Hall of Fame of Delaware Women
The Hall of Fame of Delaware Women was established in 1981 by the Delaware Commission for Women, a division of the Secretary of State of Delaware. The hall of fame recognizes the achievements and contributions of Delaware women in a variety of fields and includes activists, artists, athletes, military personnel and scientists.
The Delaware Commission for Women is a state agency with members appointed by the Governor representing Wilmington and each of Delaware's three counties (New Castle, Kent and Sussex). In making its selections for the Hall of Fame, the Commission prioritizes civil rights, economic empowerment, violence prevention, women's health, work, family, recognition and celebration. Eligible women must have been born in Delaware or resided in the state for a minimum of ten years.
|Name||Image||Birth–Death||Year||Area of achievement||Ref(s)|
|Allen, Kim L.Kim L. Allen||2015||Educator who works with at-risk youth|||
|Arsht, Roxana CannonRoxana Cannon Arsht||(1915–2003)||1986||First female judge in the State of Delaware|||
|Bachman, Martha G.Martha G. Bachman||(1924–1998)||Chair of the Delaware State Advisory Council on Vocational Education|
|Bair, Myrna L.Myrna L. Bair||2001||Member of the Delaware Senate, Policy Advisor and Assistant Professor, Public Management Faculty, Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware|||
|Balick, Helen S.Helen S. Balick||U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge|||
|Banegas, Sister AscensionSister Ascension Banegas||2010||Advocate for immigrants and co-founder of La Esperanza Community Center in Georgetown|||
|Bartell, Joy AnnJoy Ann Bartell||Beebe School of Nursing instructor|
|Battell, Elizabeth EmpsonElizabeth Empson Battell||2008||Delaware's "godmother," ran the Golden Fleece Tavern between 1777 and 1792|||
|Batten, Grace RuthGrace Ruth Batten||1999||First African American woman mayor in Sussex County|||
|Battle, DarleneDarlene Battle||2015||Social activist|||
|Beaman, Renee PalmoreRenee Palmore Beaman||2008||Created the Bethel AIDS Task Force in 1994 with six other women|||
|Beck, Grace PierceGrace Pierce Beck||(1926–2008)||2008||Leading Delaware environmentalist|||
|Ben, SandraSandra Ben||2015||Pastor and community organizer|||
|Bhatia, Sujata KumariSujata Kumari Bhatia||2007||Earned three Bachelor's degrees and a Master's degree in four years|||
|Biggs, Neda P.Neda P. Biggs||2011||Bilingual immigration attorney|
|Bissell, Emily P.Emily P. Bissell||(1861–1948)||American social worker and activist who introduced Christmas Seals to the United States|||
|Blevins, Patricia M.Patricia M. Blevins||2004||Majority Leader of the Delaware Senate, Senator Blevins official site|
|Boehmer, Cynthia M.Cynthia M. Boehmer||Domestic Violence Coordinating Council member|
|Boozer, Julie K.Julie K. Boozer||Chair of the Division of Nursing at Wesley College|
|Brady, M. JaneM. Jane Brady||2006||42nd Delaware Attorney General|||
|Buchanan, Madaline ElliotMadaline Elliot Buchanan||(1908–1995)||President of the Delaware Board of Education|
|Burger, Carolyn S.Carolyn S. Burger||2007||First woman in the US to head a telecommunications company; CEO of Bell Atlantic-Delaware|||
|Burkle, Evelyn P.Evelyn P. Burkle|
|Burnett, Marguerite HillMarguerite Hill Burnett||(1885–1966)||State director of adult education|
|Cain, Eleanor L.Eleanor L. Cain||1994||Director of the Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Physical Disabilities|||
|Cannon, Annie JumpAnnie Jump Cannon||(1863–1941)||Astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification|||
|Carey, Claire La MarClaire La Mar Carey||Director of the Walnut Street YMCA's Black Achiever program|
|Cary, Mary Ann ShaddMary Ann Shadd Cary||(1823–1893)||Anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher and lawyer. She was the first black woman publisher in North America and the first woman publisher in Canada.|||
