United Way of Washtenaw County names Dr. Lori Pierce its 2019 Woman of Year

Dr. Pierce to be honored at annual Power of the Purse event in Ann Arbor

Dr. Lori Pierce (Credit: Michigan Medicine | Courtesy: United Way of Washtenaw County)

ANN ARBOR – The United Way of Washtenaw County's Women United group has announced Dr. Lori Pierce, the University of Michigan's vice provost for academic and faculty affairs, as its 2019 Woman of the Year.

Pierce will be honored at the UWWC's annual fundraiser, Power of the Purse, on March 14 at The Kensington Hotel. 

"Dr. Pierce exemplifies what the Power of the Purse initiative is about: women taking action to address community issues," Pam Smith, president of the United Way of Washtenaw County, and member of the Power of the Purse committee said in a statement. "We are thrilled to honor her achievements and leadership at our event."

"I am so humbled to have been chosen to receive this honor," said Dr. Pierce in a statement. "It has been a privilege for me to care for women with breast cancer and I have based many of my research goals on the needs and concerns expressed by my patients. It is an honor to work side by side with these women and their families to try to improve their lives and the lives of others diagnosed with cancer."

According to UWWC, the Power of the Purse committee chose Pierce because of her impact in the fields of radiation oncology and women's health and for her "exemplary leadership role in the community."

Power of the Purse fundraiser at The Kensington Hotel on March 14, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)


Pierce is currently a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

She joined the U-M faculty in 1992, where she primarily focused on breast cancer treatment. Previously, she served as a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

In 2005, Pierce was appointed vice provost for academic and faculty affairs by the University of Michigan Board of Regents. She still holds this position.

Pierce has published more than 160 manuscripts and book chapters, and received several teaching awards. 

She is also an active member in the community, supporting and volunteering with Food Gatherers, serving (along with her husband, Tony Denton) as a United Way Campaign co-chair and serving as a member of UWWC's Tocqueville Society.

Dr. Lori Pierce and her husband, Tony Denton, receive United Way's Guenzel Award in 2017 (Photo: United Way)


The organization's Woman of the Year award was established in 2009. Previous recipients include Cecilia Fileti, Verna McDaniel, Beth Fitzsimmons and Lucy Ann Lance.
About Women United
Women United is a United Way national network of some 55,000 members in 137 U.S. communities and the most successful philanthropic effort of its kind. Previously known as Women’s Leadership Council, the committee has raised nearly $330,000 locally, in Washtenaw County, to support women’s financial stability programs.  

About United Way of Washtenaw County
As part of our 96-year history, the United Way of Washtenaw County brings people, organizations and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. Our focus areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability provide the building blocks to strengthen the community and create opportunities for individuals and families. Our Volunteer Center provides an easy online way for people to connect with nonprofits in the community and our 2-1-1 helpline refers more than 8,000 people annually to critically needed services. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, visit uwgive.org.

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