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Two Bellevue University Leaders Recognized for Their Legacies and Lifelong Efforts to Uplift the Community and Empower Women

Women on a Mission for Change Celebrates Leadership at 2021 Legacy Gala

View Geri Mason Legacy Award
Geri Mason Legacy Award
View Dr. Mary Hawkins Legacy Award
Dr. Mary Hawkins Legacy Award

BELLEVUE, Neb. - Two Bellevue University leaders were recognized for their leadership and efforts to uplift the community during the 2021 Legacy Gala hosted by Women on Mission for Change held on Friday, Oct.15. 

Dr. Mary Hawkins, Bellevue University President, and Geri Mason, Sr. Director of Marketing, were among the nine community leaders recognized this year. Other Legacy Gala honorees for 2021 included Mabel Alarcon Craven; Dr. Candice Batton, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Leticia Crisman, Latino Center of the Midlands; Maria Gonzalez, Northeast Community College; Doris Moore, Center for Holistic Development; Terri Sanders, Omaha Star; and Debra Schrampfer, Union Pacific. 

According to Women on a Mission for Change founder Gina Ponce, the Legacy Gala acknowledges outstanding women and their legacies, but also makes a difference in the future of the community. “The event allows us to celebrate the real and lasting contributions of these strong women leaders throughout the metro area,” she said. Ponce added that the Legacy Gala helps to raise funds that support the organization’s “Women Influencing Girls” mentoring program for girls aged 14-17. 

Dr. Hawkins joined Bellevue University in 1995 and became the university’s fourth president in 2009. Since her arrival, Bellevue University has changed dramatically in enrollment, geographic reach, scope of programs and services and in the national, international, corporate and community partnerships it is developing. Dr. Hawkins has volunteered time and talent toward the American Council for Education, the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way of the Midlands and the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce among others. 

As Sr. Director for Marketing, Mason is responsible for national student recruitment channels at Bellevue University. During her 10-year tenure, her internal and external marketing teams have made major contributions to the university’s record-breaking growth. Mason is certified in Coaching, Emotional Intelligence and MBTI, and has served on boards or committees for Marian High School, the Women’s Fund, Junior Achievement, Community Alliance and other organizations. 

For more information about Women on a Mission for Change, visit 

About Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with more than 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everywhere online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (