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Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame

The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame (CWHF) recognizes women natives or residents of the U.S. state of Connecticut for their significant achievements or statewide contributions.

The CWHF had its beginnings in 1993 when a group of volunteers partnered with Hartford College for Women to establish an organization to honor distinguished contributions by female role models associated with Connecticut. The first list of inductees contained forty-one women notable to Connecticut's history and culture, many of whom broke down barriers by becoming the first women to establish themselves in fields that had been previously denied to their gender.[1] Alice Paul, who had a role in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and later wrote the first version of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, was on the 1994 list of women.[2][3] Also on that first list were actress Katharine Hepburn[4] and her mother Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn,[5] who was a pioneer in women's rights and planned parenthood issues. Three of the Beecher clan are on that first list, Hartford Female Seminary founder Catharine Beecher,[6] founder of the Connecticut Women's Suffrage Association Hooker, Isabella BeecherIsabella Beecher Hooker,[7] and abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe.[8] Governor Ella T. Grasso[9] was honored in 1994, as was Estelle Griswold,[10] whose landmark Griswold v. Connecticut before the United States Supreme Court resulted in Connecticut's anti-birth control statute being declared unconstitutional.

In the ensuing two decades, the list has more than doubled. Artist Laura Wheeler Waring, who found fame by creating portraits of prominent African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance,[11] was added in 1997. Abstract artist Helen Frankenthaler[12] became part of the list in 2005. African American opera divas are on the list, Marian Anderson[13] in 1994 and Rosa Ponselle[14] in 1998. Ambassador, politician and playwright Clare Boothe Luce's[15] 1994 appearance on the list was later joined by 19th century free black woman journalist Stewart, Maria MillerMaria Miller Stewart[16] in 2001 and by war correspondent and human rights activist Jane Hamilton-Merritt[17] in 1999. In 2008, the list gained Nobel Prize in Medicine winner, geneticist Barbara McClintock.[18] The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction winner Annie Dillard[19] was added to the list in 1997.

The CWHF provides educational resources through two traveling exhibits, the Inductee Portrait Exhibit,[20] and its We Fight For Roses, Too,[21] a set of twenty-two standing panels displaying the stories of the inductees. The CWHF also provides speakers upon request.[22]


Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame
Name Image Birth–Death Year Area of achievement
Akeley, Mary JobeMary Jobe Akeley (1886–1966) 1994 Explorer[23]
Albers, AnniAnni Albers (1899–1994) 1994 Textile artist[24]
Anderson, MarianMarian Anderson 100px (1897–1993) 1994 Opera singer who broke ground for African Americans[13]
Auerbach, Beatrice FoxBeatrice Fox Auerbach (1887–1968) 1994 Philanthropist, president and director of G. Fox & Co., from 1938 to 1959 she made her store available to Connecticut College for Women as a training program for retail education.[25]
Baker, Emma FieldingEmma Fielding Baker (1828–1916) 1994 Mohegan medicine woman, tribal historian and documentarian[26]
Barringer, Emily DunningEmily Dunning Barringer 100px (1876–1961) 2000

First female ambulance surgeon and first woman medical resident at New York City's Gouverneur Hospital[27]

