Enduring Spirit Award

The Enduring Spirit Award is an annual award given to a person(s) who is nominated and honored by others through MUSE. The Enduring Spirit Award offers a meaningful way to honor individuals (present or posthumously), who exemplify the underlying mission of MUSE.

The 2015 Enduring Spirit Award was presented to Dr. Deborah Meem and Dr. Michelle Gibson at this yearʼs spring concert. We quote from their award winning book Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies, coauthored with Jonathan Alexander: “We begin with the assumption that teaching about diversity, including sexual and affectional diversity, needs no justification. Thus, as you will see, our language is not about 'tolerating' diversity but about honoring it.” As the named plaintiffs in Gibson vs. Hines, they fight for us in Ohio to strike down the ban on same sex marriage.

Dr. Meem is presently Head of the Department of Womenʼs, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Gibson is professor emerita at UC where she was a tenured full time faculty member in Womenʼs, Gender and Sexuality Studies and served as Undergraduate Director. They have fought to eliminate social injustice-through writing, mentoring, going to court and in the daily living of their lives. Dr. Meem and Dr. Gibson are outstanding individuals who exemplify the underlying mission of MUSE and we proudly honor their enduring spirits.

To donate to MUSE in honor of Deb and Michelle please click here.


Many of our MUSE readers know and love someone in their lives who has become an “enduring spirit”. This person’s words and deeds have given to the community, and their tireless, selfless actions have emulated the work of MUSE. MUSE is dedicated to social change and wants to honor those people who have also dedicated their lives to that end. Perhaps there is someone among your friends, family, co-workers or acquaintances that is celebrating a birthday, retirement or someone you wish to honor - just because! Naming this person as an Enduring Spirit recipient might be the perfect way.

The individual can be chosen by a group of people or an individual wishing to confer this special honor upon someone. A donation of $1,000.00 or more is made to MUSE, and MUSE and her constituency recognize the honoree. Think about MUSE, and think about those people who have touched your life, others’ lives and whose legacy needs to be recognized and sustained. Sustaining MUSE and her courage, strength and dedication, in partnership with the naming of an “Enduring Spirit”, will influence generations to come. To find out more contact our office.

To nominate someone for an Enduring Spirit Award, download an application or use the online application below.

Past Enduring Spirit Award Recipients:

2003 Marilla Sweet, Janet Kalven
2004 Catherine Roma, Sister Alice Gerdeman
2005 Gloria Stewart
2006 Holly Near
2007 Angie Denov, Diana Porter
2008 Therese Edell, Ruth Rowan
2011 Dr. Patrick O. Coyle
2012 Sr. Louise Akers
2015 Dr. Deborah Meem and Dr. Michelle Gibson