Alumna Quinlan to Receive Shield of Loyola

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Saint Joseph's University's Alumni Association will present Mary Lou Finlayson Quinlan '75 with its most prestigious honor, the Shield of Loyola Award, on Friday, Nov. 30, at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.

The Shield of Loyola Award is given to a Saint Joseph's graduate who has distinguished accomplishments in his or her chosen field, who has demonstrated loyalty to the alma mater, and whose life reflects the values of St. Ignatius Loyola. Quinlan, who epitomizes passion and purpose, fully embodies the Shield's esteemed tradition.

"Mary Lou is a true testament to the Jesuit tradition of being men and women with and for others, and her continued success is a reminder of her lifelong commitment to Jesuit values that Saint Joseph's embraces so greatly," said President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.

Considered the nation's leading expert on adult female consumer behavior, Quinlan is the founder and chief executive officer of Just Ask a Woman, a strategic marketing communications firm that has advised internationally recognized companies such as Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Pepsi and Estee Lauder. Before founding Just Ask a Woman in 1999, Quinlan worked with Avon Products for 10 years followed by 10 years as an advertising agency executive. She was the first woman named CEO of a major New York advertising agency, N.W. Ayer & Partners, and she later received the 1995 Woman of the Year award from Advertising Women of New York.

Quinlan is the best-selling author of Just Ask a Woman: Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy, which details her insights about female consumers. Her second book, Time Off for Good Behavior: How Hardworking Women Can Take a Break and Change Their Lives, has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, People magazine, and on dozens of national television and radio programs.

In 2006, Quinlan starred as the only female judge on the ABC hit reality show, American Inventor. Quinlan is a correspondent on CBS's Early Show, covering trends about female consumers and professionals. She also writes a monthly career column called "Quinlan & Answers" for MORE magazine.

Throughout her demanding and successful career, Quinlan has continued to be a loyal alumna of the Saint Joseph's community, having graduated from the second class to admit women into full-time undergraduate study.

Before leaving for New York City, Quinlan worked at the University in development and communications for three years. Since then, she has taught a class in Consumer Behavior in the Erivan K. Haub School of Business and has spoken to student groups numerous times over the years. From 1996-2006 Quinlan served on the Board of Trustees. She created a scholarship at Saint Joseph's for deserving undergraduate students and dedicated a room in Mandeville Hall in honor of her parents. Quinlan has also consulted on a variety of development and communications initiatives for the University.

In addition to her undergraduate education, Quinlan holds an M.B.A. from Fordham University and honorary degrees from Rosemont College, Alvernia College and Saint Joseph's. Quinlan also has served on the board of and is currently a board member for the Advertising Council as well as the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

"Although we have always known Mary Lou to be a true blessing to the University community," said Fr. Lannon, "the Shield of Loyola Award will officially recognize Quinlan as being one of a select group of individuals who have dedicated their lives to putting the Jesuit spirit in action, who have generously given back to the University community, and whose personal and professional accomplishments are always accompanied by a conscience for the greater good."

-- Emily Czerniakowski '07

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