Sweet Briar’s Distinguished Alumna of 2012 is Elaine Schuster ’58. Schuster received the award during Homecoming in October.
Given out by the board of the Alumnae Association, the award honors alumnae, preferably graduates, who have brought distinction to themselves and to the College through outstanding accomplishments in a volunteer or professional capacity. Any member of the Sweet Briar family — including students, alumnae, faculty, administration, staff, and members of the alumnae board and the board of directors — is asked to nominate candidates.
According to Mollie Nelson ’64, former president of the Alumnae Association, Schuster was unanimously selected because of her extensive career as an attorney in her hometown of Oklahoma City.
After graduating from Sweet Briar with a B.A. in English, Schuster went on to complete her master’s and law degrees at the University of Oklahoma. She was the first woman at Whitten & Whitten Law Firm and later became assistant district attorney of Oklahoma County, followed by a long career in private practice. Outside of work, Schuster has devoted much of her time to a number of local, regional and national organizations, including the English Speaking Union, the American Association of University Women, the National Kidney Foundation of Oklahoma-Southern Kansas, the Oklahoma regional church of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society.
In 1982, Schuster was the first woman to be appointed to the original board of education for Oklahoma City’s Metro Technology Centers, a nonprofit career and technology center with six campuses offering training to high school students, adults and businesses. She currently serves as an elected board member for District 4 of Metro Technology Centers District No. 22.
Throughout her career, Schuster has been a strong supporter of Sweet Briar, serving on the College’s board of directors, on the alumnae board and as a member of the Reunion Gifts and Boxwood Circle committees. Schuster has been an emerita trustee since 2006.