|Carter, Mae RiedyMae Riedy Carter||Program specialist in the University of Delaware's Division of Continuing Education, first Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women|
|Cashman, Sister JeanneSister Jeanne Cashman||Founder of Sojourner's Place|||
|Chandler, Imogene F.Imogene F. Chandler||2011||Supporter of early childhood education programs|
|Chick, Linda L.Linda L. Chick||Chair of the Youth Philanthropy Board Advisory Committee for the Delaware Community Foundation|
|Chowdhry, UmaUma Chowdhry||2008||Research scientist at DuPont who specialized in ceramic materials, including catalysts, proton conductors, superconductors and ceramic packaging for microelectronics|||
|Coker, BeatriceBeatrice Coker||2013||Public education and literacy advocate|
|Coleman, Alice Marie SmithAlice Marie Smith Coleman||Therapist and volunteer|
|Conner, Louise T.Louise T. Conner||(1918–1983)||Member of the Delaware House of Representatives, representing Brandywine Hundred|||
|Cook, Nancy W.Nancy W. Cook||Member of the Delaware Senate|
|Cooke, VickyVicky Cooke||2012||Executive Director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition|||
|Daniels, Pearl HerlihyPearl Herlihy Daniels||(1910–1994)||Collector of historical maps|||
|Davis, HildaHilda Davis||(1905–2001)||First African American woman to hold a full-time faculty position at the University of Delaware|
|Davis, Vera GilbrideVera Gilbride Davis||(1894–1974)||First woman elected to the Delaware Senate|
|De Armond, Anna JanneyAnna Janney De Armond||(1910–2008)||First woman to become a full professor at the University of Delaware|||
|Del Pesco, Susan C.Susan C. Del Pesco||2011||First woman elected as President of the Delaware Bar Association and the first women appointed to the Delaware Superior Court|||
|del Tufo, Theresa L.I.Theresa L.I. del Tufo||2009||Established three centers for displaced homemakers|||
|DeLuz, Lozelle JenkinsLozelle Jenkins DeLuz||President of DeLuz Management Consultants|||
|Doberstein, Audrey K.Audrey K. Doberstein||2011||Former President of Wilmington University|||
|Dorman, Felicia A.Felicia A. Dorman||2006|
|Dyson, PaulinePauline Dyson||(1891–1970)||Teacher and community leader|||
|Eckman, JeanetteJeanette Eckman||(1882–1972)||2010||Political leader, historian and editor|||
|Edelsohn, MickiMicki Edelsohn||2012||Founder of the Homes for Life Foundation, a non-profit providing housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities|||
|Esterly, Katherine L.Katherine L. Esterly||Worked to establish the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Christiana Hospital|
|Frear, Esther SchauerEsther Schauer Frear||(1909–2000)||Wife of Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr., member of the Senate Ladies Red Cross Unit|
|Freebery, Sherry L.Sherry L. Freebery||Police chief and chief administrative officer|||
|Frink, Lynne S.Lynne S. Frink||(1946–1998)||Environmentalist; founded Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research|||
|Gildea, Sister Ann MargueriteSister Ann Marguerite Gildea||(1919–2005)||Founder of the Mary Mother of Hope House I|||
|Gilman, Muriel E.Muriel E. Gilman||(1923–2011)||Executive with the United Way of Delaware|||
|Ginns, Sallie TopkisSallie Topkis Ginns||(1880–1976)||Member of the National Woman's Party, suffragist|||
|Gore, Genevieve W.Genevieve W. Gore||(1913–2005)||Founded W. L. Gore and Associates with her husband, Wilbert (Bill) Lee Gore|
|Griffin, Patricia W.Patricia W. Griffin||State Court Administrator in the Delaware Administrative Office|
|Haman, TeresaTeresa Haman||Painter|||
|Handloff, Norma B.Norma B. Handloff||(1913–2002)||Newark's first woman mayor, 1966–1973|
|Handy, Margaret I.Margaret I. Handy||(1889–1977)||Pioneering doctor who was one of the first to specialise in paediatric medicine. In 1945, she established the first mothers' milk bank at Delaware Hospital (now Wilmington Hospital) in Wilmington, Delaware.|||
