(Press Release, Sept. 19, 2013)
A world famous aviator, an international economist, and the first women to participate in
the writing of the state constitution are among the 19 notable women selected by independent juries for induction into the 2013 class of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. The women will be honored at the 30th Annual Awards dinner on Thursday, October 17 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.
The 2013 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame honorees in the CONTEMPORARY CATEGORY are:
• Elizabeth W. Bauer of Ferndale
Elizabeth Bauer advocates the human and legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan, nationally, and internationally. Her efforts to create inclusive communities, schools, services, and supports have resulted in enactment of state and federal laws, public policies, and programs that guarantee those opportunities.
• Judith Levin Cantor of Bloomfield Hills
Judith Cantor is a historian, author, archivist, and exhibit curator dedicated to promoting Michigan’s history and to furthering awareness of the state’s significant Jewish heritage. Judy was and continues to be integral to the revival and preservation of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.
• Paula D. Cunningham of Lansing Paula Cunningham was the first female president of Lansing Community College, the first female African American to Chair the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the first female president and CEO of Capitol National Bank. She is also extremely active in the community, creating many educational initiatives.
• Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson of Lansing
Affectionately known as “Triple J,” Joan Jackson Johnson is an advocate for the poor, homeless, and mentally ill through her position as the director of Human Relations and Community Services for the City of Lansing and her extensive volunteer work in the Greater Lansing community.
• Dr. Gladys Holdeman McKenney of Rochester
Gladys McKenney is an advocate for women’s rights and an educator. McKenney taught women’s history as a classroom teacher and through her “Our Fabulous Foremothers” performances, which bring historic events to life with the use of her own handmade dolls representative of important women in American history.
• Dr. Marina von Neumann Whitman of Ann Arbor
Marina Whitman was vice president and group executive of Public Affairs at General Motors, making her the highest-ranking female executive in the American auto industry in 1985. She was also the first woman on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and the first woman to serve on the board of several multi-national corporations.
The 2013 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame honorees in the HISTORICAL CATEGORY are:
• The Con-Con Eleven
Vera Andrus of Port Huron, Ruth Gibson Butler of Houghton, Anne M. Conklin of Livonia, Katherine Moore Cushman of Dearborn, Ann Elizabeth Donnelly of Highland Park, Daisy Elizabeth Elliott of Detroit, Adelaide Julia Hart of Detroit, Lillian Hatcher of Detroit, Dorothy Leonard Judd of Grand Rapids, Ella Demmink Koeze of Grand Rapids, and Marjorie Frances McGowan of Detroit—and became known as the “Con-Con Eleven.” It was the first constitutional convention in 53 years and the first and only time women participated in the writing of Michigan’s constitution.
• Elizabeth “Bessie” Eaglesfield (1853-1940) of Grand Rapids
Elizabeth Eaglesfield was Grand Rapids’ first practicing female attorney. Eaglesfield, an active clubwoman, was also one of the first female steamship captains on Lake Michigan. A shrewd businesswoman, she pursued clients for her legal practice, shipped goods on the Great Lakes, and invested in property.
• Harriet Quimby (1875-1912) of Arcadia
Although her career as a pilot was brief due to a tragic airplane accident, Harriet Quimby left an indelible mark on aviation history. In 1911, Quimby was the first American woman to become a licensed pilot. In 1912, she became first woman to fly cross the English Channel.
The Philip A. Hart Award is presented annually at the event by the Michigan Women’s Studies Association Board of Directors to a male citizen who has demonstrated a unique understanding and support of women’s issues and concerns and has contributed to the advancement of women’s rights and interests. This year’s recipient is Daniel Krichbaum, former Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, who was a strong advocate for women and pay equity throughout his career.
The 2013 induction ceremony and dinner will take place at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, 55 South Harrison Avenue, East Lansing. A reception will begin at 5:00 p.m., dinner at 6:00 p.m. and the ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Event reservations ($125/person) and information about sponsorships and advertisements are available at www.michiganwomenshalloffame.org or by calling (517) 484-1880 x203.
ABOUT THE MICHIGAN WOMEn’S HALL OF FAME
The Hall of Fame, established in 1983, was created by the Michigan Women’s Studies Association (MWSA). Our mission is to inspire and engage adults and children by celebrating Michigan women’s history, promoting educational opportunities, and honoring the accomplishments of Michigan women.
The Michigan Women’s Historical Center is home to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame, changing history exhibits, the Belen Art Gallery featuring Michigan women artists, and a Fair Trade gift shop.
Patterned after the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, the Michigan Hall was the first of its kind to recognize high-achieving women of an individual state.
Over the years, more than 260 women have been named to this esteemed body. Some are ‘firsts’ or ‘founders’; that is, the first females to assume a particular role of leadership, such as Michigan’s first female U.S. senator Debbie Stabenow, or the founders of new entities like Bina West Miller, who established the first life insurance company for women. Another category of women are considered experts in their fields: for instance, Catherine Carter Blackwell is a recognized authority on African history and culture. Many inductees are Michigan’s proud representatives on a national stage, such as Lily Tomlin, whose creative abilities have earned her two Tonys, six Emmys, a Grammy, two Peabody Awards, and an Academy Award nomination.
Biographical information and photographs may be found at www.michiganwomenshalloffame.org, and a commemorative plaque for each woman hangs in the Michigan Women’s Historical Center in Lansing.