The Alumnae Board and SAYPO Board have voted, and are proud to announce
the 2016 Veritas Award winner: KATIE UPTON DAILY ’96
and the 2016 SAYPO Award winner: SARA BRANDINO ELIAS ’99.
We are proud of all of our Academy women who were nominated! Please join us prior to reunion at 3 p.m. p.m. on Saturday, October 1, as we present these awards.
KATIE UPTON DAILY ’96 raised over $241,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and was honored as the LLS Gulf Coast Chapter's Woman of the Year 2016. This was the most money ever raised by a Houston candidate and her efforts were in honor of her mother’s memory, whom she lost to Lymphoma over a year ago. LLS describes ideal candidates for this award as community based leaders who are philanthropic, ambitious, socially active, resourceful, goal oriented, and passionate about making a difference in the lives of people suffering from blood cancers. Kate certainly fits the bill!
SARA BRANDINO ELIAS ’99. In 2013, Sara’s husband, a healthy 40 year-old non-smoker, was diagnosed with stage IV Lung Cancer and was told that a person with his diagnosis has 18 months to live. Their hearts dropped and their minds raced. Wanting to do something for the cause, Sara began searching for an event to participate in for Lung Cancer. She soon realized that there was not a walk, a luncheon, a golf tournament - nothing - to support it. She took action and contacted the Lung Care Alliance, recruited two other volunteers, and founded Houston’s first Lung Love Walk. In last year’s inaugural event and they recruited close to 700 participants and raised $85,000. Sara is a true Academy woman. She saw a need and filled it, and her efforts will help many.
2016 VERITAS AWARD NOMINEES:
The Veritas award is presented to an alumna who exhibits outstanding dedication to, support for, and love of St. Agnes. It was established in 2004. The Alumnae and SAYPO boards will vote at the first 2016-2017 board meeting on August 9, based on nominations provided by their peers. The award will be presented at the St. Agnes Reunion on October 1. The recipient will also be featured on social media and in Veritas Magazine. (Nominees are listed in alphabetical order)
KATIE UPTON DAILY ’96 (4 nominations)
CINDY STOWELL ’75 (4 nominations)
DOMINIQUE MARSHALL VARNER ’87
2016 SAYPO AWARD NOMINEES:
(Nominees are listed in alphabetical order)
Alumnae that were featured in an Alumnae Spotlight in the past year are nominated to receive the SAYPO Award, which is presented to an alumnae who is pursuing excellence in her career, and is an outstanding representative of St. Agnes through her professionalism, ingenuity, creativity and success. The SAYPO board will vote at the first 2016-2017 board meeting on August 9, based on the full information in the original Alumnae Spotlight. The award will be presented at the St. Agnes Reunion on October 1.
AMMIE HUDSON BLAHUTA ’98
SARA BRANDINO ELIAS ’99
MEREDITH FLAHERTY ‘04
GRACE FLETCHER ’08
CRISTINA GARZA ’02
BEATRICE HERRMANN ’12
SANDI MOYNIHAN ’09
KATE OLDEN ’98
NATHALIE PHAN ’12
ALEXANDRIA TARVER ’07
REGINA VATTEROTT ’12
LAUREN WILLS ’04
ALUMNA VERITAS AWARD
The St. Agnes Academy Alumnae Veritas Award is presented to an alumna who exhibits outstanding dedication to, support for and love of St. Agnes. It was established in 2004 and since then, the St. Agnes Academy Alumnae Board and St. Agnes Young Professionals Organization honors an alumna with the Veritas Award.
TO NOMINATE AN ALUMNA
Please nominate an alumna by writing a paragraph describing her dedication to St. Agnes, the St. Agnes community, and the community as a whole; as well her compassion for humanity and her achievements academically, professionally, and in leadership roles.
Please read the below, then email your nomination to:
Lori Sebastian Pinter '88, Director of Alumnae Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30, 2016.
You must include:
Your name (First, Maiden, Last) and class Year (if applicable)
Your nominees name (First, Maiden, Last) and class year.
A paragraph about why you are nominating your alumnae.
GUIDELINES FOR NOMINATING
DEDICATION TO ST. AGNES: What St. Agnes events has the nominee supported or attended?
Has she contributed to St. Agnes with her time, talent, or treasure?
COMMUNITY & HUMANITY: Does the nominee represent St. Agnes well in the community? Does she help others?
Is she active in other charity organizations? Does she encourage diversity in her life and in the lives of others?
ACADEMICS, PROFESSIONALISM & LEADERSHIP: Does the nominee value and support study and education?
Please describe your nominee’s professional life. Does she excel in her career and encourage others to do so?
NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS
A nominee must be a graduate of St. Agnes.
A nominee cannot currently be serving on the St. Agnes Alumnae Board or SAYPO Board.
Nominees cannot be nominated 2 years in a row. (For example, if you nominated someone last year,
you must wait a year in between before nominating again.)
Honoree will be notified by Tuesday, August 11 and will be honored at a presentation on October 1, 2016
at the all-class reunion (at 3 p.m., prior to the All School Reunion.) If the honoree is unavailable for the reunion weekend,
another presentation ceremony will be arranged.
Alumnae Spotlights who are not eligible for the SAYPO Award will be automatically nominated for the Alumna Veritas Award.
Nominations will be taken from the community: July 21 – July 30, 2015.
The recipient will be featured on social media and in Veritas Magazine.
Voting by the Alumnae and SAYPO Boards will take place on Tuesday, August 9, 2016.
