MORGANTOWN , W.Va.West Virginia Universitys first lady of dance, Mary KathryneKacyWiedebusch, who retired from WVU in 2006 after 51 years of service, recently brought home another honor.

Alpha Xi Delta, a national womens fraternity, honored her as aWoman of Distinctionfor her stellar career as dance coordinator and artistic director of WVU s award-winning Orchesis Dance Ensemble and her many contributions to the dance profession.

This award honors alumnae who provide outstanding service to their communities, attain eminent achievement within their profession and are widely recognized in their field,said Deanna Detchemendy, national president.

Alpha Xi Delta is proud to recognize Kacya leader and trailblazera woman who realized her potential and inspired others to do the same.

Wiedebusch began her teaching career at WVU in 1955 and helped the program grow from just a few classes for physical education majors to a full-scale curriculum with a dance major/minor in the College of Creative ArtsDivision of Theatre and Dance. She also helped initiate the still unique and beautiful rooftop dance studio, now named in her honor, in WVU s Elizabeth Moore Hall, and founded the Universitys artist-in-residency program.

Dance education has been my career, my life’s work,she said on her return from the Alpha Xi Delta recognition in Denver, Colo.,and I am so very honored that my national sorority recognized my dedication and love for my craft and the students and artists who provided the inspiration over the years.

Wiedebusch has also been honored by the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) twicefirst as a founding member of the association and again for her commitment to dance on the college and national level. Her performing groups have received national and regional honors from the ACDFA as well.

She has also received numerous other honors, among them the West Virginia Dance Educator of the Year Award (twice in the 1990s), WVU s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award (1991-92), induction into the WVU School of Physical Education Hall of Fame (1994), and induction into the Order of Vandalia (2007), which is WVU s highest honor.

She is listed in Whos Who of American Women 2001 and the Worlds Whos Who of Women in Education 2000 and 2006. Her research emphasis over the years centered around the London Contemporary Dance Theatre School and Trust and its founder, Robin Howard.

A native of Clarksburg, Wiedebusch received her bachelors and masters degrees from WVU , where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta. During her early teaching years at WVU , she studied in New York City with great artists such as Martha Graham and Hanya Holm.

She continues to be involved in dance, teaching for Morgantowns Community Arts Dance Program for adults, staying involved in the Universitys dance programs, and serving on Morgantowns Metropolitan Theatre Arts Commission.

A professor emerita, Wiedebusch has two grown children, Carole and Charles, and two grandchildren, Jack and James.