|Harris, Marian L.Marian L. Harris||Founder and volunteer executive director of The House of Pride|
|Hazeur, Kathryn YoungKathryn Young Hazeur||(1923–2011)||2010||First African American to earn a graduate degree from the University of Delaware in 1951|||
|Hawkins, Sally V.Sally V. Hawkins||2009||Radio journalist at WILM|||
|Henry, Margaret RoseMargaret Rose Henry||Member of the Delaware Senate, Majority Whip|
|Herr, Barbara ChaseBarbara Chase Herr|
|Hilles, Florence BayardFlorence Bayard Hilles||(1865–1954)||One of the Silent Sentinels, a group of women in favor of women's suffrage who protested in front of the White House during Woodrow Wilson's presidency|||
|Hoffecker, Carol E.Carol E. Hoffecker||Chair of the University of Delaware Department of History|||
|Homer, Gloria WernickiGloria Wernicki Homer||Chief Administrative Officer of Governor Executive Office|
|Johnson, Henrietta R.Henrietta R. Johnson||(1914–1994)||First African American woman elected to the Delaware General Assembly|||
|Klopfenstein, Moonyeen L.Moonyeen L. Klopfenstein||2011||Child birth educator|
|Knox, Sally J.Sally J. Knox||(1925–1995)||Headed the Delaware Commission for Women; pay equity advocate|||
|Kwolek, Stephanie LouiseStephanie Louise Kwolek||2014||Inventor of Kevlar|||
|Landgraf, RitaRita Landgraf||2015||Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services|||
|Leone, Lucile PetryLucile Petry Leone||(1902–1999)||American nurse who was the founding director of the Cadet Nurse Corps in 1943|||
|Laws, Ruth MitchellRuth Mitchell Laws||(1912–2010)||Educator; Vice President of the Delaware Technical Community College|||
|Lowell, Gertrude M.Gertrude M. Lowell||(1901–1994)|
|Lopez, Lolita A.Lolita A. Lopez||2006||President and CEO of YWCA Delaware|||
|Maichle, PatriciaPatricia Maichle||2013||Executive Director of the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council|
|Manning, Margaret R.Margaret R. Manning||Member of the Delaware Senate|
|Maroney, Jane P.Jane P. Maroney||Member of the Delaware House of Representatives|
|Mather, Mary AskewMary Askew Mather||(1861–1925)||President of the New Century Club|
|McDermott, Christine MargaretChristine Margaret McDermott||(1947–2007)||2008||Attorney who fought domestic violence and was the first woman to be Executive Director of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services|||
|McKay, Catherine DevaneyCatherine Devaney McKay||2014||Founder of Connections Community Support Programs|||
|Minner, Ruth AnnRuth Ann Minner||1995||72nd Governor of Delaware|||
|Mishoe, WilmaWilma Mishoe||2013||Dean at Delaware Technical & Community College|
|Mitchell, Jane E.Jane E. Mitchell||(1921–2004)||First African American registered nurse to be hired in a Delaware hospital|
|Mitchell, Jane T.Jane T. Mitchell|
|Morris, Emily G.Emily G. Morris||(1934–2001)|
|Neal, ElizabethElizabeth Neal||Deputy Warden of New Castle County Community Corrections|
|Newton, Edith JacksonEdith Jackson Newton||(1905–1996)|
|Nutter, Jeanne D.Jeanne D. Nutter||Compiled Growing Up Black in New Castle County|||
|Oates-Graham, RuthRuth Oates-Graham||National Association of State EMS Directors|
|O'Leary, Renee G.Renee G. O'Leary||Early childhood science teacher|
|Peterson, Karen E.Karen E. Peterson||Member of the Delaware Senate|||
|Pitts, JacquelinJacquelin Pitts||2010||Lacrosse player and coach; led the U.S. Women's Lacrosse Team to their first World Championship|||
|Purcell, Patricia H.Patricia H. Purcell||2014||First African American pediatrician in Delaware|||
|Rapposelli, VivianVivian Rapposelli||2012||Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families|||
|Rawls, BetsyBetsy Rawls||(b. 1928)||2006||Professional golfer|||
|Ridgely, Mabel L. FisherMabel L. Fisher Ridgely||(1872–1962)||Preservationist and suffragist|||
|Robinson, Winifred J.Winifred J. Robinson||(1868–1962)||First dean of the Women's College of the University of Delaware|||
