“If I leave a small legacy at the University, I hope it’s the example of what’s possible.”

— Sharon Allen, 2010 Legacy of Leading Award recipient



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Legacy of Leading

The University of Idaho Honors Alumna Sharon Allen

Legacy of Leading Award Gala | March 4, 2010

The boardroom of one of the world's most influential accounting and consulting companies is a long way from Kimberly, Idaho. But for Sharon Allen ‘73, chairman of Deloitte LLP and an alumna of the University of Idaho, the achievement isn't a surprise: she learned her leadership lessons well in college and has built on them.

Allen is the second recipient of the University’s Legacy of Leading Award, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions in leadership to their communities or to society in general. More than 300 alumni, friends and state leadership gathered to share in the celebration at an award ceremony on March 4 in Boise.

“You have moments in your life you remember with such clarity because of their significance … I have a new one of those moments tonight,” said Allen as she received the award. “I’m always proud to say I’m a product of the University of Idaho. The people I met, the friends I made, the things I learned all have had a profound impact on my life.”

“Sharon truly models what we mean when we talk about our legacy of leading," said former University of Idaho President Duane Nellis. "She has taken the excellent education earned at the University and applied it to her career, which led her to success on a global scale. The faculty here challenged her to think differently about her role in the business world, to build relationships and to become the leader that she is today. I know that she believes in the power of higher education and its vital role in global competitiveness."

Allen has been named to Forbes list of "the 100 most powerful women in the world" for the past three years. In 2008, she was named by Directorship as “one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance” and Crain’s New York Business cited her as one of the most powerful businesswomen in New York.

She is a past member of the U.S. President’s Export Council; a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; and a board member of Catalyst Inc., the national board of the YMCA, and the Autry National Center.

Allen graduated from the University of Idaho in 1973 with a degree in accounting and in 2004 received an honorary doctorate in administrative science.

The University of Idaho presents its Legacy of Leading Award to individuals who have made significant contributions in leadership to their communities, the state of Idaho or society in general. Former Sen. Jim McClure received the inaugural award in 2009.