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The Junior League of Minneapolis is pleased to announce that Patty Murphy is the recipient of the 2017 Katharine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award.

Patty—through her service to the Greater Minneapolis area and the Junior League of Minneapolis (JLM)—perfectly embodies Katharine Phelps’ sense of social responsibility and giving spirit.

Fellow community leaders also endorse her nomination. R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation and former Mayor of Minneapolis says it best, “I have learned in life that there are a few absolutes. The sun rises in the east; it gets cold in a Minnesota winter; and if Patty Murphy asks, just say yes…it’s easier.”

Patty is a dedicated member of the Junior League of Minneapolis and truly shares its vision of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities. She has held several leadership positions in the JLM including serving on its Board of Directors, holding numerous Chair positions, and serving as Sustainer President.

As an outstanding community leader who has contributed more than 35 years of volunteer service to both local and national nonprofit organizations, Patty’s civic involvement has been her work, her craft and her passion. Patty is currently active on several boards including: Breck School (Trustee); Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery (Board Member Emerita); MacPhail Center for Music; the Northside Achievement Zone ($35M Investment Campaign Chair); and The Minneapolis Foundation. Her past leadership positions within the community are countless, some of which include Sustainer President of the Junior League of Minneapolis; Founder and Cabinet Chair of Private School Young Life; President of the Parents’ Association and Annual Fund Chair at Breck School; Board Chair and 25th Anniversary Campaign Chair of Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery (GMCN); Chair of LeagueAires during its 25th and 50th anniversary years; Board Chair of MacPhail Center for Music and Co-Chair of MacPhail’s 6.0 Campaign.  Additionally, Patty is a former board member and ongoing supporter of the following organizations: Camp Dudley-YMCA; Christ Presbyterian Church; Colonial Church of Edina; Greater Twin Cities United Way Women’s Leadership Council; Junior League of Minneapolis; and University of Minnesota Women’s Health Fund.

Patty is admired for her charisma and effectiveness, so much so that the Crisis Nursery staff coined the term “full Murphy” as a reflection of how Patty gets the job done with grace and flawless execution. Patty has been a dedicated volunteer leader with the GMCN since 2004 and has held several significant roles. In 2005-2007, she served as Chair of the Crisis Nursery’s Board of Directors during a very challenging time when the organization’s financial instability and leadership transitions were at the forefront. However, Patty provided the leadership and oversight required to move the organization forward, subsequently being cited as “one of its most successful fundraising volunteers.” In addition, she chaired the Crisis Nursery’s 25th Anniversary Campaign, leading the charge to build a more robust major gifts program. Most recently she served on the GMCN “Multiplying Effect Campaign,” an initiative created to support new and innovative programs to better meet the needs of its clients. Today, Patty continues her support of GMCN as an Emerita member of its Board of Directors.

MacPhail Center for Music has greatly benefited from Patty’s uncanny ability to fund-raise. While serving on MacPhail’s Board for 11 years, including a two-year term as Board Chair, Patty helped MacPhail achieve significant milestones. Six million dollars were raised for strategic investments to protect and better the future of MacPhail, and a seven-million-dollar estate gift—its largest gift to date—was used to start the MacPhail Endowment. During this period, MacPhail also achieved a significant growth milestone—15,000 students—which  made it the largest community music school in the nation. MacPhail attributes many of these positive changes to Patty’s service and dedication.

Not only has Patty improved each organization in which she’s played a role, she has welcomed collaboration between and among her various nonprofit connections throughout the community. MacPhail Center for Music, Northside Achievement Zone, and LeagueAires now work together, by way of introduction through Patty Murphy.

Many JLM and LeagueAires members enthusiastically endorse Patty Murphy’s nomination. As Vicki Wyard, JLM Sustainer and former LeagueAires member states, “I heartily endorse Patty Murphy for the Katharine Phelps Achievement Award. Her positive energy and dedication to improving our community are beyond compare! Her leadership inspires others to also offer their time, treasures and talents…enhancing the lives of both her fellow volunteers and the beneficiaries of her efforts. Being in Patty’s presence is a joy-filled experience. She is definitely a superstar at exemplifying the mission and vision of the Junior League of Minneapolis!”

Patty and her husband David reside in Edina, MN. They have three adult sons: Timothy (Chandler), Andrew (Meghan), and Peter (Claire) and are the proud grandparents of four granddaughters. In her spare time, Patty enjoys vocal study, choral music, cooking, skiing and running.


A cocktail reception will be held in Patty Murphy’s honor Thursday, November 2, at the Calhoun Beach Club at 5:30 p.m. The 2017 Katharine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award presentation ceremony will follow from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The reception and ceremony are open to all JLM members, guests, and the community. Tickets are $38 per person. Reserve your spot for the reception.

About the Katharine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award

The Katharine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award is named for a founding member of the Junior League of Minneapolis, its first president in 1923. The award celebrates an outstanding member of 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 and community education, the award recipient embraces her community and makes a unique and significant difference as a leader. She emulates the founder’s sense of social responsibility and giving spirit, as well as her ability to empower others to be effective volunteers.

Previous winners of the Katharine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award include Nancy Lindahl (2006); Sue Hodder (2007); Carol Truesdell (2008); Emily Anne Staples Tuttle (2009); Marilyn Carlson Nelson (2010); Marilyn Tickle Bryant (2011); Luella Goldberg (2012); Maxine Houghton Wallin (2013); Barbara Gray Koch (2014); Diana Hageboeck (2015); and Leslie Turner (2016). Nominations for the 2018 Katharine Phelps Lifetime Achievement Award will be sought in August 2018.

About the Junior League of Minneapolis

The Junior League of Minneapolis is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League of Minneapolis reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism.

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