Our Illuminating History: Lois Anne Dryer Cooke, Sigma

It’s Women’s History Month and we’re spotlighting influential women in our Sorority’s history who demonstrated Illuminate competencies.

Lois Anne Dryer Cooke, Sigma, exemplified leadership in her professional, personal, and community life. She embodied the concept of personal life balance, the art of striving to be a “whole person” by balancing different aspects of life.

Her professional accomplishments are almost too numerous to count – to name a few: respected teacher, President and Chairwoman of the annual Buffalo Fashion Show, and recipient of two prominent community awards: the Ideal Career Girl Award from the Exposition of Women’s Arts and Industries and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Buffalo chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

With all this, Lois Anne also found the time to leave a legacy with Alpha Sigma Tau. She had what the Alpha Sigma Tau Sisters closest to her called a “commanding presence” in all she did for the Buffalo Alumnae Chapter and the Sigma Chapter at SUNY Buffalo State. Ever the educator, she helped create and fund a National Foundation scholarship to support the educational pursuits of her Sigma Chapter Sisters, which has since been named in her honor.

In 2016, the Alpha Sigma Tau Foundation honored her legacy by naming a Cumulative Giving Society after her. “Lois embodied personal life balance while always serving as a mentor, sounding board, and Sister, which is one reason we named a Giving Society in her honor,” says Foundation President Kris Haskin, Beta Pi. “While women today are balancing school, work, family, and 24/7 contact, preceding generations of women also balanced a similar set of items. Women have always been able to adapt to new challenges and opportunities – fighting for equal rights, equal education, equal work, and the future – all the while taking care of themselves and their families.”

Learn more about Lois here.

Fun fact:

Lois was an Alpha Sigma Tau Sister for 77 years, from her Initiation in 1932 to her passing in 2009.