Batchelder, Evelyn LongmanEvelyn Longman Batchelder 100px (1874–1954) 1994 Sculptor[28]
Baughns-Wallace, AdrianneAdrianne Baughns-Wallace (1944) 2000 News anchor[29]
Beecher, CatharineCatharine Beecher 100px (1800–1878) 1994 Proponent of education for women, founded Hartford Female Seminary[6]
Bourke-White, MargaretMargaret Bourke-White (1904–1971) 2015 American photographer and documentary photographer[30]
Cobb, Jewel PlummerJewel Plummer Cobb (1924–) 2008 Educator, cancer researcher[31]
Cohen, JodyJody Cohen (1954–) 1994 Rabbi[32]
Colt, Elizabeth Hart JarvisElizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt (1826–1905) 1997 Widow of Samuel Colt, donated her entire art and firearms collection to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, and provided funding to erect a Colt Memorial wing of the museum[33]
Coolidge, MarthaMartha Coolidge (1946–) 2005 First female president (2002) Directors Guild of America[34]
Crandall, PrudencePrudence Crandall 100px (1803–1890) 1994 Abolitionist who accepted black students into her female academy in Canterbury, Connecticut[35]
Day, Katharine SeymourKatharine Seymour Day (1870–1964) 1994 Preservationist who rescued historic homes[36]
DeLauro, RosaRosa DeLauro 100px (1943–) 2013 U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 3rd District
Dillard, AnnieAnnie Dillard 100px (1945–) 1997 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek [19]
Farrand, BeatrixBeatrix Farrand (1872–1959) 2014 Landscape architect[37]
Feeney, Helen M.Helen M. Feeney (1919–2004) 1995 Roman Catholic Chancellor of the Archdiocese[38]
Fielding, Fidelia HoscottFidelia Hoscott Fielding (1827–1908) 1994 Last native speaker of the Mohegan Pequot language[39]
Frankenthaler, Helen M.Helen M. Frankenthaler (1928–2011) 2005 Abstract expressionist artist[12]
Franklin, BarbaraBarbara Franklin 100px (1940–) 2013 President and CEO of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, 29th U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Franklin, Martha MinervaMartha Minerva Franklin (1870–1968) 2009 Role model for black nurses[40]
Gaines, Edythe J.Edythe J. Gaines (1922–2006) 1996 Superintendent of schools (first female and first African American) Hartford, director Hartford National Corp.[41]
Garrels, AnneAnne Garrels (1951–) 2012 Foreign correspondent for National Public Radio
Gilman, Charlotte PerkinsCharlotte Perkins Gilman 100px (1860–1935) 1994 Sociologist and author[42]
Goldman-Rakic, PatriciaPatricia Goldman-Rakic 100px (1937–2003) 2008 Yale University School of Medicine, pioneer in working memory research[43]
Goodwin, DorothyDorothy Goodwin (1914–2007) 1994 Five-term Democratic state representative[44]
Grasso, Ella TambussiElla Tambussi Grasso (1919–1981) 1994 Governor of Connecticut[9]
Griswold, EstelleEstelle Griswold (1900–1981) 1994 Griswold v. Connecticut, United States Supreme Court ruled that Connecticut's anti-birth control statute was unconstitutional[10]
Griswold, FlorenceFlorence Griswold (1850–1937) 2002 Patron of American Impressionism art, Florence Griswold Museum, the Old Lyme Art Colony was headquartered in her home[45]
Hall, MaryMary Hall 100px (1843–1927) 1994 After passing the Connecticut Superior Court exam, won an 1882 ruling from Chief Justice John Park of the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors that women were entitle to equal protection under Connecticut statutes and entitled to practice law in the state.[46]
Hamill, DorothyDorothy Hamill 100px (1956–) 2007 Olymplic gold medalist skater[47]
Hamilton, AliceAlice Hamilton 100px (1869–1970) 1994 F irst woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard University[48]
Hamilton-Merritt, JaneJane Hamilton-Merritt (1947–) 1999 Photo journalist, war correspondent, human rights advocate, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize[17]
Hepburn, KatharineKatharine Hepburn 100px (1907–2003) 1994 Actress[4]
