Dr. Stephen Mansfield Accepts 2017 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award For “The People of Methodist”

There could scarcely have been a more appropriate choice for the 15th annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award than Dr. Stephen Mansfield, president and CEO of the Dallas-based Methodist Health System. As Mansfield explained to some 400 people gathered for the luncheon at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion Wednesday, March 8, he is, after all, a respiratory therapist by training—and luncheon namesake Virginia Chandler Dykes is an occupational therapist.

Dykes completed the graduate occupational therapy program at Texas Woman’s University in 1954, and, after a career directing the occupational and recreational therapy department at Baylor University Medical Center, launched the annual awards program for TWU 15 years ago. To date, Virginia told the luncheon attendees, the event has raised $650,000 for students in each of TWU’s four colleges.

Bob White, Ralph Hawkins, Virginia Chandler Dykes, Carine Feyton and Stephen Mansfield*

Elizabeth Dodd and Mary Brinegar*

Harry Crumpacker and Mike McCullough*

Addressing an audience that included the likes of Col. Allen West, Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, Michael Meadows, Gretchen Minyard Williams, Elizabeth Dodd, Mary Brinegar, Harry Crumpacker, Mike McCullough, Mickey Price, Steve Fick, Travis Youngblood, Matt Mitzner, Michael Schaefer and Clint McDonnough, Virginia soon gave way to Bob White of sponsor Bank of Texas—the bank has sponsored the luncheon for 11 years—who said of Mansfield: “Steve’s been quiet and under-the-radar, but he’s made tremendous strides” for Methodist. Bob’s plaudits were echoed by Luncheon Co-Chair Ralph Hawkins, the event chair. During Steve’s roughly 10 years at the helm, Ralph pointed out, Methodist has tripled in size and was recognized as one of the fastest-growing health systems in the country.

Stephen and Marilyn Mansfield*

During his brief remarks, Mansfield said his selection as the 2017 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award recipient was “a great honor for me, and the for the people of Methodist.” He thanked his wife Marilyn Mansfield—”she’s my better 3/4, at least”—as well as Methodist’s 8,000 employees and 1,800 volunteers. “They pay me to be good,” Steve recalled that he jokingly teases the volunteers, “but you people are good for nothing!” He also said he’s “fallen in love” with TWU, where more than half the students are the first in their families to go to college. 

Julie Southward, Kamica King, Virginia Chandler Dykes and Laurie Stelter*

With that, TWU Chancellor and President Carine Feyten launched into the second half of the annual luncheon: presentation of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship Awards to TWU students. The 2017 scholarships went to: Laurie Stelter, from TWU’s College of Health Sciences; Katheryn Courville, from the College of Nursing, who was unable to attend; Julie Southward, of the College of Professional Education; and Kamica King, of the College of Arts and Sciences. Kamica concluded the luncheon by singing an inspirational song titled, “Live, Love, Dream,” which was featured in a documentary film about homelessness called “Signs of Humanity.”

* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman

Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon Honors Francie Moody-Dahlberg With Standing O’s And Gracious Accolades

The Belo Mansion staff had hardly gotten finished with the Elisa Project’s “Life Lessons” breakfast with Catherine and Sean Lowe and Brian Cuban on Wednesday, February 10, than they were setting up for the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon honoring Francie Moody-Dahlberg.

Outside the sun was shining, the sky was clear and the temperatures were just chilly enough to warrant a pashmina or sweater.

As guests arrived to check in, someone asked if there had been a nearby fire because there seemed to be guests with smudged brows. A friend nudged the person and reminded them it was Ash Wednesday.

Jamie Williams, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg, Carine Feyten, Chad Wick and Patricia Crocker

Jamie Williams, Francie Moody-Dahlberg, Kevin Dahlberg, Carine Feyten, Chad Wick and Patricia Crocker

When honoree Francie arrived with husband Kevin Dahlberg, it was the perfect time for a photo opp with Texas Woman’s University President Carine Feyton, her husband Chad Wick and Patricia Crocker. After the official photos were taken, Kevin whipped out his trusty Canon and shot his own photos of the group.

