Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership

Joyce R. Saxon

Joyce R. Saxon, Mundelein College ’49, is a pioneer for women, one whose professional career shattered the glass ceiling at the executive level in the advertising industry, demonstrating the power of a Mundelein College education and the determination of its graduates.

Saxon served as the first female senior vice president at J. Walter Thompson (JWT), one of the largest and oldest advertising agencies in the U.S. In her 25-year tenure with JWT, her responsibilities included positions as spot broadcast manager and syndication manager. Extremely accomplished in both roles, she placed $51 million each year in broadcast advertising and identified TV networks throughout the U.S. for syndicated news programs, one of which won the coveted Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Saxon also worked in the culinary arts industry as the personnel director for Culinary Enterprises, which has staffed the U.S. Senior Open, Ravinia Park concerts, and the Kentucky Derby. She is a co-founder of Chicago Gourmets, a culinary organization of over 300 members that seeks to educate and provide diverse culinary experiences to the community. Saxon’s influence and capability has greatly impacted the cultural landscape of the city of Chicago.

As an active member in the Chicago community, Saxon serves on the City Club of Chicago Board of Governors and was the executive director of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce and manager of the Wells Street Art Fair. Her involvement with TV, radio, and cable continues as treasurer-for-life of the Broadcast Advertising Club of Chicago.

At Loyola, Saxon has been very involved for many years with the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) as a docent, member, and major contributor. Beyond Loyola, she has served as a Chicago Art Institute Sustaining Fellow and a Newberry Library President’s Fellow. She is also a member of the Dead Writers Board of Directors.