Padua Academy honored Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Peggy Noonan as a “Woman of Achievement,” on April 27th at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, where the White House speechwriter addressed a huge crowd over over 500 at a seated dinner.
Several fortunate invitees were able to meet and pose for pictures with the well known author, who has written several books on politics, religion and culture, during a cocktail reception. Guests included a former governor, members of congress, and community and religious leaders from across the region, who joined Padua students, parents, and supporters for a night to celebrate the accomplishments of women.
Pete Steiner, president of Padua’s Board of Trustees proclaimed, “This is an incredible night for our community. I attend scores of events each year, but tonight Padua has shined a spotlight on women’s education that will glow for years to come.” Padua alum, and event emcee, Pat Ciarrocchi noted, “Peggy brought the perfect blend of wit, humor, storytelling, and experience from a life amazingly lived and a powerful example to our students.”
Noonan spoke about leadership – comparing the five presidents that have served in office since she began her career as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan. In her insightful stories about each president, she contrasted their public leadership styles to their private lives, and suggested that each president could have benefitted from learning more about the leadership styles of their predecessors. Noonan said, “Being a great leader looks more like an artist than an economist. Having the big picture is best for a effective leader instead of having too many pots on the stove.”
Padua’s Annual Dinner in Honor of Women’s Achievement recognizes the exceptional accomplishments of women who lead lives of faith, charity, leadership, and entrepreneurial innovation.
Past recipients include: Rwandan Genocide Survivor, Immaculee Ilibagiza; former United States Ambassador, Mary Ann Glendon; New York Times best-selling author Liz Murray; former First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush, the inspirational subject of “The Blind Side,” Leigh Anne Tuohy, business mogul and philanthropist, Kathy Ireland, and record-setting adventurer Alison Levine.