In 1971 Ravinia Festival moved into the vanguard of social progress when it accorded the newly created title of Ravinia Festival Board President to Mrs. Glen A. (Marion) Lloyd, who the following year became Ravinia Festival Board Chairman, making her the first woman to serve in that capacity for a major Chicago arts organization. Mrs. Lloyd held that position through 1975.
In 1993 Marian P. Tyler (now Marian Pawlick) followed in her footsteps when she became chairman of the Ravinia Festival Board of Trustees, having served as a board member since 1985. Chairman of Ravinia’s Board through 1995, she has held important leadership positions with other local organizations as well—the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Art Institute of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Lake Forest College—but it is at Ravinia that her presence seems most conspicuous. When you get off the train or enter the park from the west parking lot, her name is the first thing you see as you pass through the Tyler Gate, named in recognition of her leadership and generosity to the festival.
Is it a cosmic coincidence that in 1973, the second year of Marion Lloyd’s chairmanship, Ravinia named James Levine as the festival’s second music director, while in 1994, the second year of Marian Tyler’s chairmanship, Christoph Eschenbach was named the festival’s third music director? Or might it be simply that under the leadership of two exceptional women, Ravinia Festival made major artistic strides?
Whatever the connection, it is fitting that this year Marian Tyler becomes the recipient of the Marion M. Lloyd Life Trustee Award. Presented annually by the Ravinia Associates—our young professionals’ board—the award recognizes the exceptional generosity and leadership of one of the festival’s Life Trustees. The award, perhaps not coincidentally, was named after its first recipient, Marion Lloyd, who was honored in 2004, the year of Ravinia’s centennial celebration. Other recipients have included Morris A. Kaplan (2005), Joan and Stanley Freehling (2006), Eloise W. Martin (2007), Sarah W. Armour (2008), Emory Williams (2009) and Richard D. Harza (2010).
This article is from the Ravinia Magazine.