The Commission on the Status of Women inducted five women into the Kansas University Hall of Fame and honored dozens of outstanding KU women Thursday at the annual Women's Recognition Program.
The ceremony took place in Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union.
This year's inductees are Sherry Borgers, KU professor of psychology; Mabel Rice, KU professor of speech, language and hearing; and Rep. Rochelle Chronister, R-Neodesha, a KU alumnus. Two other women, Natalie Calderwood and Carlotta Nellis, also were inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.
Judith Ramaley, executive vice chancellor, welcomed the near-capacity crowd and stressed the importance of recognizing women at the university.
"We wish to call attention to their abilities and achievments, and that we do so is important to everyone," she said.
REP. CHRONISTER, who was surprised at the end of the program with her induction into the Hall of Fame, spoke about "Courageous Voices Echoing in Our Lives," the theme of the program and Women's History Month, which was observed in March.
"American women have come late as candidates in the political parties," she said. "We're now comfortable as candidates from the school board to county commissions to state legislatures to national legislatures, and I believe someday soon, as president."
Rather than focusing on famous women who have fought for women's rights throughout history, Rep. Chronister said she wanted to recognize the "quiet courage" of women outside the public eye.
She mentioned the courageous women who travelled west with their families during frontier days. "Thousands of women made that choice and few others understand the courage that choice took," she said.
SHE ALSO recalled a visit to a hospital for mentally handicapped children, and praised mothers and caregivers of the children for their strength.
"Another area of quiet courage is the courage of a recovering alcoholic," Rep. Chronister said. "Women alcoholics were hidden from our society until very recently."
Anne Richards, who recently won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Texas and admitted an alcohol dependency, serves an example to all women recovering from alcoholism, Rep. Chronister said.
The courage of single mothers also was recognized by the speaker, who said, "These are the kinds of courage we see every day if we only open our eyes."
AFTER THE program, Cynthia Gouvion, co-chairman of the Women's Recognition Committee, pointed out the reason for organizing the ceremony. "There are some very outstanding women on this campus who have contributed to the university and society in general," she said.
Lynn Page, a member of KU's women's basketball team who was named outstanding woman in athletics, said the honor was a surprise.
"I was surprised because all the coaches and everyone on the team knew about it except for me," she said. "I'm surprised and very honored. Sometimes we're overlooked. To have a separate award ceremony that shows (women) are being seen, they're being noticed and recognized, I think that's really important."
THE FOLLOWING women were honored for their contributions in these respective areas:
Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics: Lynn Page, Tulsa, Okla., junior.
Outstanding Woman Student in Community Services: Amy Beckett, Topeka senior; and Pam Detrixhe, Baldwin City graduate student.
Outstanding Non-traditional Woman Student: Judy Fiester, Lawrence sophomore.
Oustanding Woman Student in Leadership: Nancy Louden, Omaha, Neb., junior, and Lori Lynn Turner, Lawrence senior.
Outstanding Woman Student in Student Services: Brenda Eisele, Fredonia senior.
Outstanding International Woman Student: Hershini Bhana, South Africa freshman.
Outstanding Pioneer Woman: Zula Bennington Greene. (posthumous)
Outstanding Woman Teacher: Joey Sprague, assistant professor of sociology.
Outstanding Woman Staff Member: Virginia Sayler, office specialist in the office of research, graduate studies and public service.
Three KU students also received Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Awards: Kim Brown, Wichita freshman; Gina Marie Graham, Lawrence freshman; and Tiffany Tidwell, Topeka freshman.
THE PROGRAM also honored Outstanding Women in Living Groups. The women and their living groups include:
Becki Elkins, Lawrence senior, Corbin Hall; Wendy Poindexter, Overland Park junior, GSP Hall; Erica Neidlinger, St. Louis junior, Hashinger Hall; Ines Shuk, Laguna Hills, Calif., senior, Lewis Hall; Lauri Dresselier, Shawnee senior, McCollum Hall; Michelle Roberts, Wichita sophomore, Oliver Hall; Sarah Manweiler, Wichita junior, Douthart Scholarship Hall; Theresa Downing, Wichita junior, Miller Scholarship Hall; Kirsten Unger, Manhattan junior, Sellards Scholarship Hall; Carol Jong, Wichita senior, Watkins Scholarship Hall; Rosemarie Spalitto, Kansas City, Mo., junior, Alpha Chi Omega; Catherine C. Bourne, Kansas City, Mo., senior, Alpha Delta Pi; Vicki Giese, Underwood, Iowa, senior, Alpha Gamma Delta; Jennifer Barber, Prairie Village junior, and Kathie Gunderman, Louisville, Ky., graduate student, Alpha Omicron Pi; Leslie Murphy, Lenexa junior, Chi Omega; Teresa Vizcarra, Leawood junior, Delta Delta Delta; Carol Krekeler, St. Louis sophomore, Delta Gamma; Liz O'Leary, Overland Park junior, Kappa Alpha Theta; Liz Roark, Bartlesville, Okla., senior, Kappa Kappa Gamma; and Stacie Chesen, Lincoln, Neb., sophomore, Sigma Delta Tau.