Jan. 20, 2021
Biola University honored four women with one of four Ruby Awards at this year’s women’s conference, “Dare Mighty Things,” in honor of National Women’s History Month. Each women was nominated by the Biola community for specific biblical traits such as strength and courage. Recipients include local teacher Lori Clock Fry (’85), Biola professor Dorothy Calley (’01), Generation Her founder Dianna Smiley (’03), and Donna Rigsby, co-director of Biola’s Bible Lands program.
Alumna Halee Gray Scott, (Ph.D. ’10), spoke at the luncheon on how the high perceptions that some women have of female leaders causes others to feel woefully inadequate — so inadequate they’re afraid to step out to lead at all. Gray Scott dove into the concept of “extraordinary,” and how it divides women who are already leading from women who might lead.
Lori Clock Fry (’85) received this year’s Esther Ruby Award for obedience and servanthood. Fry is an educator for the Norwalk-La Mirada School District who has helped achieve significant progress on behalf of equal opportunity for African-Americans. She has also demonstrated leadership and commitment to educational equality, materials and curriculum while serving as a role model and inspiration in promoting leadership potential in African-Americans. The Esther Ruby Award is inspired by Esther 4:15-16 — an award given to a woman who exemplifies courage in her day to day life and is considered a modern day heroine.
This year’s Priscilla Ruby Award for teaching and mentoring was given to Dorothy Alston Calley (’01). Calley, communication studies professor at Biola, loves to mentor young women in and outside of the classroom. Committed to her work ethic and craft at the highest level of scholarship, Calley also displays a balance between her work, family and spiritual life. According to those who nominated her, Calley prays relentlessly, is passionate, caring, and desires to cultivate hard-working and intelligent students who are on fire for the Lord. The Priscilla Ruby Award is inspired by Acts 18:26 — an award given to a woman who displays a love for God’s word and a desire to live out his truth in love.
Dianna Smiley (’03) received the Deborah Ruby Award for leadership and wisdom. Smiley is dedicated to giving back to the community through her non-profit organization called Generation Her, a teen mom outreach program. Founded in 2010, Generation Her has impacted more than 400 teen moms by assisting them with educational and career goals as well as provide a safe place of encouragement, hope and support through mentors and their fellow community of teenage mothers. Generation Her, which serves the cities of Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County, Pomona, Montebello and Bell Gardens, is not only changing lives in the world of teen moms, it is also changing the community at large. She carries a servant’s heart into her community through her love of the Lord and commitment to making an impact. The Deborah Ruby Award is inspired by Judges 4:4-7 — an award given to a woman who exemplifies wisdom as she lives out a life of leadership.
Donna Rigsby, Co-director of Talbot Bible Lands program, received this year’s Anna Horton Award for student mentoring. Rigsby served with her husband Richard Rigsby, professor emeritus at Talbot School of Theology, as a director of the Talbot Bible Lands program for 21 years, leading Talbot students to Turkey, Greece and Rome nearly four weeks each time. She graciously opens her home to Talbot staff for luncheons several times a year and hosts Talbot Bible Lands alumni reunions. Rigsby is a gracious and humble servant and has blessed many people during her years at Talbot. The Anna Horton Award is inspired by Anna Horton, wife of Biola founder T.C Horton and Biola’s first dean of women — an award given to a woman who plays a vital and dynamic role in the lives of current students at Biola.
Written by Kayla Joy Mele, iBiola reporter. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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