Mary Jane LeVan Armacost ’62
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2011
Mary Jane is one of the Bay Area’s most dedicated volunteers, celebrated as the 1994 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year by the Volunteer Center of San Mateo County. The passion fueling her volunteer activities is eclectic, best appreciated when viewed through a wide lens that includes Bay Area healthcare, the arts, the education of women and the zoo.
The operation of healthcare facilities has been a major focus for Mary Jane, and one in which she participates at the corporate level. She was a director and former board chair of Sutter Health, Northern California’s largest health-care system. She also applied her expertise for over 20 years on the board of her community’s Mills-Peninsula Hospital.
Care-filled cultivation of service organizations and the fine arts has occupied another slice of Mary Jane’s life. She has been a longtime member of the Junior League of San Francisco and trustee/former board chair of the San Francisco Zoological Society. She is a founding member of the London (UK) Service League, now the Junior League of London. Currently, Mary Jane is a member of the board of the Sun Valley (Idaho) Summer Symphony.
For Denison, Mary Jane’s outstanding fundraising skills have served the College well. She has been a President’s Associates volunteer, class reunion volunteer and National Annual Fund Chair in addition to serving on several campaign-planning committees. From 2000-2008, she co-chaired the Higher Ground Campaign. In spite of being book-ended by 9/11/01 and the stock market difficulties in the fall of 2008, her calm determination and tireless efforts helped the campaign push past its original $160 million goal to raise a staggering $177.7 million.
Her executive abilities made her a natural for the presidential search committee that found Dale Knobel. Her commitment to make college education affordable for young women was the perfect fit for service on the Women for Denison committee. Her love for Denison is the perfect motivation for class reunion committees and her exemplary service on Denison’s Board of Trustees from 1981-1987 and 1989-2001. She became a Life Trustee in 2001.