When Ann Stuart — Texas Woman’s University president and chancellor — learned she would be inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, the first thing she did was go visit the actual exhibit.
The exhibit, housed on TWU’s Denton campus, shows photographs and biographies of more than 100 women who have made notable accomplishments in areas such as business, public service and education in the state.
“I stood for a minute, then walked around and read the plaques and biographies of those that I am going to join, and it was an amazing personal moment,” she said. “I am so proud to be among those that have already been chosen. It was just a special day to go and stand and look at who was on the wall and think that in a few weeks, my biography will be up there also.”
Stuart was formally inducted, along with eight others, into the Hall of Fame by Gov. Rick Perry in a ceremony Tuesday at the Texas Capitol’s Senate Chamber.
The recognition for her contribution to Texas education comes on the heels of retirement in the coming months. During her 15-year tenure, she oversaw the permanent Texas Women’s Hall of Fame exhibit housed at the university in 2003.
“It is near the end of my professional career in education, so it’s certainly a hallmark to me of how I have loved the work I have done, how much I appreciate being recognized for what we have done in Texas, for education and for helping young people have opportunities,” she said. “It’s extremely important professionally and, of course, personally.”
The other inductees are Nandita Berry, Texas secretary of state; Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth; Joanne Herring, political activist and businesswoman; Kim Olson, retired Air Force colonel and executive director of Grace After Fire; Senfronia Thompson, a state representative and civil rights leader; Deborah Tucker, director of the National Center of Domestic and Sexual Violence; and Carolyn Wright, chief justice of the Fifth Court of Appeals.
“The Hall of Fame exhibit is a place where we honor trailblazers, pioneers and non-conformists who rose to the challenges around them,” Perry said in a news release. “As visitors walk through the exhibits and read through the biographies of those honored there, they can grasp how much of a difference these women have made in the lives of all Texans.”
Lesley Guthrie, director of the governor’s Commission for Women, said information about the new inductees will be up in the exhibit in early June.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.