Alaska Women's Hall of Fame announces its inaugural class

By: Staff   Mar 4, 2009

50 women to be inducted at ceremony on March 6

ANCHORAGE, AK – The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame will induct its inaugural class at the BP Energy Center on March 6, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will honor 50 women who have made or are making significant contributions to the shaping of Alaska.

The mission of the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame is to honor, in perpetuity, women whose contributions have influenced the direction of Alaska in any field, including the arts, athletics, business, education, government, health, the humanities, Native affairs, philanthropy, community service, conservation, adventure, theology and science, among others. Inductees range from contemporary living recipients to women whose contributions to Alaska were first noted as far back as the 1700's (a complete list of inductees is at the bottom of this release).

Several community organizations have come together to launch the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame, including the Alaska Women’s Network, Zonta Club of Anchorage, the Anchorage YWCA, the Alaska Women’s Political Caucus, the Anchorage Women’s Commission and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the induction ceremony. For additional information about the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame, please call Jane Angvik at 277-6903.

The BP Energy Center is located at 900 E. Benson Blvd., Anchorage.

Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame inaugural class

  • Sinrock Mary Antisarlook Changunak, Inupiaq reindeer herder              
  • Evangeline Atwood, philanthropist/author              
  • Lydia Black, Aleutian Islands                  
  • Rita (Pitka) Blumenstein, Native healer and doctor
  • Ticasuk "Emily” Brown (Ivanoff), Inupiaq author, culture bearer          
  • Thelma Buchholdt, Filipino legislator              
  • Edith Bullock, philanthropist/territorial legislator, tugboat captain      
  • Susan Butcher, Iditarod champion musher              
  • Ellen "Nell” Cashman, Gold Rush prospector/restaurant owner/philanthropist      
  • Orah Dee Clark, first principal for Anchorage schools
  • Carol Comeau, educator and superintendent, Anchorage       
  • Bessie Couture, restaurant owner, Skagway, 1896, African American      
  • Marvel Crosson, aviator, 1925                  
  • Mahala Ashley Dickerson, Attorney, African-American civil rights champion      
  • Neva Egan, First Lady of Alaska, musician          
  • Dana Fabe, first woman justice and Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court  
  • Kay Fanning, editor, owner of Anchorage Daily News
  • Helen Fischer, legislator, Constitutional Convention delegate      
  • Nora Venes Guinn, Yupik magistrate and first woman Native district court judge in Bethel
  • Dorothy Haaland (Awes), Constitutional Convention delegate, attorney      
  • Lorene Harrison, merchant, TV and radio host, founder of numerous music organizations in Anchorage
  • Cornelia Hatcher, homesteader in Hatcher Pass, photographer      
  • Mildred Rob Hermann, Constitutional Convention delegate , attorney in Juneau  
  • Frances Howard (Elmore), first woman state trooper
  • Ceila Hunter, conservationist, co-founder Camp Denali
  • Katie Hurley, legislator, Constitutional Convention clerk,    
  • Della Keats, Inupiaq healer and teacher              
  • Sarah James, Gwitch'in Steering Committee leader          
  • Ruth Jefford, first woman commercial air taxi pilot, violinist, founder of Anchorage symphony, 1946
  • Wilda Marston, civic leader for the Anchorage library and museum      
  • Amanda McFarland, missionary, Wrangell, 1877          
  • Blanche McSmith, legislator, African American              
  • Lucy Frey, social studies educator, feminist leader          
  • Lena Morrow, socialist and feminist leader              
  • Rie Munoz, Juneau artist                  
  • Sadie (Brower) Neakok, Inupiaq magistrate in Barrow
  • Katherine Nordale, Constitutional Convention delegate
  • Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit civil rights leader, Juneau
  • Mary Louise Rasmuson, general, Women's Army Corps, philanthropist      
  • Irene Ryan, Alaska commissioner of Commerce, geologist, aviator      
  • Grace Berg Schaible, Alaska attorney general and philanthropist          
  • Nell Scott, First woman elected to Territorial Legislature
  • Lidia Selkregg, geologist, city planner, Assembly member, professor      
  • Natalya Shelikof, Russian colonist and educator in Kodiak, 1784      
  • Arliss Sturgulewski, Alaska state senator, public policy advocate          
  • Dora Sweeney, Constitutional Convention delegate and legislator      
  • Fran Ulmer, legislator, mayor, lieutenant governor, chancellor of UAA      
  • Ada Wien, Constitutional Convention delegate          
  • Esther Wunnicke, Alaska commissioner of Natural Resources, Federal State Land-Use Planning Commission member
  • Sisters of Providence, health providers to the indigent, 1900, brought hospitals to Nome, Fairbanks, Anchorage