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DATE: March 17, 2006

Mary Koch receives community award from UM-Dearborn's Commission for Women

DEARBORN---The Commission for Women at the University of Michigan-Dearborn will present its 3rd annual Susan B. Anthony Community Award this month to Mary A. Koch of the League of Women Voters of Dearborn-Dearborn Heights.

The annual award was created to recognize individuals in the community who advance the cause of women's equality in southeastern Michigan.

For the past 28 years, the commission has presented the Susan B. Anthony Award annually to a member of the campus community who has advanced women's issues. Both the campus award and the Susan B. Anthony Community Award will be presented at the group's annual award dinner on March 23.

"Mary's involvement in the community spans all ages," said Chalina Hillson, financial specialist in UM-Dearborn's College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and chair of the commission's community award committee. "Her dedication to improve the life of women and the underserved throughout the Detroit metropolitan area has always been a presence in her life. Mary believes that serving her sisterhood is best accomplished through organization. She is a leader of the highest quality recognizing that determination, a smile and a friendly hello, can open any door."

Born and raised in Detroit, Koch has volunteered her time to various community organizations for 40 years, including the League of Women Voters, which she joined in 1967. She served and chaired many committees and was president for the Detroit chapter for two terms.

Koch, who earned her bachelor's degree at Wayne State University, has been an advocate of education, dedicating her time to organizations such as Parent Cooperative Preschools International, the Greater Detroit Cooperative Nursery Council, and the Michigan Council of Cooperative Nursery Schools.

She is a founding member of Women In Need of Guidance and Skills (WINGS), which provides technical assistance for women facing educational and economic challenges. Koch also has been a supporter of UM-Dearborn's Women on the Move outreach program, serving on its committee since 1999.

Koch also is vice president of Soroptimist International of Fairlane-Wayne County West.

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