President of the Foxcroft Alumnae Council Amanda Hartmann Healy, Class of 1998, presented the award to Diana, a 1960 graduate. “Axie has spent her life in the service of others, continually proving herself as an agent of change to any organization or community she aligns with,” Healy told those gathered, which included current and past Heads of Foxcroft, trustees, and alumnae, “I believe the ability to be a successful agent of change should be held in the highest regard.”
In addition to years of service to Foxcroft in roles ranging from class representative to chairman of the Board of Trustees, Diana has been a prolific and generous volunteer in a variety of venues. When she ran into barriers, she broke them. In the 1960s, she persuaded the board of governors of a small skating club in New Jersey to which she belonged that women should have a place on the board — and became one of the first two women elected to it.
Several years later, Diana sued, through the ACLU, a local first aid squad after being told that she could not be a volunteer EMT because she wasn’t a fireman. “Read: ‘a woman,’ ” Diana said. “I got a lot of nasty letters and threats over that, but in the end, they accepted women.
“I can’t really describe what it is about me that disposes me to leadership and service,” said Diana, “but I do know that Foxcroft had a lot to do with it. Service is an expectation here. Girls are taught to be leaders here . . . Even in the dark ages when I was at Foxcroft — the ’50s — I somehow absorbed the notion that women had power and could make their own way in the world.”
Make her way she did. Diana became a mobile intensive care paramedic, an instructor for cardiac and trauma life support and 12 Lead EKG equipment, and a member of the stroke patient transport team for the Morristown (NJ) Medical Center. She was also one of the first volunteers in the hospital’s ER and a member of the Mother and Child Welfare Committee.
While raising four children, Diana also worked as Director of Development at Far Hills Country Day School (FHCDS), running a one-woman office that handled everything from alumni relations and the annual fund to magazine production and events. Ever the volunteer, she was also a room parent for her children’s classes and later served on the FHCDS Board of Trustees including several years as chair.
Diana’s consistent and generous service to Foxcroft was recognized by School’s Board of Trustees in 2009, when it presented her with the Anne Kane McGuire Award for Distinguished Service, its highest honor. Diana was chair of Foxcroft’s Board from 2004–09, and also served the group as co-chair of the Annual Fund, the Development Committee, and the Committee on Trustees. She was one of three co-chairs of the Centennial Celebration Committee, leading scores of volunteers and staff members in a massive undertaking that included organizing a worldwide Day of Service to kick off the seven-month celebration, producing a memory book and other commemoratives and communications, engaging a broad variety of alumnae in the event, and presenting a sensational gala weekend for more than 1,000 people in April 2014. Diana has also served on the Alumnae Council and Capital Campaign Steering Committee, and continues as the class representative for 1960.
Diana has not slowed down since moving to Boston some years ago. Through her involvement with Trinity Church in Boston, she acts as a literacy coach in the Boston Public Schools and co-chairs a community-wide effort to buy books for these struggling schools. In Maine, where she spends her summers, Diana is a member of the Board of St. Mary’s/St. Jude’s Church (Northeast Harbor), serving on both the Stewardship and Capital Campaign steering committees. She is also on the Board of the Mount Desert Island Hospital and The Neighborhood House, a local community center.
Founded in 1914, Foxcroft School is a college-preparatory boarding and day school for girls in grades 9-12 with a mission of helping every girl explore her unique voice and develop the skills, confidence, and courage to share it with the world. The School offers 76 courses, including 16 Advanced Placement classes, a STEM program that inspires girls to work in disciplines traditionally underrepresented by women, and an Exceptional Proficiency program that helps students hone their special talents in sports, the arts and other fields with training and competitions away from campus. Foxcroft fields athletic teams in nine sports, including a two-time state champion lacrosse team and has a nationally known riding program. The 2017-18 student body is comprised of 157 girls from 14 countries, 18 states, and the District of Columbia. About one-third of the students receive financial assistance; 24 percent are international students, and 20 percent are students of color.