The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts recognized docent graduates on Monday, May 18 at the annual Docent Graduation and Awards Ceremony. The ceremony serves as a thank you for all current docents for their generosity and hard work as well a celebration of the accomplishments of the new docents. Docents train with a rigorous program that requires studying the Museum’s permanent collection, traveling exhibits and tours, with emphasis on gallery teaching. The docents meet thousands of visitors with a smile and offer personalized tours of the Museum.
Guests were welcomed by Museum Director Mark Johnson and the Museum staff continued with a thank you to all active docents in attendance: Jerry Atkinson, Paula Branch, Katherine Danley , Alma Freeman, Martha Gates, Betty Grate, Bobetta Jones, Dot Jones, Helen Kerbey, Chrys King, Liz Land, Beverly Lipton, David Lipton, Marsha Manners, Marks Marcus, Connie Morrow, George Olsson, Karen Pirnie, Judy Pratt, Charlene Roberson, Julie Salley, Lou Scott, Jeanette Siegers, Gloria Simons, Jenny Thiessen, Joan Thomas, Anne Toms, Lola Varner, Pat Wanglie and Ann Wells.
The Museum welcomed 13 new docents this year: Beverly Bennett, Corrine Cau, Gail Clements, Bonnie Ernst, Ken Johnson, Carol Johnston, Joan Loeb, Pam Moulton, Gail Stokes, Jiyeon Suh, Carol Tew, Erin Turnham and Cindy Wilson.
Top honors were presented to Jerry Atkinson for Outstanding Daytime Docent and Beverly Lipton for Outstanding Weekend Docent.
In addition to tours, the Museum’s docent program also offers opportunities for docents to assist in other areas of the Museum education department. This year’s Outstanding Contribution to Studio was awarded to Betty Grate. Outstanding Contribution to Outreach was presented to Gloria Simons and Outstanding Contribution to Puppet Show was awarded to Ann Wells.
On special Saturday afternoons throughout the year, the art cart is set up in the Rotunda of the Museum from 1 to 3 p.m. containing many fun activities designed to enhance the featured exhibitions at the Museum. Jeannette Seigers was honored as Outstanding Art Cart Leader.
The “100 Hour” Club was established several years ago to recognize those outstanding docents who have given more than 100 hours in tours and service during the year. Betty Grate, Lou Scott, Gloria Simons, and Pat Wanglie were recognized for their hard work.
A very special honor is presented to the most outstanding new docent. The award is named in memory of Wayne Barto, who was with the Museum for only one year. His spirit lives on with his challenge to new docents, “To be enthusiastic, dedicated, versatile, and flexible—while providing exceptional tour and education program service.” Pam Moulton was presented with the Wayne Barto Memorial Award for Outstanding New Docent and commended as a shining example of the best of the Docent Program.
Since 1989, Pat Wanglie has maintained a record of presenting more than 100 hours of tours yearly, in addition to many other volunteer hours to the Museum. In 1996, the Museum established an award in honor of Pat for her many years of outstanding tours on behalf of the Museum. The Pat Wanglie Honorary Award for Outstanding Service was presented to Lou Scott for her exemplary service over the past year and willingness to help in any way possible.
The Helen Lonsdale Memorial Award for Leadership, a special award this year, was awarded to Joan Loeb and Liz Land. Helen Lonsdale lived a beautiful life and dedicated her artistic talents to the Museum.
The graduation and awards dinner was dedicated to the loving memory of Helen Lonsdale, a long-time docent who lost a heroic battle with cancer this year.
The Museum is always in need of docents and volunteers. If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please call the Museum at 334.240.4333.