TEMPE – Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and historic preservationist and arts advocate Elisabeth F. Ruffner will be the first living inductees to the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame. The Induction Ceremony will take place on Mar. 12 at 3 p.m. at the Arizona Historical Society Museum,1300 N. College Ave., in Tempe, Ariz.
The Honorary Chairwomen for the induction ceremony are former Sec. of State Betsey Bayless of Phoenix, former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and founding member of the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame Alison Hughes, both from Tucson. Also in attendance will be Sec. of State Michele Reagan.
The Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame program pays tribute to the remarkable women whose contributions; to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, the humanities, philanthropy and science; have played a significant role in the history of Arizona and provide a significant contribution to the historical record of the state. Currently, 89 women have been inducted.
A coalition serves as the participating sponsors for the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame, including the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; the Arizona Historical Society; the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Arizona Humanities. The induction is followed by a reception with light refreshments. Guests are able to mingle with associates and family members of the inducted women as well as view the custom-made memorial quilts created by the Arizona Quilters Guild and the Phoenix Quilters Association. The event is free and open to the public; however, due to limited seating a reservation is required. To reserve your seat or learn more about the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame, visit the website at www.azwhf.org.
About the 2015 Inductees
2015 Living Legacy Inductees
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (retired)
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made history as the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, breaking the ultimate “glass ceiling” in the legal profession. In 2009, she received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award. O’Connor also founded iCivics; an online program dedicated to teaching civics and is the inspiration behind the O’Connor House, an organization dedicated to solving problems through civil discourse.
Elisabeth F. Ruffner
A historian and writer who spent decades promoting historic preservation, open spaces and the arts; Elisabeth F. Ruffner has been named a Culture Keeper as well as a History Maker by the Arizona Historical Society. In 2010, Ruffner received the Governor’s Award for the Arts for individual achievements in promoting the arts and culture in Arizona.
2015 Posthumous Inductees
Marietta Bryant (1911-2003) & Daisy Moore (1908-1985)
Marietta Bryant and Daisy Moore stood up for the rights of all qualified educators to teach in Arizona’s desegregated schools. In 1951, the Globe/Miami school boards closed its two African American schools and removed Moore and Bryant from their teaching jobs. Moore and Bryant, working through the legal system, successfully reversed their dismissals and in September 1952, returned to teach in the newly-integrated classrooms.
Lorraine W. Frank (1923-2005)
Lorraine W. Frank was the founder and first Executive Director of the Arizona Humanities Council. During her tenure (1973 – 1989) Lorraine oversaw the distribution of over three million dollars in grants and awards. She was a member of The National Council on the Humanities, the Arizona Board of Regents and the recipient of many local, state and national honors and awards.
Louise Foucar Marshall (1864-1956)
The first female professor in Arizona, Louise Foucar Marshall taught Botany, English, French, Latin and Spanish. In 1901 she became head of the Department of Ancient and Modern Languages at the University of Arizona. In 1930, Louise co-founded the Marshall Foundation, the first private foundation in Arizona. Her goal was to create a scholarship fund to aid women who wanted to attend the U of A.
Helen K. Mason (1912-2003)
Born in Phoenix, Helen Mason was the Founder and Executive Director of the Black Theatre Troupe. For more than 21 years she devoted her time and resources, working to bring the arts to inner- city youth. In 1986, she received the Governor’s Arts Award for her work. The Black Theatre Troupe continues to enhance Arizona’s culture through its artistic productions at the Helen K. Mason building.
Lucy Sikorsky, M.D. (1899-1972)
Dr. Lucy Sikorsky came to Arizona in 1950 as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. She was assigned to the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Bylas, where she worked until January 1953. Later in 1953, she was named Director of Maricopa County Hospital (MCH). Dr. Sikorsky is credited with modernizing the hospital and the newly- created Board of Public Health. She also is known for her charitable medical service to orphanages and the poor.