Daisy M. Jenkins – the first woman of color to be named a vice president in Raytheon Missile Systems' 75-year history – joins the ranks of numerous other African American women to receive the "Phenomenal Woman Award," given annually by The University of Arizona Alumni Association's Black Alumni Club.
Jenkins, who earned her degree from the James E. Rogers College of Law in 1996, will be honored during an event April 18.
Proceeds from the event benefits the UA Black Alumni Club scholarship endowment and its various programs. The UA Alumni Association, Raytheon Missile Systems, Cox Communications and PepsiCo are among this year's event sponsors.
Beverely Elliot, a nationally recognized counselor and educator who received the award last year, will speak during the dinner, which will be held at the UA's Student Union Memorial Center.
Other women who have been honored in the past include poet Maya Angelou, local dance instructor and educator Barbea Williams and Anna Jolivet, Tucson Unified School District's first African American female principal.
After graduating from the UA, Jenkins began her corporate career at Hughes Aircraft Company, now Raytheon, in 1981 as an entry-level clerk. Currently, she is vice president of human resources for Raytheon.
Jenkins also is active in community service.
She serves on the UA College of Law Board of Visitors, a group that provides opinions to the dean and faculty about the law school's operations and plans. She is also executive sponsor of the Black Law Student Association and serves on the UA president's African American Diversity Advisory Council.
Off campus, Jenkins serves on boards for the Arizona Economic Resource Organization and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities.
Jenkins also has earned a long list of honors. The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce named Jenkins as Tucson's 2007 Woman of the Year. She also received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award for Diversity from the National Black Engineer of the Year Conference, which was held in Baltimore this year.