Ruby Awards serve as centerpiece to Women’s History Month

Biola celebrates Women’s History Month in a variety of ways.


On Tuesday night, students viewed screening of “It’s A Girl,” a documentary aout abandoned and trafficked girls, as well as the gendercide that exists in some countries. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

Mack Hayden , Writer

On Tuesday night, students viewed screening of "It's A Girl," a documentary about abandoned and trafficked girls, as well as the gendercide that exists in some countries. | Grant Walter/THE CHIMES

A speaker failed to appear at a screening of the gendercide documentary “It’s a Girl” due to a family emergency on March 5. The screening was one of the initial events of this year’s Women’s History Month, which falls on both the centennial year of women marching for suffrage in Washington, D.C. and the 100th birthday of one of this year’s Ruby Award winners.

Though there will be a few more events this week, the week of March 18 through 22 will be the most jam-packed, with talks by various women, a month-long clothing drive and more.

Award recognizes godly characteristics

Today, violinist Midori will perform in the Conservatory of Music from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and the Center for Career Development and Commuter Life will discussion on women and work in the Collegium at 7 p.m.

Alongside everything else, this year marks the sixth annual Ruby Awards. These awards were named after “Ruby Slippers,” a book by Biola alumna Jonalyn Fincher, and are given to recognize godly characteristics in Biola-affiliated women, according to Irene Neller, vice president of university communications and marketing. The awards will be presented at a luncheon on March 20 at 11:30 a.m.

Tolbert is a former board of directors member for Planned Parenthood whose tenure with the organization actually propelled her to anti-abortion activism. She earned her master’s and doctorate from Talbot School of Theology. Fernandez is a mother and custodial worker on the Biola campus. The 100-year-old Moats will be awarded for her work with the Biola Scholarship Fund.

Marderian, a senior humanities major, is a former Associated Students president and the first student to win a Ruby Award.

“It was a complete surprise. I knew about Ruby women and the Ruby Awards, but it didn't ever occur to me that a student could receive one,” she said in an email. “When I got the call, I was blown away — these awards are really special to the female community at Biola and it is such an honor to receive one.”

Capturing the essence of Women's History Month

The theme of the month is “I Am … From this Place,” according to Irene Neller, vice president of University Communications and Marketing, and reflects the Ruby Awards’ desire to allow women’s stories to shape the theme of the conference.

“It really comes from the stories of those selected. We asked, ‘What really captures the essence of Women’s History Month?’” she said. “We are in Christ first and at Biola, you identify your calling when you identify your story. We are Christ’s daughters pursuing his calling for our lives. How do you tell your story and who do you tell it to? Who fed into your story? Who helped you become whatever your own ‘I am’ is? I am a doctor, I am a mother and so forth.”

Women’s History Month originated in the early 1900s alongside the women’s suffrage movement. The U.S. Congress confirmed the need for a Women’s History Month in 1981 and Biola has been observing the month with events like the Ruby Awards since 2008. Other events for the month include a documentary screening on March 5, a discussion of women and work on March 7 and musical performances on March 7 and 20. There will be a clothing drive for the Dream Center for professional women’s clothing on campus from now until March 20. The clothes will be donated to the Los Angeles Dream Center on March 22.

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