When I first heard about the “True Confessions of a High-Heeled Leader” event at Stephens College, I immediately thought of the movie poster for “The Devil Wears Prada.” Perhaps it was the high heel imagery. But Anne Deaton, the speaker at Thursday’s event, is nothing like Miranda Priestly/Meryl Streep, the scary, mean, bossy, walk-all-over-everyone type magazine editor in that movie. In fact, Anne Deaton, wife of MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, is SO COOL.
The Graduate and Continuing Studies program at Stephens puts on “True Confessions,” which features successful professional women in the community. Deaton is the fifth woman to be honored as a high-heeled leader, for which she received a small trophy with a Cinderalla-esque high-heeled shoe on top (cute, right?).
You can read the article on the event here, but here’s some tidbits about MU’s first lady, as mentioned Thursday night:
- As a child in Brooklyn, N.Y., she organized all the kids on her street into a summer school that charged 10 cents a day. “I named myself principal,” she said. “And my girl friends were the teachers.”
- At age 12, she moved from Brooklyn to Lexington, Ky., where she was teased for having a Brooklyn accent. “The kids would say, ‘Say anything’ and so I would say something and they’d all laugh,” she said.
- She considered joining a nunnery as a way to pay for college, but then realized she “had too many boyfriends.”
- After college, she wanted to join the Peace Corps, but her father was apprehensive. He finally agreed to attend a Peace Corps meeting with her. As the young spokesman for the program talked, she said she leaned over and said, “See, Dad? That’s the leader and he’s really nice!” Oddly enough, that leader was Brady Deaton, her future husband.
- Her favorite color is yellow, though she called “black and gold” her favorite color combo, of course.
- She loves pasta and Italian food.
- She called herself a “news junkie.” When not watching the news, she tunes in to The History Channel. “I have no idea what’s on TV these days,” she said.
- She’s a poet and enjoys the work of e.e. cummings and Emily Dickinson.
- She describes the perfect day off as walking on the Katy Trail, having dinner with friends over Italian music, and “reading, reading, reading.”