Honoree

Donna Edwards '75

Donna Edwards with her daughters at the dedication of her family's art to Ursuline.

After graduating from The Ursuline School in 1975 and Wellesley College in 1979, Donna Edwards attended University of Virginia School of Law. Currently, Donna is an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Hearings Operations in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 2000, The Ursuline School was proud to present the St. Ursula Award to Donna on the occasion of her 25th Reunion. This prestigious award recognizes talented alumnae for outstanding professional success and their commitment to Ursuline’s motto of Serviam - I will serve.

Although her professional resume is extensive and impressive, her greatest pride comes from having raised two sensational daughters: Danielle O’Bannon and Dionne O’Bannon Middlebrooks. Donna is an advocate for empowering young women and believes that investing in girls’ education makes an impact.

Donna's parents, Dr. Ione Dunkley Edwards and Theodore U. Edwards, were collectors of fine African American Art. They were also involved in the parent organizations at Ursuline where they had the opportunity to develop friendships with school leadership. When her beloved parents passed away, Donna felt strongly that they would want a portion of their collection to be gifted to Ursuline. As such, five beautiful pieces from the Edwards’ private collection were installed in the Gabelli Library where they are appreciated by students and faculty every day.

Donna’s mother spent her entire career with the New York City Board of Education after receiving degrees from Hunter College and a Doctorate from Columbia University. In 2017, Donna, Danielle and Dionne established the Dr. Ione Dunkley Edwards Scholarship to honor the legacy of their mother and grandmother, and to continue her efforts to promote academic excellence among students of color.

We are grateful to Donna and her family for carrying the torch that Dr. Edwards ignited, and for sharing its light with Ursuline.

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