May 23, 2024

Lynne Richardson: And the Metzger Goes To …

The sand pail and shovel in Lynne Richardson’s office remind her of the challenges she faced with her team as inaugural dean of the University of Mary Washington’s College of Business (COB).

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson won the Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award at today's 26th annual Women's Leadership Colloquium @ UMW. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson won the Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award at today’s 26th annual Women’s Leadership Colloquium @ UMW. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

“Each faculty and staff member received one to remind us that we couldn’t achieve our big goals until we learned to play well in the sand box together,” she said. “And we have!”

Richardson was honored in part for those efforts this morning, when she received the Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award – to a standing ovation – at the Leadership Colloquium for Professional Women. Given each year, the honor goes to someone who has demonstrated leadership in her field, personal and professional integrity, and commitment to community service.

Richardson’s accomplishments put her “far above and beyond these basic criteria by mentoring, teaching, supporting, publishing and leading …” said last year’s Metzger-winner, Central Rappahannock Regional Library Director Martha Hutzel, who presented the award. “She holds a leadership position in a male dominated field.”

As coordinator of the Colloquium and a pinch-hitter for a seminar presenter who suffered a last-minute family emergency, Richardson emceed the event and even introduced Hutzel. The recipient of an unprecedented 19 Metzger nominations, Richardson had no prior knowledge that she had won the award.

After serving as dean at Mississippi State and Ball State universities, Richardson came to UMW eight years ago to, among other things, merge the business programs on the Stafford and Fredericksburg campuses. She got down to brass tacks, laying the groundwork for the COB to earn its prestigious AACSB International accreditation last year. Mary Washington also recently ranked fourth on a list of Best Colleges in Virginia for Business Majors.

What sets UMW’s business school apart from others, she said, is the personalized attention faculty give students, opportunities for applied learning projects and the University’s strong relationship with local businesses.

“External recognitions always benefit us,” said Richardson, who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama and also teaches marketing at UMW. She also has “They’re validations that the work we’re doing is exemplary.”

She should know. She also received last year’s Patricia M. Flynn Distinguished Woman in Business Education Award for thought leadership. And through her weekly newspaper columns, community service and solid advice, she shares that wisdom.

“Be confident in your abilities and speak up,” she tells students. “You can do anything you decide to do.”

Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your Free Lance-Star columns?
A: My answer is always the same whenever I’m asked that – I just talk to people about their workplaces! I often get emails and handwritten letters from readers who say they feel like they know me before even meeting me because of the column.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
A: They are one and the same – completing the long journey that earned us AACSB accreditation. It was a team sport, but someone had to be the coach … and that was me.

Q: What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
A: I was the official scorer for the University of North Alabama baseball team in 1984-85.

Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: My husband and I are empty nesters, so we attend many UMW athletics events. I’m also a voracious reader.

Q: Have you read any good books recently?
A: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is one of the most complex and surprising books I’ve read in years.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: If it is to be, it’s up to me!