Vivian Anderson Castleberry was the founder of Peacemakers Incorporated and a gifted, trailblazing journalist in Dallas, Texas.
Devoted to peaceful resolution of conflicts, Ms. Castleberry served as a "grassroots Citizen Diplomat", making four trips to Russia to meet with Russian citizens beginning in 1984. In 2005, she returned to Russia to co-lead women's leadership and intergenerational conferences in Leningrad and Moscow and to interview young Russian entrepreneurs who had trained in the United States and returned to run their own communities to help create a more democratic Russia. In 2006, Ms. Castleberry co-hosted delegations of small business owners and women lawyers from Russia who travelled to Dallas for training on association-building and comparative law. In 1988, Vivian served as Chairwoman of Peacemakers' First International Women's Peace Conference, which was attended by over 2,000 women from 57 countries.
Ms. Castleberry was a native Texan, a graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU), and an SMU Distinguished Alumnae. In 1999, SMU awarded Ms. Castleberry with an honorary doctorate.
From 1956 to 1984, Ms. Castleberry served as the women's editor of the Dallas Times Herald. She headed the Living section of the paper and was the first woman named to the paper's editorial board. During her 28-year tenure at the Herald, Ms. Castleberry won numerous journalism awards including three "Katie" awards given by the Press Club of Dallas, two United Press International ("UPI") awards, a state Headliners award, two University of Missouri awards for overall excellence of women's pages, a Southwestern Journalism Forum award and the Buck Marryat Award given by the Press Club of Dallas for "outstanding contributions to communications."
Ms. Castleberry was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1984, the year the honor was created. She has been honored with the Laurel Award given by the American Association of University Women; a Women Helping Women Award given by the Women's Center of Dallas; a Women Helping Women Award given by the Soroptimist Club, and the Extra Mile Award given by the Business and Professional Women's Club.
After taking early retirement in May 1984, Ms. Castleberry wrote four books: Daughters of Dallas, The Texas Tornado, Sarah the Bridge Builder, and Seeds of Success. She was a consultant to other writers, taught at local community colleges, and made numerous speeches, including to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In May 2009, KERA-TV released a documentary of her life in their "Texas Trailblazer" series. In 2010 she was honored as one of Women's eNews 21 Leaders of the 21st Century.
Ms. Castleberry was married to the late Curtis W. Castleberry, a retired high school teacher. Together they raised five daughters. Vivan had 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, at last count. She died on October 4, 2017. She will be greatly, greatly missed.
The Castleberry Peace Institute awards new Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship - a $4000 annual scholarship to support students who have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership on political, economic social issues especially as they pertain to the role of women in local, national and international efforts to advance peace and justice.
Eligibility: The following criteria are required for consideration for the Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship: Students must 1) have earned at least 60 semester credit hours; 2) have at least a 3.0 overall grade point average; and 3) have a documented interest and involvement in work related to peacebuilding, peaceful communities in Texas, the United States or around the world, most especially as it affects women.
Application process: Students should follow this link to our schlarship application form that is for all students, and must also submit a statement of interest essay through the portal. Scholarship Application Page