Dr. Autumn Graves Recognized as a Woman of Distinction

Graves honored along with Angela Culpepper Supan'92 and eight others.
What began in 1985 as a way to recognize the best-dressed women in Chattanooga has evolved into a way to acknowledge outstanding contributions women have made to the community. Women of Distinction awards are annually presented to those with outstanding professional achievements as well as civic, cultural, philanthropic, human service, and environmental commitments to the community. To date, more than 300 area women have been honored.

On Friday our head of school, Dr. Autumn A. Graves, joined this unique society of women who establish the standards that inspire and encourage others to achieve their full potential. 

“Being recognized as a Woman of Distinction is really more about the work we all do to support each other,” Graves said. “As head of school, every day I see girls learning from their teachers and their classmates how to lift each other up, to work together, and to become their best selves. I am honored to become a part of this group of women who have made such a difference in the Chattanooga community.”

Graves has established herself as a leader within the education sector for almost 25 years. With a rhetoric and history degree from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in private school leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University (New York), and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, she has held significant leadership roles at Mercersburg Academy (Pennsylvania), Breck School (Minnesota), Sidwell Friends (D.C.), Friends Seminary (New York), and Girard College (Pennsylvania). 

A Leadership Philadelphia alumna, Graves was an active member of the Junior League for more than a decade as well as The Links, Inc. She has leveraged her nonprofit management and education experiences to serve as a trustee for several organizations, including the Philadelphia Film Office, an economic development nonprofit; the Library Company of Philadelphia; and The Shipley School (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania).

As a community member of Chattanooga and advocate for education, women, and children, Graves serves on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor’s Advisory Roundtable and as a trustee for the Southern Association of Independent Schools, Creative Discovery Museum, The Head’s Network, and Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga.

Additionally, Angela Culpepper Supan ’92 was honored, joining an impressive sisterhood of GPS alumnae and faculty who have been recognized in the past. 

A Chattanooga native, Supan is locally recognized as a champion of the visual arts. For more than 20 years, she has enjoyed a professional association with River Gallery (Bluff View Art District) and now serves as the gallery’s assistant director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and Latin from the University of Georgia (Athens) and worked as a collections intern at the Georgia Museum of Art. 

In addition to her focus on the economic viability of the gallery and the artists represented, she identifies emerging talent, coordinates gallery installations and off-site exhibits, organizes special events, and more. Her philanthropic pursuits include service to the Hunter Museum of American Art, GPS, Junior League of Chattanooga, and 4 Bridges Art Festival. Supan is an avid art collector herself and enjoys yoga, music, and travel.  

Congratulations to both of these GPS and Chattanooga Women of Distinction.

(year represents GPS graduation year)

Ann McKenzie Aiken ’69
Maxine Block Alper ’42
Catherine Elton Barker 
Judy Crawley Bellenfant ’66
Caroline Caulkins Bentley ’83
Julie Betts Brandao ’84
Betsy Blunt Brown ’92
Margaret Culpepper Card ’69 
Marilyn Sherman Center ’58
Judge Marie Williams Cleary ’70
Eleanor McCallie Cooper ’64
Catharine Bahner Daniels ’83
Elizabeth Lupton Davenport ’51
Leland Hume Davenport ’55
Evelyn Miles Duval ’73 
Deborah Harrison Everhart ’79
Helen McDonald Exum ’43 
Connie Crumbliss Farrar ’50
Sissy Atcheson Figlestahler ’95
Joan Haley Frierson ’60
Emmy Willingham Haney ’65
Holly Lynch Harwell ’84
Katherine Holland ’45
Lynda Minks Hood ’76
Mai Bell Conley Hurley ’46 
Peggy Johnson Laney ’58
Martha Newton Law ’33 
Mary Stewart Glendenning Lewis ’88
Bea Rutledge Lyons ’60
Maddin Lupton McCallie ’44
Linda Moss Mines  
Mary Navarre Moore ’67
Hilda Schmissrauter Murray ’72
Tilda Thomas Oehmig ’44
Rickie Pierce 
Jean Battle Richardson ’59
Lorie Street Runge ’81
Marti Phillips Rutherford ’63
Dr. Jeanne Scanland ’74
Virginia Anne Summitt Sharber ’77
Dr. Chris Benz Smith ’72
Frances Street Smith ’48
Harriette McKeldin Stokes ’78
Betsy Chapin Taylor ’88
Sue Anne Harrison Wells ’71
Florence Bagley Witt ’38
Maxine Block Alper ’42
Mai Bell Conley Hurley ’46
Alice Lupton ’45
Nisha Boyington ’11
Anna Carroll ’14
Anjali Chandra ’15
Story DeWeese ’16
Sarah Shaw ’12
Phoebe Anne Warren ’17