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Donate Now Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis  

One Commerce Square, 40 S. Main Street, Suite 2280
Memphis, TN 38103 • 901-578-9346

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Mertie Buckman:
The Legend Behind the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis

In looking back over the years of great work, the Women’s Foundation celebrates the successful investment in women and their families. This legacy of philanthropy began with our own Legend – Founder, Mertie Buckman.

Mertie Willigar Buckman (1904-1999) will always have a place in Memphis history – she was one of the city’s greatest philanthropists, and her imprint can be seen everywhere, including Christian Brothers University, Rhodes College and Girls Inc. Mertie made a very personal statement about her own values with her special philanthropic project – the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis –providing the seed money for its creation in 1995.

She was driven by a desire to improve Memphis, and to improve the lives of women and girls living here. If a life well-lived can be an example to others, then Mertie’s is surely one of the best examples to those who knew her. In large and small ways, Mertie had the unique ability to give of herself freely, and this selflessness was recognized by everyone who had the privilege to know her. Through her giving, Mertie redefined what it means to be a philanthropist. Mertie gave of her financial resources and her personal investment of time and energy. The gifts she made without recognition are what set her apart. Through her way of living, Mertie Buckman exemplified the true and holistic meaning of the word “philanthropist.”

In 1995, under Mertie Buckman’s leadership, a group of 10 women gathered with a powerful idea:  if women pooled their resources, they could accomplish more in their community than each could individually.  From this initial group grew a task force known as Women in Philanthropy, which later blossomed into the first board of directors and the official launching of the Women’s Foundation.


The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis proudly salutes
the Founding Board of Directors

Mertie Buckman, Honorary Chair
Barbara R. Hyde, Chair
Linda Kaplan, Vice Chair
Edith Kelly-Green, Treasurer
Marye Helen Owen, Secretary
Marilou Awiakta
Micelle B. Babcock
Rosie Phillips Bingham
Lucia Crenshaw
Barbara Duncan-Cody
Jeanne Dreifus
Babs Fiebelman
Yvonne Fournier
Carolyn Hardy
Fredricka Hodges
Frances Hooks
Peggy Jemison
Ellen Klyce
Snow Morgan
Peri Motamedi
Carol Prentiss
Shirley Prince
Gayle S. Rose
Jennifer Satre
Maxine Smith
Indu Tejwani
Jeanne Varnell
Kim Warnette
Cassandra H. Webster
Becky Jones West

 


Past Board of Directors Chairs