As part of its mission, the Junior League of Tulsa, Inc. (JLT) is committed to “developing the potential of women.” The “woman” of JLT is multi-faceted and is working to meet the mission of JLT inside and outside of the League. To show the many different qualities and community leadership commitments of JLT’s members, Gusher Online will highlight different members each month with a focus on their work within the Tulsa community.
Barbara Sturdivant is a current sustaining member with Junior League of Tulsa, Inc. (JLT). She is married to her husband, an attorney, and has two adult sons, who are also married; one lives in Tulsa and the other in Dallas. Her daughter-in-law Brooke Sturdivant is a current member of JLT. Barbara worked as a statistical analyst in Dallas after graduating from Southern Methodist University.
She joined Junior League in Dallas and then transferred to JLT in the 1970s. She was active for almost twenty years, serving as President, Treasurer, and many committee chairmanships. She not only has provided leadership to JLT, but she also has had a wide variety of involvement within the community including Chair of Mayfest, Chair of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, President of the Arts & Humanities Council, member of the Philbrook Museum of Art board, Trustee of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA), President of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, member of the Tulsa Zoo Friends Board, Chair of the Holland Hall Board of Trustees, Chair of the Tulsa Botanic Garden Board, and member of the Salvation Army Board.
When asked what drives Barbara to volunteer and serve the Tulsa community, she said, “I like to be involved to feel connected to the community. If I can contribute any expertise I may have or just time to help accomplish a task that will make a difference in a life, I feel that is my duty to a community that has given me such great life experiences.”
Barbara credits Junior League as a whole with giving her the necessary training and confidence to go out into the community and make a difference. Being a Junior League member, “gave me training in a variety of areas (fundraising, marketing, public relations, speaking, organizational skills, etc.) that empowered me and allowed me to share what I had learned with others. It also introduced me to areas of our community/state where I could perhaps help make a difference. The Junior League instilled personal confidence, enhanced skills, allowed me to develop lifelong friendships and partnerships, and provided a conduit for volunteering beyond JLT.”
Not only did the Junior League impact Barbara’s community involvement, it also helped to foster voluntarism and community involvement within her own family, “My children observed and participated in many of my JLT activities and are now contributing citizens in their communities.”
Barbara continues to be active within the Tulsa community today and continues her JLT membership as a sustaining member. JLT is thankful for Barbara’s leadership within the organization and commitment to the Tulsa community. For Barbara, she has also found the Junior League provided her something that she otherwise would not have, “I am proud to be a member of the Junior League as it provided an education that would have been difficult to get anywhere else.”