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Activists of the Year

(page 6 of 6)

Betsy Nalty

Anative of New Orleans, Betsy Nalty says she was inspired by her parents and her late husband to lead a life of volunteerism and community activism.

“They encouraged me to make a difference by instilling in me the value of sharing and having concern for the well being of others,” Nalty says.

After receiving an education at the Louise S. McGehee School in 1960, Nalty would later return to become the honorary centennial chair of the school’s 100th anniversary celebration. The mission of The Louise S. McGehee School is to provide a rigorous college preparatory education to girls in an inclusive environment that fosters self-esteem, encourages high personal standards, addresses individual student needs and emphasizes active student participation in learning. She is also a lifetime member of the school’s board of directors, a role that she balances with her many other civic commitments. Currently, Nalty is assisting with the development of educational programs for the Ethics Review Board of New Orleans.

“What makes me most proud is the feeling of having done a job to the best of my ability with the hope of leaving whatever the task, greater than it was when I became involved,” she says.

But Nalty cannot do it alone. She calls on others in the community to stand up and get involved by reaching out and making a difference.

“Look around yourself and see what’s there or what’s not there,” she says. “Seek out opportunities because there is great reward and satisfaction in volunteerism.”

Even with all her civic accomplishments, Nalty says that she’s most proud of raising her four children Donald, Morgan, Helen and Elizabeth. When she has free time, Nalty enjoys spending time with her nine grandchildren, listening to classical music, taking long walks, going to pilates class and visiting with friends.

“I’m just plain ole Betsy Nalty,” she humbly says.


Young Leadership Council, Role Model
Garden Club of America Zone IX, Creative Leadership Award
Junior League of New Orleans, Sustainer Award
Institute for Higher Understanding, Ten Outstanding Persons
St. Elizabeth’s Guild, Beautiful Activist

Past and Present Organizations

Edward G. Schlieder Education Foundation, president
Ethics Review Board City of New Orleans, vice chair
Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, executive committee member
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, executive committee member
Greater New Orleans Foundation, executive committee member
Louisiana Endowment For the Humanities, executive committee member
Louisiana State University Health Science Department of Psychiatry Advisory Board, member
Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation, board and executive committee member
Hermann Grima/Gallier Historic Houses, board member
Louise S. McGehee School, chair and board member
Junior League of New Orleans, former president
New Orleans Town Gardeners, former president
Garden Club of America, chair

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