|Roth, Jane RichardsJane Richards Roth||(1935–)||2013||Federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit|
|Ryan, Elizabeth H.Elizabeth H. Ryan|
|Sawin, Nancy ChurchmanNancy Churchman Sawin||(1919–2008)||Author and Lacrosse and field hockey player|||
|Simonds, Beatrice "Bea"Beatrice "Bea" Simonds||(1914–2006)||Advocate for the visually impaired|||
|Smith, IleanaIleana Smith||2015||Vice president and campus director for the Delaware Technical Community College's Owens Campus|||
|Windsor, Harriet N. SmithHarriet N. Smith Windsor||1997||First woman from Sussex County to be appointed Secretary of State|||
|Soles, Ada LeighAda Leigh Soles||(1937–2010)||Member of the Delaware House of Representatives|||
|Sorenson, Liane McDowellLiane McDowell Sorenson||2007||Director of Women's Affairs at the University of Delaware, member of the Delaware House of Representatives and Minority Whip|||
|Steele, Cecile LongCecile Long Steele||(1900–1940)||Pioneer of Delaware's broiler chicken industry|
|Stewart, Beverly LouiseBeverly Louise Stewart||2010||Educator and founder of the Back to Basics tutoring business|||
|Stuart, Mary Ann SordenMary Ann Sorden Stuart||(1828–1893)||Suffragist, "Delaware's first feminist"|||
|Swensson, Evelyn DickensonEvelyn Dickenson Swensson||2008||Conductor, composer, lyricist, pianist, singer, playwright and musical lecturer|||
|Tarrant, Shirley M.Shirley M. Tarrant||(1935–2003)||2007||Founder and President of the Suburban County Hospital Task Force|||
|Tatnall, Frances D. SwiftFrances D. Swift Tatnall||(1874–1966)||Founder of the Tatnall School in Wilmington|
|Theisen, Mary JornlinMary Jornlin Theisen||(1927–2007)||First woman elected New Castle County executive|||
|Thomas, Helen R.Helen R. Thomas||Women's rights activist|||
|Timmons, Carol A.Carol A. Timmons||Brigadier General of the Delaware Air National Guard|||
|Tobin, Judith GedneyJudith Gedney Tobin||2010||Pioneer in forensic pathology, performed over 5000 autopsies|||
|Hightower-Vandamm, Mae D.Mae D. Hightower-Vandamm||Exec. Dir Delaware Curative Workshop|||
|Vernon, MabelMabel Vernon||(1884–1975)||One of the Silent Sentinels, a group of women in favor of women's suffrage who protested in front of the White House during Woodrow Wilson's presidency|||
|Vincent, Edith P.Edith P. Vincent||School nurse and advocate for children's health|||
|Walsh, Loretta F.Loretta F. Walsh||2006||Wilmington, Delaware city council member|||
|Ward, Mary SamMary Sam Ward||(1911–2000)||Author, educator and historian; 1979 Delaware Mother of the Year; co-founder of the Delaware Press Women in 1977|||
|Warner, Emalea PuseyEmalea Pusey Warner||(1853–1948)||Successfully campaigned for public vocational education and has a local elementary school named in her honor.|||
|West, FrancesFrances West||2012||Treasurer of the National Consumers League and Delaware's first woman director of Consumer Affairs, former president of Delaware's Better Business Bureau and Delaware Highway Commissioner|||
|Whiting, ValerieValerie Whiting||2007||Professional basketball player|||
|Williams, H. RuthH. Ruth Williams||(1915–1999)||Delaware State University|||
|Williams, Lynn W.Lynn W. Williams||2009||Conservationist and founder of the Delaware Nature Society; rescued the Brandywine Creek State Park from development|||
|Woodruff, Valerie A.Valerie A. Woodruff||2005||Delaware Secretary of Education|||
|Wright, Latricia OdetteLatricia Odette Wright||2014||Nanticoke elder and educator|||
|Wright, Mary AnnMary Ann Wright||(1920–2006)||Cerebral palsy victim who in 1948 teamed with polio victim Agnes Peronne to co-found the Mancus Foundation, an organization to assist the handicapped. Wright was president of the organization for 58 years.|||
|Young, Pauline A.Pauline A. Young||(1900–1991)||1982||Teacher, librarian, and lecturer|||
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