March 06, 2019

Lisbeth Stiffel and Mary Ladish Selander Receive Carol Fox Awards

The Carol Fox Award is given for lifetime achievement and dedication to Lyric Opera of Chicago

At the Board of Directors Annual Meeting held on June 29, 2017, two important members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago family received the Carol Fox Award, Lyric’s highest honor: Lisbeth Stiffel and Mary Ladish Selander! The Carol Fox Award is given for lifetime achievement and dedication to Lyric.

Lisbeth “Liz” Stiffel
A passionate devotee of opera and loyal subscriber at Lyric, Liz is a prominent and revered member of Lyric’s Women’s Board, which she joined in 2002. In addition, Liz is a longstanding member of the Guild Board of Directors and has been a loyal subscriber since 1968—49 years! There are very few aspects of Lyric that Liz has not supported. Most recently she generously underwrote the telecast of Lyric’s world premiere Bel Canto on PBS Great Performances, which was seen by a national audience. In recognition of her very generous support of the Breaking New Ground Capital Campaign, Lyric named Mezzanine Box 1 in perpetuity. Liz has cosponsored several mainstage productions, most recently CarouselDas Rheingold, and My Fair Lady. On February 4th, Liz Stiffel was Lead Sponsor of the historic Chicago Voices Concert and Gala. Next season, Liz is a cosponsor of Orphée and Eurydice.

Mary Ladish Selander
Mary began her career with Lyric as the Director of Annual Gifts in 1995, and was quickly promoted to Director of Development. At that time, the Annual Campaign goal was $13.2 million; it is now $31.2 million. One of the highlights of her tenure was the 50th anniversary season, during which $50 million was raised by naming 22 endowed chairs. Additionally, the 50th Anniversary Concert and Gala netted over $5 million in one night. In Mary’s tenure at Lyric, she has led 22 annual campaigns totaling over $403 million. The special campaigns that she has helmed above and beyond the annual campaigns (Look to the Future, Campaign for Excellence, and Breaking New Ground) total an additional $200 million. When Mary started at Lyric, the endowment was $60 million—it is now over $171 million. Mary will be transitioning to a new role as Senior Philanthropic Advisor.

Congratulations to these two incomparable women for their extraordinary support of Lyric!