JACKSON, Tenn. – April 16, 2013 – Union University’s Jan Boud and Kimberly Thornbury have received the Sterling Award, naming them as two of the 20 most influential women in West Tennessee.
The Jackson Sun and the Jackson Area Business and Professional Women annually select the top 20 women leaders who display creativity and innovation within their profession, mentor other women and serve their West Tennessee community. In 2010, Provost Carla Sanderson was one of the first women to receive the honor.
The award committee spent eight hours to decide from 70 nominations this year, said Jacque Hillman, president-elect of Business and Professional Women of Tennessee Inc., in a letter announcing Boud’s and Thornbury’s selections.
Boud, assistant to the president for community relations at Union, has been at the forefront of initiatives to serve the Jackson community while at Union and before, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference she helped to start four years ago brought more than 400 caregivers from around West Tennessee to Union University March 20.
“I have lived in several cities over my lifetime — from Chicago to Philadelphia to Louisville — and never have I experienced a more generous community than Jackson,” Boud said. “I’m so thankful to be part of a community that encourages each of us to use their God-given gifts to benefit others. It’s humbling to be included in such a group of outstanding individuals.”
Thornbury, senior vice president for student services and dean of students, has lived in West Tennessee for almost 15 years. Thornbury has faced unexpected challenges, including leading the student services team through the aftermath of a tornado that in 2008 leveled many student apartments at Union.
The women share a passion for introducing the next generation to the West Tennessee community.
Boud assists with Leadership University, an eight-month program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce for high school juniors. Thornbury leads her team in helping Union University students discover what vocation they should pursue and find ways to serve off campus.
“Our students have been so warmly welcomed in our wonderful churches and have loved serving with local non-profit agencies,” Thornbury said. “They also have enjoyed working in this community and engaging in special aspects of Jackson including Casey Jones Village concerts and the Farmers Market, among many other opportunities in this area. I tell prospective parents and students that a student who chooses Union also receives so many benefits by living in Jackson, Tenn.”
By Samantha Adams (’13)