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Christy C. Bulkeley

The AWC Matrix Foundation was pleased to honor Christy C. Bulkeley, Past President of Women in Communications, Inc. (WICI, now known as AWC) from 1974-1975 and National Headliner in 1978 by giving out the Advancement of Women Award in her name in 2011.  Bulkeley, who died in 2009 of ovarian cancer at age 67, was a renowned journalist who broke barriers as one of a very few female newspaper publishers in the U.S. in the 1970s.  Her official obituary is below.

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Christy C. Bulkeley of Tree Cutters Lane, Sanford, NC, died Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009. Born Feb. 10, 1942, in Abingdon, Ill., to Gerald and Patricia Bulkeley, Christy was predeceased by her husband of 33 years, P. David Finks, Ph.D., in June 2009. Survivors include her brothers Peter and Michael, their wives Edie and Susan, and three nephews and two nieces.

A 1960 graduate of Abingdon High School (Abingdon, Ill.), and of the University of Missouri School of Journalism from which she earned a Bachelor of Journalism in 1964, Bulkeley was the first woman named chief executive office of a local Gannett-owned newspaper. Her industry honors include the 1978 National Headliner Award from the (then) Women in Communications (now Association of Women in Communications) when she was 36.

Bulkeley’s first professional journalism job was as newsroom clerk at the Rochester, NY Times-Union. After nearly a year of city-desk tasks, she was promoted to reporter on the local news beat and was later promoted to editorial writer and then, to head the paper’s editorial department.  After a decade working at the Rochester paper, she moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, where she became editor, publisher, and president of the Saratogian, a small Gannett Co. Inc. daily newspaper.  Gannett promoted her to chief executive officer of the Danville, Ill. Commercial-News. While in that position from 1976 to 1984, she also served as a vice president for Gannett’s Central Newspaper Group.  She returned to the Saratogian for a short period of time before joining the staff of the Gannett Foundation in Washington, D.C., in 1985. There she was vice president, working in issues-related grant and program administration for seven years.

When the Foundation was recreated as the Freedom Forum, Bulkeley left the organization for independent study, earning a Master of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., in 1994.

Bulkeley was involved in professional organizations such as Women in Communications, Inc. (national president), the Society of Professional Journalists, Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS), the American Newspaper Publishers Association, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She served as a Pulitzer Prize nominating judge. An avid reader and enthusiastic golfer, Bulkeley lived in the Sanford, N.C, area for the past 15 years.

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