Virginia Chandler Dykes

Virginia Chandler Dykes

At 11:15 Virginia Chandler Dykes had arrived and was escorted to the grand ballroom to review the day’s arrangements. She then headed out the door only to be greeted like a rock star by the crowd. And Virginia was the poster child of graciousness as she welcomed each.

Just 15 minutes later the doors were on the verge of being opened when a question was raised on whether to use a hand mic or lavaliere. As the search commenced for the lavaliere, the doors opened and seven guests managed to slip in and get to their assigned table. The lavaliere was found and was tested and tested and tested against the handheld.

While the crowd tried nudging and opening the ballroom’s front doors, Belo vets and past Virginia Chandler Sykes Leadership Awardees Tincy Miller and Marnie and Kern Wildenthal took the side door and headed to their tables.

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg

Greg Hext, Kevin Dahlberg, Mike Gruber and Michael Meadows

Greg Hext, Kevin Dahlberg, Mike Gruber and Michael Meadows

Ben Casey

Ben Casey

Bobby Lyle and Brent Christopher

Bobby Lyle and Brent Christopher

At 11:40 the front doors opened to let Virginia in. Finally five minutes later the doors were officially opened. First in was Francie, followed by nearly 400 people including Bobby Lyle, Brent Christopher, past Dykes awardees Mary Brinegar and Lindalyn Adams, Ben Casey, Michael Meadows, Greg Hext, Mike Gruber, Bob White, Ruben Esquivel, Brian Dyers, Kathleen Gibson, Jacque Wynne, Chris Durovich, Bill Braem and a late-arriving Amy Green. A slight stall occurred when Francie was stopped in the doorway by a friend and another friend and another friend.

Bob White

Bob White

By the time the seats were all taken at 12:10, the doors closed and a female voice was heard over the PA welcoming the group and introducing Virginia to the podium. Her words were brief but she proudly told how $½M had been raised over the years for the scholarship funds “to attract the best and brightest graduate students to TWU.” Virginia then introduced Bank of Texas’s Executive VP Bob White and thanked him for Bank of Texas’ presenting the luncheon for 10 years.

In typical Bob White style, he described Virginia as “style and grace” and used the word “excellence” for TWU.

After lunch (spinach and butter lettuce with brie and julienne of apple and sweet sherry vinaigrette, herb-dusted filet beef with maître d’butter accompanied by Boursin cheese mashed potatoes, asparagus and a roasted tomato and bread with butter and milk chocolate mousse), Virginia took a seat in a chair on stage and Carine thanked Bank of Texas CEO Norm Bagwell and all those who had made the luncheon possible and recognized past recipients.

A video was showing including Regina Campbell, Virginia and Carine with the message that Virginia’s grandmother had instilled in her: “Get a good education and no one can take it away from you.”

With that Carine invited all to show their appreciation for Virginia resulting in a standing ovation. In turn, Virginia rose from her chair and applauded the hundreds in the room.

Carine then provided a state-of-the-union on TWU including such facts as that it

  • Will provide the state’s first university center for women entrepreneurs.
  • Will be the new home of the Woodcock Institute for the Advancement of Neurocognitive Research and Applied Practice.
  • Graduates about 80 veterans annually.
  • Is the country’s largest public university primarily for women.

Just before 1 p.m. 2015 Dykes Awardee Ralph Hawkins introduced Francie, who was given a standing ovation. In accepting her award, she kept her remarks brief and gracious.

Carine then told the audience that the Moody Foundation had presented a $200K grant to TWU.

TWU Provost /VP of Academic Affairs Robert Neely then presented the 2016 scholarship awards to Veronica Rowe from the College of Health Sciences, Erin Ellis-Guffey of the College of Arts and Sciences, Tara Signs of the College of Professional Education and Mary Roberts of the College of Nursing.