of Trustees, senior administration, the Association Board, and alumnae across the country.
Garnett also worked hard to increase alumnae engagement. During the past years, she and her team spent countless hours strengthening the College’s relationships with its alumnae while also creating new programs to form bonds with new alumni.
Garnett has four children: Luke, McKinzie, Rachel, and Rebecca. Luke attended Randolph from 2011-2014 and McKinzie will graduate in 2017.
Rebecca Dixon ’60
After earning her degree in religious studies and leaving the Red Brick Wall, Rebecca Dixon ’60 worked as a research analyst for New York Life Insurance before beginning what would be a long, varied, and successful career in higher education.
When she retired in 2005, after nearly 45 years in higher education, Dixon was recognized for her grace, wisdom, energy, and professionalism. During her long tenure, she was a significant member of the administration of Northwestern University, working to increase the school’s enrollment, academic quality, and diversity. In addition, she has spent her life giving back, volunteering in her community and at her alma mater.
Dixon’s background shows her lifelong love of learning as well as her exceptional work ethic and tenacity. In 1962, she began work at the University of Akron in the admissions office. Two years later, she was hired by the University of Miami to serve as the graduate and international students admissions officer and assistant director of admissions. She earned her M.Ed. in student personnel services from Miami. About eight years later, she moved to serve as the admission coordinator of the graduate school at the University of Southern California. She earned her Ph.D. in higher education from the university in 1978.
After earning her degree, she was selected as dean of admission and financial aid at The American University, where she served for four years. She then moved to serve as the director of the Midwest regional office for the College Board in 1983. In 1988, she was hired by Northwestern University as associate provost of university enrollment, where she worked until her retirement in 2005.
Dixon is known for her expertise in international education, university admissions, financial aid, registration, records, and university program review. She was an editor and chapter author of the 1995 book, Making Enrollment Management Work.
In addition, she has always remained loyal to her alma mater. A trustee emerita, she concluded her second term on the College’s Board of Trustees in 2013. During her time on the Board, she served on various committees, including Building and Grounds, Executive, Enrollment/Student Affairs, and Institutional Advancement. Perhaps one of the biggest services she has provided to the College was when she stepped in to lead the Enrollment Management during the spring of 2007, during the College’s transition to coeducation. During this time, she took a hiatus from her role as a trustee and temporarily moved to Lynchburg, where she selflessly gave of her time and expertise during a critical time in the College’s history.
Dixon continues to be involved with the College and has been a consistent and generous supporter financially. She also volunteers in her community, serving as a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, where she leads boat and walking tours of Downtown Chicago. She is also an active member of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.
Dixon is part of a legacy at Randolph. Her mother, Marelia Rhodes Dixon, graduated in 1933 and her niece, Peyton Dixon Martin, graduated in 1996.