Hepburn, Katharine Martha HoughtonKatharine Martha Houghton Hepburn 100px (1878–1951) 1994 Women's rights and Planned Parenthood[5]
Hewins, Caroline MariaCaroline Maria Hewins (1846–1926) 1995 Children's library services[49]
Hillyer, Dotha BushnellDotha Bushnell Hillyer (1843–1932) 2003 Built Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts as a memorial to her father[50]
Hoffleit, DorritDorrit Hoffleit (1907–2007) 1998 Astronomer who discovered more than 1,000 variable stars, author, Bright Star Catalogue, The General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes[51]
Hooker, Isabella BeecherIsabella Beecher Hooker 100px (1822–1907) 1994 Founder of the Connecticut Women's Suffrage Association[7]
Jenson, Mary GoodrichMary Goodrich Jenson (1907–2004) 2000 Aviation pioneer, newspaper reporter[52]
Jones, Emeline RobertsEmeline Roberts Jones 100px (1836–1916) 1994 First female dentist in America[53]
Joyce, JoanJoan Joyce (1940–) 2007 Multi-sports athlete[54]
Keller, HelenHelen Keller 100px (1880–1968) 2006 Educator, author[55]
Kelley, Isabelle M.Isabelle M. Kelley (1917–1997) 2011 Director Food Stamp Program and principal author of the program[56]
Kennelly, BarbaraBarbara Kennelly 100px (1936–) 1994 United States House of Representatives[57]
Kraus, EileenEileen Kraus (1938–) 2002 Business executive[58]
L'Engle, MadeleineMadeleine L'Engle (1918–2007) 1996 Newbery Award for children's literature[59]
Langer, SusanneSusanne Langer (1895–1985) 1996 Educator, philosopher[60]
Lawton, JenniferJennifer Lawton 2014 3D printing pioneer[37]
Leibovitz, AnnieAnnie Leibovitz 100px (1949–) 2012 Portrait photographer
Lopiano, DonnaDonna Lopiano (1946–) 1995 Athlete, gender equality in sports advocate[61]
Lorimer, LindaLinda Lorimer 2013 Vice President of Yale University
Luce, Clare BootheClare Boothe Luce 100px (1903–1987) 1994 United States Ambassador to Brazil, United States Ambassador to Italy, United States House of Representatives, Presidential Medal of Freedom, playwright, novelist[15]
Mazure, Carolyn M.Carolyn M. Mazure (1949–) 2009 Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Yale School of Medicine; created Women's Health Research at Yale [62]
McClintock, BarbaraBarbara McClintock (1902–1992) 2008 Geneticist and first woman who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine unshared[18]
McLean, DollieDollie McLean (1936–) 2003 Founder of The Artists Collective, a training center for the performing arts[63]
Middleton, FaithFaith Middleton (1948–) 2012 Connecticut public radio talk show host
Miles, CarolynCarolyn Miles 2015 CEO and president of Save the Children[30]
Milton, Rachel TaylorRachel Taylor Milton (1901–1995) 1994 Co-founder of the Urban League of Greater Harford[64]
Motley, Constance BakerConstance Baker Motley (1921–2005) 1998 African American civil rights activist, lawyer, judge, state senator[65]
Mulcahy, Anne M.Anne M. Mulcahy (1952–) 2010 Former CEO of Xerox Corporation[66]
Nappier, Denise LynnDenise Lynn Nappier (1951–) 2011 First woman elected State Treasurer in Connecticut history, first African American woman elected State Treasurer in the nation, and first African American woman elected to statewide office in Connecticut[67]
Nooyi, IndraIndra Nooyi 100px (1955–) 2015 CEO of PepsiCo[30]
Nyro, LauraLaura Nyro (1947–1997) 2001 Singer, songwriter[68]
Parsons, MarthaMartha Parsons (1869–1965) 2010 Executive secretary of Landers, Frary and Clark Co.[69]
Paul, AliceAlice Paul 100px (1885–1977) 1994 Suffragist, founder National Woman's Party[3]
Peters, Ellen AshEllen Ash Peters (1930) 1994 First woman Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court[70]
Petry, AnnAnn Petry (1908–1997) 1994 Author[71]
Ponselle, RosaRosa Ponselle (1897–1981) 1998 Opera singer, honored on a U.S. postage stamp[14]
Porter, SarahSarah Porter 100px (1813–1900) 1994 Founder Miss Porter's School, private college prep school for girls[72]
Riddle, Theodate PopeTheodate Pope Riddle (1867–1946) 1994 Architect[73]
