Celebration Gala

Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell

25th Annual Celebration of Today’s Woman

Past, Present, and Future “Women of the Year”

Call for Nominations for 2018

 We ask for your help in celebrating the contributions and successes of women in our Greater Lowell community.  Please help us recognize women that have been in the past or are currently inspiring and genuine role models for the girls in our community.

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of our Celebration of Today’s Woman, we ask for a nomination of a woman (posthumous, living, and/ or up-and-coming) that encompasses the characteristics listed in the nomination form below.

In 1994, Girls Incorporated instituted a “Woman of the Year” Award for Greater Lowell with its “Celebration of Today’s Woman” event. Those selected for this award must demonstrate exceptional leadership and commitment; have a strong work ethic, high moral character, great compassion and care for the community and its people; and work with dedication to enhance the quality of life and effect change in the Greater Lowell community. If you would like to spotlight an extraordinary woman, please complete the celebration nomination form.

Past “Woman of Today Award” Recipients

1994, Carole Cowan, Ed.D.          1995, Susan Black, M.D.

1996, Clementine Alexis          1997, Nicola Tsongas

1998, Patricia Crane          1999, Nancy Donahue

2000, Eileen Donoghue          2001, Patricia Bradley

2002, Janice Stecchi, Ed.D.          2003 Mary Ellen Fitzpatrick

2004, Margaret Palm          2005, Mary Jo Leahey

2006, Karen Frederick          2007, Therese O’Connor

2008, Jacqueline Moloney, Ed.D.          2009, Kay Geirge Roberts, D.M.A

2010, Linda Chemaly          2011, Mary Louise Keenan

2012, Dorcas Grigg-Saito          2013, Deedee O’Brien

2014, Carol S. Duncan          2015, Naomi M. Prendergast

2016, Amy J. Hoey        2017, Judy M. Burke


Celebration of Today’s Woman

Honoring Judy M. Burke

Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell was pleased to honor and present the “Woman of Today Award” to Judy Burke at the 2017 Celebration of Today’s Woman. The Gala was held on Thursday, June 1 from 6 to 9 pm at the UMASS Lowell Inn & Conference Center.

As a successful executive in the field of higher education, Judy has worked tirelessly to bring educational opportunities to all members of the community, while also helping to ensure that local employers have the skilled workforce needed to fuel a strong local economy.  Her position as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Middlesex Community College allows Judy to use her considerable interpersonal and leadership skills to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with community and business leaders.  As Executive Director, Judy oversees Institutional Research, Resource Development, Marketing and Communications, Corporate and Community Education and Training, and numerous career and adult learning programs that benefit both local students as well as the companies and communities that they go on to serve.  Prior to her current role as Executive Director, Judy was with Middlesex Community College’s Business and Industry Programs since 1991 and most recently served as Dean of Corporate and Community Education & Training.  In this capacity, she marketed and managed training programs at a variety of companies and organizations, including National Grid, Cabot Corporation, Lowell General Hospital, LifeLinks, Eink Corporation, Mercury Computer Systems, Raytheon Company, and Verizon.

(Marc & Judy Burke, picture courtesy of photographer Kevin Harkins)

Judy was born and raised in Lowell, attended Saint Michael Grammar School, Keith Hall High School, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from University of Lowell before going on to achieve a Master of Education Administration from UMass Lowell.  Before joining Middlesex Community College, she worked as a Contract Administrator in the Missile System Division of Raytheon, working specifically on the Patriot Missile Program with the United States Army.

Caring for her community is at the heart of what has made Judy such an effective champion of positive change.  Judy is currently the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors at the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce.  She has served on boards of numerous local non-profit and civic organizations, including the YWCA, D’Youville Life and Wellness Fundraising Committee, the Power of Flowers Project, Lowell Catholic High School Bishop McNamara Award Event Committee, Pan Mass Challenge Fundraiser, the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Executive Board, Middlesex 3 Coalition, the New England Workforce Network, and Merrimack Valley Partners for Progress.

(Judy with family & friends, picture courtesy of photographer Kevin Harkins)

In all that she does, both personally and professionally, Judy gives enthusiastically of her time and talents, with a level of caring and commitment that have become increasingly rare.  She is a long-time resident of Pelham, NH, where she lives with her husband of thirty years, Marc Burke. They enjoy spending time with family, friends, and their three dogs, Baby, Teddy, and Penelope.

(picture courtesy of photographer Kevin Harkins)

We are proud to honor Judy with the 2017 Woman of Today Award.  Her work to promote educational opportunities for all, and the support that she has given her community make her a true role model for Girls Inc. members.

At Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, girls grow up healthy, educated and independent.  Support like yours allows us to reach even more girls and fully impact their lives resulting in exponential change and brighter futures for all. We are excited to have you join us in this effort to make the girls of Greater Lowell stronger, smarter, and bolder than ever before.

Gala sponsorship’s provide an opportunity to help empower and educate girls from across Greater Lowell.

2017 Celebration Sponsors


Nancy L. Donahue



Carol & George Duncan




Susan Mitchell & Jim Waldo

Dr. Mark Gilchrist


Mary Lou & Jim Keenan

Dr. & Carrie Meikle

Fred C. Church

Jim & Trish O’Donnell, O’Donnell Funeral Home

In-Kind Donations

Middlesex Community College

Maura Sweeney of Lowell Five

Hilton Boston Hotel

Susan Mitchell of Living Design

UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center


Become A Sponsor

 Sponsors will receive tickets based on sponsorship level.

More information can be found by clicking the button above.



The Celebration of Today’s Woman Bronze Medal Award created especially for Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell by world-renowned sculptor, Mico Kaufman.