Legacy of Leadership

Katharine Phelps was a founding member of the Junior League of Minneapolis and its first president in 1923. She and her colleagues established the Junior League of Minneapolis because they believed volunteers could impact significant community change.

In addition to her Junior League activities, Katharine was deeply involved in the greater Minneapolis community. She founded the Minnetonka Garden Club in the 1920s, was a member of the World Health Assembly in 1958, was president of the Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, had a leadership role during the Anglican Congress in 1954, was manager of Woodhill Country Club, and was invited to the White House while president of the Colonial Dames of America from Minnesota.

Katharine always felt that her Junior League experience helped her become a prominent and effective volunteer, stating, “…the exchange of ideas, being together, learning what’s going on in the city—it all broadens you.”

In recognition of our founding president’s vision, the Junior League of Minneapolis Board of Directors established the Katharine Phelps Achievement Award. The award honors and acknowledges an individual Junior League member whose volunteer efforts provide a contemporary link to Katharine Phelps’ sense of social responsibility and her ability to motivate others to share their talents through effective volunteer service. Since 2006, this award has been given to Junior League members whose leadership exemplifies the JLM mission, vision and values.

The Katharine Phelps Achievement Award celebrates an outstanding leader in the Junior League of Minneapolis who, throughout her lifetime, has used her talents and resources to improve the social and economic conditions of others. Through advocacy, collaboration, philanthropy, direct service or community education, the award recipient embraces her community and makes a unique and significant difference as a leader. She shares our founder’s sense of social responsibility and giving spirit, as well as her ability to empower others to be effective volunteers.


The Junior League of Minneapolis will consider all nominations of members who have fulfilled at least ten (10) years of service in the League.


Nominations for the Katharine Phelps Achievement Award are open year round. Submit a nomination today!

Previous Recipients

2006 Nancy Lindahl
2007 Sue Hodder
2008 Carol Truesdell
2009 Emily Anne Staples Tuttle
2010 Marilyn Carlson Nelson
2011 Marilyn Tickle Bryant
2012 Luella Gross Goldberg
2013 Maxine Wallin
2014 Barbara “Babs” Koch
2015 Diana Hageboeck
2016 Leslie Turner
2017 Patty Murphy
2019 Barbara Forster
2020 Anne Carrier
2022 Catherine “Kit” Schmoker