Know someone who is the epitome of an achieving woman? It’s time to nominate her for the 2012 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT Awards—a St. Louis tradition that honors volunteers who, through their dedication and leadership, have made our community a better place. Nomination forms are available online at, or by sending a SASE to Women of Achievement, c/o MAC Meetings & Events, 801 N. 2nd St., Ste. 302, St. Louis, MO 63102. The deadline for submitting nominations is Jan. 13. The 2012 luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 17, at The Ritz-Carlton.

New Cardinals skipper MIKE MATHENY is among 12 St. Louisans being honored as a ‘Character of Courage’ by Metro Theater Company in recognition for the positive impact he and his Catch-22 Foundation have had on the community. During the three-week run of Metro Theater’s production of the Civil War drama, Battledrum, at the Missouri History Museum, tributes will be held to Matheny and others, including teen volunteer SIMONE BERNSTEIN, The Learning Tree Intergenerational Center’s SHIRLEY BLACK, Maplewood-Richmond Heights schools superintendent LINDA HENKE, Cultural Leadership’s KAREN KALISH, education and social justice activists TRESA and FRANKLIN MCCALLIE, Missouri State Representative JEANETTE OXFORD, Pace Properties executive RICK RANDALL JR., Ranken Jordan topper LAURIE TANNER, Kwame Building Group’s TONY THOMPSON, Saint Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Church and St. Louis Catholic Academy pastor FR. JEFF VOMUND and University City Children’s Center’s STEVE ZWOLAK. Battledrum, which runs Jan. 10 to 28, tells the story of three young boys who take a risk to help others.

OPERA THEATRE OF SAINT LOUIS’ 2012 spring gala is in the works. ‘La Habanera,’ a Carmeninspired costume ball, will take place May 5. In the Opera Theatre tradition of elaborately themed balls, this one will channel gypsies, bandits, soldiers, toreadors, mantillas and lace—all in celebration of the magic of Seville. The event venue will be announced at a later date.

Some 150 European paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints will soon call the SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM home, thanks to donors MARK and PHOEBE WEIL. The Weil Collection, acquired in the past 25 years, includes some noteworthy works such as ANDREA MANTEGNA’s Entombment and ALBRECHT DURER’s Adam and Eve. Also part of the collection are BENEDETTO DA MAIANO’s sculpture, Saint John the Evangelist, and a stunning impression of REMBRANDT’s most famous print, Christ Preaching. Mark Weil is an art historian and former director of the Mildren Lane Kemper Art Museum; his wife, Phoebe, pioneered the field of sculpture conservation in St. Louis in the 1970s.

Armenian scientist DR. ARAM AGHASYAN is the recipient of this year’s Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award for his role in helping to establish parks and sanctuaries in his home country to conserve Armenia’s wildlife. In addition, longtime zoo leader MAHLON WALLACE III was honored with the Individual Award for his decades of service; the Corporate Award recognized PEABODY ENERGY for its contributions to The Living Promise campaign and the Zoofari and A Zoo Ado events, among others; and the Foundation Award went to INTERCO CHARITABLE TRUST for its advocacy and generous donations over the years.

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY’s Olin Business School has received two significant gifts totaling $25 million. They are from longtime benefactors CHARLES and JOANNE KNIGHT ($15 million), and GEORGE and CAROL BAUER through the Bauer Foundation ($10 million). The money will support the university’s plans to build two new facilities for graduate education.