One thing former Kansas University administrator Sally Frost Mason has learned during her ascendancy through the ranks of academia is that a true leader must believe in herself.
"You can't reach the stars by shooting at the ground," Frost Mason told a roomful of female leaders, their friends and families Tuesday night at a ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding women.
Frost Mason, who stepped down last spring as dean of KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to take a job as provost at Purdue University, returned to Kansas to speak at the annual awards ceremony, where she offered her observations about what it takes to be a leader.
Her advice: Understand the difference between being a boss and a leader, believe in yourself, set high and worthy goals, and lead by example.
"Don't expect others to become something you're not," she said.
Judging by excerpts awards presenters read from nominations for the dozens of women honored at Tuesday's ceremony, many seemed to have already discovered their own recipes for success in leadership.
Recognized by the Commission on the Status of Woman were outstanding females in categories such as athletics, community service, science and education.
Frost Mason's presence at Tuesday's ceremony made it possible for her to present the first-ever Sally Frost Mason Award to an outstanding student in the biological sciences.
The Commission also inducted four new members into its Woman's Hall of Fame, which honors women KU graduates, faculty or staff who serve as role models for students as career women and community leaders.
Frost Mason was inducted in 1996.
Year 2002 inductees were Deborah Powell, executive dean and vice chancellor for clinical affairs at Kansas University Medical Center; Maryemma Graham, KU English professor; Barbara Watkins, coordinator of curriculum and programs at KU's Division of Continuing Education; and Mary Rosenbloom, former bibliographer and reference librarian for KU libraries, who was inducted posthumously.
David Ambler, KU's vice chancellor for student affairs who also spoke at Tuesday's ceremony, said it always was a highlight of his year.
"It is still important to me that we give special recognition to the achievements of women," he said, "because the table still is not level."