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Lee Anne Stone

Gaylord Extra: April 2023

Staff Feature: Lee Anne Stone

By Karen Heinz, Gaylord College Class of 2025

Lee Anne Stone, a 2002 graduate, returned to Gaylord College nearly 20 years later to launch Women in Gaylord, which is designed to empower female students and provide the resources they need to be successful.

“Dean Kelley and I have known each other a long time. So, he reached out to me for a cup of coffee and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got this idea for women in Gaylord, 68% of the undergrads here at Gaylord are female.’ And there was no program just supporting them,” Stone said.

As the new director of the program, Stone spent much of her first semester back at Gaylord researching what the women in the College need. She assembled a team of female students and interacted with faculty members, discovering that female students needed career-building experiences specific to women and also a support system to help them grow in confidence during their undergraduate years.

“So that comes with some leadership development, and knowing who you are and how you work with other people. And then once you know what your voice is, what are other people's voices around you? How do you navigate those things when those people may be very different from you, and knowing that all comes down to knowing who you are,” Stone said.

Having previously worked as a reporter in Austin, as a youth director for Leadership Oklahoma and in other positions, Stone has not only held the title of entrepreneur but she also holds the title of mom.

“I live in a frat house. I live with my husband and my two boys. And I'm constantly dealing with boy stuff. And I'm constantly like, ‘women are important, don't you forget’…” Stone said. “I think it's important for my boys to see that I'm contributing to work.”

Stone said she hopes Women in Gaylord can provide students with the resources they need as they enter male-dominated workplaces and encounter the gender pay gap.

“Hopefully, with leadership development, and having all these hard conversations, and building a group of women who support each other, and celebrate each other, by the end of being a part of Women in Gaylord, you can leave here knowing that you are better prepared for life in college, and out of college, both personally and professionally. We can be strong females. And I just think it's so important in this day and age and we are set up for success to do that. We just have to all join together to do it,” Stone said.

When asked what advice Stone would give to women, she had a simple answer.

“Don't stop, keep going,” Stone said. “I think that just because you have one closed door doesn't mean the next one will be. If it’s worth it to you, keep going.”

Lee Anne Stone