Shenandoah University remembers three remarkable women whose legacies include campus beautification, music and pharmacy. They are Suzanne White McKown, Kathryn Perry Werner and Anne-Marie Dunn. Each served on Shenandoah University’s board of trustees and strengthened our university by building programs and facilities, purchasing instruments and insisting on enhancing the campus environment.
Suzanne McKown celebrated her 100th birthday last year. She firmly believed beauty was as important to one’s education as buildings and books. She felt that health, education and beautiful surroundings were essential to life. Through her generosity, she transformed an unattractive and unusable area on campus into McKown Plaza, an inviting extension to the Brandt Student Center. “It’s a leisure, performance and learning space for students,” President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., said. “Suzanne achieved her goal to make the plaza a place of perfection.”
Music was an important part of Kathie Werner’s life. While she had many loves, including cooking, gardening, tennis and bridge, she had a particular fondness for music and The World of the Piano concert series. When she and her husband, Rupert, joined Shenandoah faculty, staff and students traveling to the Steinway & Sons factory in New York City in 2014, they were like “kids in a candy store.” Since the piano was one of Kathie’s favorite instruments, she and Rupert were delighted to help purchase three grand pianos for Shenandoah Conservatory’s All-Steinway School initiative and establish the Kathryn M. & Rupert W. Werner Student Piano Suite to benefit piano performance majors. In 2008, President Fitzsimmons granted Kathie trustee emerita status. She definitely lived her life with grace and generosity.
In 1998, Anne-Marie and Bernie Dunn made Shenandoah history when they announced a transformational gift of $10 million to name the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. Just this year, the School of Pharmacy celebrated its 20th anniversary. A member of the Class of 2000 said, “The Dunns’ kind gesture to underwrite the future in pharmacy education at Shenandoah University further instills a greater sense of pride in me to be a member of the first class to graduate from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy.” Anne-Marie was also a generous and enthusiastic supporter of music, and particularly enjoyed hosting concerts to benefit the Shenandoah Conservatory Choir.