The SAYPO (St. Agnes Young Professionals Organization) Award and is presented to an alumnae who is pursuing excellence in her career, and is an outstanding representative of St. Agnes through her professionalism, ingenuity, creativity and success.
To be eligible, a candidate must be a St. Agnes alumnae featured in an Alumnae Spotlight within the prior year (July – July) and meet SAYPO age requirements. All SAYPO Alumnae Spotlights will be automatically nominated for the SAYPO Award. Nominations will be voted by the current year’s SAYPO Board at the first meeting of the year (generally in August). The Award will be presented in conjunction with the Alumnae Veritas Award, prior to the annual All-School Reunion and Open House. The recipient will be featured on social media and in Veritas Magazine.
2015 was the first year for The SAYPO (St. Agnes Young Professionals Organization) Award.
2015 VERITAS & SAYPO AWARD WINNERS: DIANE KNEBEL WATLER ’72 & ANDREA IVEY PHILLIPS ’04Prior to
reunion 2015, a presentation was help in the Choral room to present the 2015 Veritas
Award to Diane Knebel Watler’72 and the (inaugural) 2015 SAYPO Award to Andrea
Ivey Phillips ’04.
Award was presented by Alumnae Board president Elaine Lemp ’00 and
Mary Large Albrecht ’72, who was one of many alumnae that nominated
Diane. SAYPO Board President Julianne Piazza ’04 and Cathleen Gready
Fishel ’04 presented the inaugural SAYPO Award to Andrea.
Diane Knebel Watler ’72 by Mary Large
“I am writing to you about Diane Knebel Watler,
the soon-to-be 2015 SAA Alumnae
Veritas Award recipient!” That’s how I started my paragraph nominating Diane
Watler for the Veritas Award. In July,
we all received an email from St. Agnes requesting nominations. The award would
be presented to an alumna who exhibits outstanding dedication to, support for
and love of St. Agnes. Several of us
girlfriends immediately recognized our good friend Diane in that description. If ever there was a St. Agnes graduate
deserving of this award, it is Diane.
Agnes asked me to say a few words about Diane, I thought the best way to do
that would be to share the thoughts of the girlfriends who helped to nominate
her. We all agreed on how involved she
was at St. Agnes, not only while we were in school from 1968 to 1972, but also
all the years since then. She was very
involved with St. Agnes Student Council during that time, including being our
Student Body president for 2 years. Since graduating from SAA Diane has been a
dedicated and constant supporter; she is a salesperson for
St Agnes in all that she does. She
keeps all of her classmates "plugged in" to
all things that affect the school. She has been an active volunteer at St. Agnes galas and auctions and
phone fundraisers. She also served on the alumnae board. If I’m not mistaken, I believe that Diane was
on the board when this award was first being implemented in 2004. How fitting
that an award designed to recognize service to an alum of SAA would eventually
be awarded to one of those who implemented this award to recognize the
contributions of others.
addition to her dedication to SAA, Diane was President of her sorority, Alpha Delta Phi, while attending the University of Texas. She also chaired the auction at The Edna Gladney Center for
Adoption, an organization very special to Diane. And she chaired school auctions at St.Vincent
de Paul Catholic School. As you can
tell, Diane likes to be involved. There
is no job too big or too small for her.
can do and will do attitude is inspiring. All of Diane’s classmates recognize that even more important
than all of Diane’s involvement, however, is the strength of her faith. Her remarkable
perseverance, optimism and sense of duty keep her strong in spite of the
hardships and adversity that life presents. She greets each of us with
smiles and hugs, always reminding us how very blessed we all are. She is such a positive person and her strong spirituality is an
inspiration to anyone who meets her. She is always looking at life with
her glass half full and her eyes wide open.
Diane, you are the Best of what IS
St. Agnes. Congratulations and love from
all of us.
Phillips ’04 by Cathleen Gready Fishel
What Andrea has done in 2 years, most people can’t
in 10. She is an inspiration to me and
many who love fashion. Her journey began
in the halls of St. Agnes Academy. I remember Andrea’s good work ethic, even
taking lunches to study in the library.
After graduating from Vanderbilt, she landed a prestigious investment
banking job. Aspiring to do more and wanting to exercise her creativity, she
decided to pursue her MBA at Rice University which prepared her with the skills
to start her own business.
In April 2013, Andrea and her husband, Oliver,
moved to Dubai. Andrea became frustrated with the limited availability of the
clothing selection as well as the price tag. This situation inspired her to
start her own clothing line. Gathering only the best European fabric and
creating beautiful silhouettes, AG Phillips was born. Due to job transfer for
Oliver, the two moved to London in January of 2014. Fast forward a year and
half Andrea’s line is in Tootsies, Neiman Marcus across the country and various
high-end boutiques in several states.
Andrea is deserving of this award because her
perseverance, creativity and success.
She is a true Academy woman and this is just the beginning of her
career. Move over Elaine Turner, Kendra Scott and, dare I say, Chanel.
VERITAS AWARD PAST RECIPIENTS
2015 - Diane Knebel Watler ’72
2014 – Conception Diaz-Arrastia Green ’78
2013 – Carolyn Carbajal McCairns ’57
2012 - Sr. Carol Mayes, O.P. '56
2011 - Charla Ward Trader '64
2010 - Mary Ann Chambers '57
2009 - Debbie Sieck '87
2008 - Kathy Kokas '73
2007 - Janet Kingham Greenwood '57
2006 - Sister Therese Warden, O.P. '51
2005 - Eileen Antill '51
2004 - Calista Schneidau Herbert '69
SAYPO AWARD PAST RECIPIENTS
2015 (Inaugural) - Andrea Ivey Phillips ’04