Kay Krill, president and chief executive officer of ANN INC., parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and an alumna of Agnes Scott College, will deliver remarks at the college’s 123rd Commencement on May 12. The Reverend O. Benjamin Sparks, retired pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Va., will be the speaker for Baccalaureate Vespers on May 11.
Known for her remarkable merchandising savvy and hands-on management style, Krill is one of the few female CEOs in the retail sector. She joined the company in 1994 and became senior vice president of merchandising and design for the LOFT brand. In 2001, she was named president of the LOFT division which, under her leadership, became a $1 billion business and one of the fastest growing concepts in women’s apparel. She was named president of ANN INC. in 2004 as well as a member of the company’s Board of Directors. In 2005, the CEO title was added and today ANN INC. is a $2.2 billion public company.
“As one of our most distinguished alums, Kay exemplifies the best qualities of an Agnes Scott graduate— keen intelligence, thoughtful leadership and social conscience,” said Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott. “Kay serves as an example of outstanding leadership for our class of 2012 as they set off into the world to lead in their own ways. I am also proud that Agnes Scott will confer an honorary doctorate on Kay at Commencement.”
Krill has a distinct passion for women’s and children’s charitable causes that has inspired her to cultivate a community of giving at ANN INC.Under her leadership, the company launched ANN CARES, a charitable platform that has contributed more than $20 million in seven years to support partners including The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Most recently, in collaboration with the Vital Voices Global partnership, ANN CARES launched ANNpower—an initiative designed to invest in and inspire young women to be the leaders of tomorrow.
Krill has been recognized for several years by Crain’s as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in New York” and is a current board member of the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association. She was a 2011 honoree at the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York’s 36th Annual Smart Cookie Gala.
Krill received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and economics from Agnes Scott in 1977 and served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2001. A former president of Agnes Scott’s Athletics Association, Krill was a competitive tennis player during her student years at the college.
A trustee of Agnes Scott and a graduate of Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary, Rev. Sparks is a distinguished pastor,teacher, scholar and ecumenist. He has been active in Presbyterian and ecumenical ministries of peace and social justice. He is a member of the Iona Community in Scotland, a worldwide ecumenical community committed to the renewal of worship and ministries of healing, justice and peace. In Richmond, he helped establish CARITAS, a citywide ecumenical organization that houses and feeds the homeless. He and his wife, Annette Smith Sparks, developed exchanges with churches and organizations in Ghana and Malawi. He has also helped teach courses in urban ministry at Union Theological Seminary and in homiletics at Vanderbilt Divinity School.
He served for two years as interim editor-in-chief of The Presbyterian Outlook and recently as interim pastor of Westminster Presbyterian in Nashville. Reverend Sparks’ wife, Annette, is an alumna of Agnes Scott’s class of 1962.
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location – offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. A diverse and growing residential community of scholars, this highly selective liberal arts and sciences college is known for its dynamic and challenging intellectual community. Encouraging students to engage the wider world through study abroad and presenting its curriculum with international context, Agnes Scott College delivers on its promise: The World. For Women.