National Women's History Month Sparkles

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Mar. 5, 2008 By Jenna Bartlo

Jonalyn Fincher speaking at the luncheon

Grammy Award nominated artist, Crystal Lewis, entertained guests of the Ruby Slippers Luncheon, held on Biola University’s Metzger lawn on March 5. Lewis sang some of her popular contemporary Christian hits, including “People Get Ready.”

The luncheon hosted 300 women and men celebrating Women’s History month and Biola women over the past 100 years.

The oversized tent on Metzger lawn included flashes of red linens spread throughout and each table held a different type of ruby-red colored shoe. Sneakers, high heels, rain boots adorned the tables – symbolic of the unique qualities that makes no one woman alike.

Following lunch was the first-ever Ruby Awards Ceremony, honoring Biola women for their service and faithfulness to Biola. The Ruby Awards reflect the Godly traits and values exemplified by women in the Bible including included the Esther Award, for obedience and servanthood; the Priscilla Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring; and the Deborah Award for Leadership and Service.

Anna Belle Cook, former Biola first lady was honored with the Esther Award for her years of service to God and Biola, alongside her husband, President Cook. Dr. Shelley Cunningham was honored with the Priscilla Award for her impact in teaching and mentoring and Biola 2004 alumnus and recipient of the Deborah Award was Tanya Walters, who was honored for her role in serving many students in inner city Los Angeles who she reached out to by creating a non-profit organization, Godparents Club, to give underprivileged youth the opportunity to connect to the world and go on to college.

Following the awards ceremony, Jonalyn Fincher, a Biola alumnus and author of the book that inspired the Ruby Slippers luncheon, shared some of her book. Fincher’s book, Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home explores the idea of femininity and God's unique design in creating women.

Biola plans to host the Ruby Awards annually.

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