Women honored at Kansas University on Tuesday evening ranged from a former U.S. treasurer to a point guard for the women's basketball team.
The Commission on the Status of Women inducted six women into KU's Women's Hall of Fame and honored dozens of women students, faculty and staff members during the annual Women's Recognition Program at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.
This year's inductees to the Women's Hall of Fame, designed to honor outstanding women KU graduates, faculty and staff, are Elizabeth Banks, associate professor of classics and curator of the Wilcox Classical Museum; Kathy Barnard, a Kansas City, Mo., artist; Alice-Ann Darrow, associate professor of music education and music therapy; Edith Freeman, professor of social welfare; Rose Greaves, professor of history and Soviet and East European studies; and Ann Schofield, associate professor of American studies and history and associate professor and director of the women's studies program.
ALSO ATTENDING the ceremony was Georgia Neese Gray, Topeka, who was the first woman treasurer of the United States, serving from 1949 to 1953. Mrs. Gray, a Kansas native and a longtime civic and political leader, was honored as the outstanding pioneer woman.
David Ambler, vice chancellor for student affairs, welcomed the near-capacity crowd and said that universities should be places where women become empowered.
"Leadership in our society is still a rare commodity," Ambler said. "Quality leadership is even more unique."
Ann Weick, dean of the School of Social Welfare and keynote speaker at the program, said women are natural leaders because they possess five important attributes.
She said women "have their hand on the pulse of human relationships" and have learned how to focus on the daily aspects of life and see the possibilities of human growth and change. She also said women possess what she called "understanding without words." Finally, Weick said women are comfortable within a cooperative setting.
During her presentation, Weick touched on the theme of the program, "Nurturing Tradition, Fostering Change," which was borrowed from Women's History Month. She said women are often the force behind change and healing.
"WOMEN KNOW how to be caretakers, and I would submit to you that the world is in great need of caretaking," Weick said, adding that the world needs a dose of women's attributes.
After Weick's presentation, members of the Commission on the Status of Women, a KU student group formed in 1962, announced the women selected for this year's awards.
The following women were honored for their contributions in these respective areas:
Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics: Geri K. Hart, point guard, women's basketball team, Independence junior; and Lauri J. Hill, captain of the swimming and diving team, San Jose, Calif., senior.
Outstanding Woman Student in Community Services: Katherine A. Manweiler, Wichita sophomore.
Outstanding Nontraditional Woman Student: Helen Krische Dee, Lawrence graduate student.
Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership: Bryndalyn S. Query, Topeka freshman.
Outstanding Woman Student in Student Services: Tiffany Snyder, Tecumseh senior.
OUTSTANDING International Woman Student: Meera Srinivasan, Dallas, Tex., graduate student, originally from India.
Outstanding Woman Teacher: Helen Miller Alexander, assistant professor of botany and systematics and ecology; and Margaret Helen Childs, chairwoman of the East Asian languages and cultures department.
Outstanding Woman Staff Member: Kathryn Kretschmer, director new student orientation; and Judy Ruedlinger, director, student programs for the KU Alumni Association.
Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Awards: Shannon Beal, Topeka sophomore; Allana Pettigrew, Wellington sophomore; and Katie Neubich, Ballwin, Mo., sophomore.
The commission also honored Outstanding Women in Living Groups. The women and their living groups are:
Jamie Howard, Hashinger Hall; Jennifer Till, Lewis Hall; Sarah Blacketer, McCollum Hall; Paige Cowden, Douthart Scholarship Hall; Nancy Johnson, Miller Scholarship Hall; Margaret Hu, Sellards Scholarship Hall; Suzie Rastorfer, Alpha Delta Pi; Tiffany Snyder, Alpha Gamma Delta; Leslie Murphy, Chi Omega; Julie Novak, Delta Delta Delta; Wendy Pellow, Gamma Phi Beta; Kathleen Woodard, Kappa Alpha Theta; Maryetta McDuffie, Kappa Kappa Gamma; Kim Madsen, Pi Beta Phi; and Jennifer Zucco, Sigma Kappa.