Roraback, CatherineCatherine Roraback 100px (1920–2007) 2001 Civil liberties attorney[74]
Rosario, Edna NegronEdna Negron Rosario (1944–) 1994 Educator[75]
Rose, MargoMargo Rose (1903–1997) 1997 American Puppet Theater [76]
Rudkin, Margaret FogartyMargaret Fogarty Rudkin (1898–1967) 1994 Founder of Pepperidge Farm[77]
Russell, RosalindRosalind Russell 100px (1906–1976) 2005 Actress[78]
Saint James, SusanSusan Saint James 100px (1946–) 1994 Actress, philanthropist[79]
Salzman, MarianMarian Salzman 2014 Public relations person[37]
Sanchez, Maria C.Maria C. Sanchez (1926–1989) 1995 First Hispanic woman elected to the Connecticut General Assembly[80]
Seymour, Mary TownsendMary Townsend Seymour (1873–1957) 2006 First African American woman to run for state office[81]
Sigourney, Lydia HuntleyLydia Huntley Sigourney 100px (1791–1865) 1994 Poet[82]
Smith, Virginia ThrallVirginia Thrall Smith (1836–1903) 1994 Women's and children's rights advocate[83]
Smiths of Glastonbury, TheThe Smiths of Glastonbury 1994 Sisters Hannah, Hancy, Cynrinthia, Laurilla, Julia and Abby. Family of early suffragists. Their home Kimberly Mansion is listed on the NRHP for Glastonbury.[84]
Smits, Helen L.Helen L. Smits (1937–) 2009 Advocate for quality healthcare[85]
Stanback, AnneAnne Stanback (1958–) 2006 Founder Love Makes a Family, advocate LGBT community[86]
Standish, Hilda CrosbyHilda Crosby Standish (1902–2005) 1994 Connecticut's first birth control clinic[87]
Steitz, JoanJoan Steitz (1941–) 2008 Yale University professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemestry[88]
Stewart, Maria MillerMaria Miller Stewart (1803–1879) 2001 Free black woman journalist, abolitionist, women's rights advocate[16]
Stowe, Harriet BeecherHarriet Beecher Stowe 100px (1811–1896) 1994 Abolitionist, author[8]
Tantaquidgeon, GladysGladys Tantaquidgeon (1899–2005) 1994 Mohegan anthropologist, author, council member, and elder[89]
Tianti, BettyBetty Tianti (1929–1994) 1994 First female president of a state AFL-CIO[90]
Troup, Augusta LewisAugusta Lewis Troup 2013 Union organizer, journalist and promoter of the suffrage movement
Tucker, SophieSophie Tucker 100px (1884–1966) 1999 Vaudeville singer and actress[91]
Uccello, Antonina ("Ann")Antonina ("Ann") Uccello (1922–) 1999 Elected mayor of Hartford in 1967, first female mayor in both the city and the state[92]
Vare, Glenna CollettGlenna Collett Vare 100px (1903–1989) 2007 Champion golfer[93]
Vernon, LillianLillian Vernon (1929–) 1998 Founded the Lillian Vernon Company[94]
Wald, FlorenceFlorence Wald (1916–2008) 1999 Pioneered hospice care, National Women's Hall of Fame, Dean of Yale School of Nursing, American Academy of Nursing's Living Legend Award[95]
Wald, Patricia M.Patricia M. Wald 100px (1928– ) 2011 Jurist, Chair of the Open Society Institute's Criminal Justice Initiative, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice, first woman to sit on the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, subsequently serving as its Chief Judge[96]
Waring, Laura WheelerLaura Wheeler Waring (1887–1948) 1997 Educator and artist who created portraits of prominent African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance[11]
Watson, Hannah BunceHannah Bunce Watson (1750–1807) 1994 Newspaper publisher whose printed output supported the American Revolutionary War[97]
Wilderotter, MaggieMaggie Wilderotter (1955–) 2010 Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications[98]
Winter, Miriam ThereseMiriam Therese Winter (1938–) 2002 Roman Catholic nun, music composer, author[99]
Woodhouse, Chase GoingChase Going Woodhouse 100px (1890–1984) 1994 First female Connecticut Secretary of State, United States House of Representatives[100]
Wright, Mabel OsgoodMabel Osgood Wright 100px (1859–1935) 1998 Founder and first president of Connecticut Audubon Society; established first bird sanctuary in U.S. in Fairfield, CT[101]


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