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"Women Leaders from Rutgers University Collections"
Exhibition at Douglass Library; opens Jan. 30th

Photos, and documents from fifteen pioneering women will be on display in an exhibition at the Douglass Library starting January 30th.

"Women Leaders from Rutgers University Collections" draws on the historic holdings of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, the Rutgers University Libraries' Institute of Jazz Studies, and the Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. The exhibition highlights the accomplishments of 15 women who achieved prominence in the arts, business, education, politics, and science.

The women featured in the exhibition are:

  • Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), the first African-American woman to serve in the US Congress and the first African American to run for the United States presidency.
  • Mabel Smith Douglass (1877-1933), founder and first dean of the New Jersey College for Women, who acted in response to the disparity in educational funding between men and women and prevailing conditions that limited women's educational and vocational options.
  • Millicent Fenwick (19910-1992), a single mother and former Vogue magazine fashion editor who was elected to the US Congress as a NJ representative in 1974 and later served as US ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • Mary Elizabeth Byrne Ferm (1864-1944), co-founder of and teacher at the Modern School in Stelton, NJ, an experimental libertarian school in which teachers worked without established curriculums.
  • Francis Grant (1896-1993), vice president of the International League of Human Rights and secretary general of the Inter-American Association for Democracy, who campaigned tirelessly for democracy and human rights in Latin America.
  • Margaret Griffis (1838-1913), with her brother William Elliot Griffis was one of the first western educators to teach in Japan and had a major influence on Japanese women's education.
  • Mary Norton, (1875-1959), former NJ Democratic State Committee chairperson who was elected to US Congress as a NJ representative in 1924.
  • Janet Cooper Rapp (1921-1998), research entomologist and livestock nutritionist who was of the first people to earn a degree in insect physiology from the University of Illinois and whose research led to the development of OFF insect repellent.
  • Faith Ringgold (1930 -_), African-American artist and author of 11 children's books, including the award winning Tar Beach.
  • Lena Anthony Robbins (d. 1945), an activist for voting rights, children's protection, and temperance who served as the only woman member of a 1928 NJ state commission that studied the relationship of Rutgers and the State of New Jersey.
  • Mary K. Roebling (1905-1994), the first woman to direct a United States bank, as president of the Trenton Trust Company, and also became the first woman governor on the American Stock Exchange.
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), organizer of the first women's rights convention in 1848 and co-drafter of the Declaration of Sentiments adopted at the convention, who also served as president of the National Woman Suffrage Association.
  • Doris Stockton, professor of mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who pioneered the use of computer programs for class lectures and the creation of math anxiety workshops.
  • Rita Kay Thomas, senior assistant athletic director for Rutgers University from 1972-2001, who helped uphold the Title IX regulations. During her tenure the women's athletic programs grew from seven club teams to fifteen nationally competitive Division I teams.
  • Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), a prominent and highly influential African-American jazz composer, performer, and orchestra director for over three decades.

The exhibition will be on display in the Mabel Smith Douglass Room, on the first floor of the Douglass Library, through the end of March. For information on the library's hours, please see or call the Douglass Library at 732/932-9407.

Posted February 6, 2007