Trevecca Nazarene University

Trevecca celebrates female servant leaders with presentation of two awards

Recipients of the Nina Griggs Gunter Servant-Leadership Award--Dr. Jo Ann Lyon (left) and Ashley Nicole Hoffner (right)--pose with Dr. Gunter after receiving their awards.

The October 10 chapel service at Trevecca was a celebration of servant leadership by women. In that service, Dr. Nina Gunter, former general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene (now retired), presented two awards to females who have distinguished themselves by their commitment to be servant leaders. The second Nina Griggs Gunter Award Servant-Leadership Award went to Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. Lyon delivered the chapel message.

In 2008 Lyon was elected as the first female general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, and in 2012 she was elected as the only general superintendent of that denomination. Ordained as a minister in The Wesleyan Church in 1996, she completed her undergraduate work at the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and additional graduate work at St. Louis University. She has been honored with two doctorates.

In 1996 Lyon founded World Hope International (WHI) in order “to empower the poorest of the poor around the world so they can become agents of change within their communities.” Working with WHI, Lyon sought to bring opportunity, dignity, and hope to persons who lived in the worst circumstances in world areas where poverty, forced labor, abuse, and prostitution were rampant. WHI has become a successful service model and relief/development organization.

The second award honored a female undergraduate student who has demonstrated servant leadership during her years at Trevecca. Twelve females were nominated for this award, and a committee reviewed the accomplishments of each nominee. The winner of the second Nina Griggs Gunter Student Servant-Leader Award is Ashley Nicole Hoffner, a senior social work major.

Hoffner’s accomplishments at Trevecca include the following: two+ years of service as a peer mentor and participation on several Trevecca around the Globe (TAG) mission trips (including  time spent in a “creative access country” this past summer). Additionally, she has demonstrated a servant’s heart and a passion for helping others during her time at Trevecca. Hoffner’s award included a $1,000 scholarship.

Dr. Gunter was the first recipient of the Nina Griggs Gunter Servant-Leadership Award, named in her honor in recognition of her servant leadership in the roles in which she served throughout her career, most recently as the first female general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene. The second recipient of the award was Senator Elizabeth Dole.