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B.A. RUDOLPH

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B.A. Rudolph, our namesake, was an inspiration and driving force for women in many ways, even outside of her professional accomplishments. She taught her young goddaughters to headbutt instead of give kisses. She would don a tiara and sport a feather boa on a weeknight when seeking inspiration or a belly laugh. She was compassionate, bossy, irreverent, generous, and loyal. She loved margaritas almost as much as she loved stirring up “the good kind” of trouble. Most of all, she inspired those around her to be the best possible “BA”dass versions of themselves.

Her life was an adventure, and she invited—required—her friends to participate.

Bev Lindsey, dear friend of B.A.

HER EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

B.A. was born on February 8th, 1956. B.A., the daughter of university professors, attended the Fayetteville Arkansas public school during segregation, the first city in the former Confederacy to desegregate its schools.

She possesses intelligence, courage and creativity, and all of these qualities are tempered with a healthy dose of common sense.

Bill Clinton

She began her career in public service in 1974, coordinating county organizations for then-candidate Bill Clinton’s unsuccessful race for Congress. From 1977 to 1978 she worked in various capacities on Clinton’s successful 1978 campaign for Governor. Defeated in 1980, Clinton called upon her again in 1981 to assist with campaign fundraising that culminated in his successful 1982 gubernatorial election.

She was kind, generous, and loving with an evolved intellect and curiosity, sophisticated though she sometimes tried to disguise it; she always asked questions, pushed buttons, challenged every rule. If she cared about someone or something, she cared deeply and wholeheartedly; if she did not, well, to quote an iconic movie line, she just did not give a damn.

Bev Lindsey, dear friend of B.A.

B.A. also served as staff clerk to the Arkansas Senate Leadership, as well as administrative assistant to Governor Clinton, where her portfolio included coordination of appointments to boards and commissions.

In 1983, B.A. relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve as Director of Federal Relations for Beverly Enterprises. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater and Chief of Staff to U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Brady Anderson.

In 1978, Rudolph earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and journalism from the University of Arkansas. She also studied at the Richmond College University of London and served as an intern with the British Parliament.

HER LEGACY

In addition to her professional career, B.A. was a mentor, advocate, and friend to many individuals. She jumped at the opportunity to help others get a foot in the door, whether it be via a phone call or a dinner aimed to broaden networks. B.A. knew the value of fierce, unwavering support, and never forewent the opportunity to help others make a difference.

B.A. was a remarkable woman full of energy, humor, and an indomitable will to make things happen. She was unapologetic in her work and lifted while she climbed. She was a force in the lives of all that she encountered. B.A. passed on Saturday, August 20th, 2011 at the young age of 55, but her memory serves her fellow BA Women, and women everywhere, every day.

B.A. was known to be frugal, never paying full price for anything, and saving for the travel she planned to take in a retirement but never got to enjoy.  While the modest endowment she gave her goddaughters enabled us to to get our start, our work — and our vision for what is possible — has now surpassed these beginnings.