COLLEGE STATION, TX. (November 14, 2008) – During its inaugural annual meeting today, the Women Former Students’ Network bestowed a Women’s Legacy Award and recognized the significant accomplishment of twelve “Women Firsts”. The recognitions highlighted the extraordinary contributions women have made to the institution and marked the 45th anniversary of women’s formal admittance to Texas A&M.
First, the WFSN unveiled the newly created Women’s Legacy Award as a means to annually recognize Aggie women who have made a remarkable achievement that not only distinguishes them but also contributes to the wellbeing of women at A&M. The Legacy Award was bestowed this year on four of the women from the first entering class of women in 1963. They included:
- Marijane Beasley Deen ’67
- Holley K. King ‘65
- Darlene Morris ’64
- Sallie N. Sheppard ‘65
Additionally, twelve women who achieved a “first” at Texas A&M were recognized. The WFSN highlighted these achievements to emphasize that while creation of the Women Former Students’ Network marked an important “first” in the history of women and Texas A&M, the achievement was made possible by the path laid behind by women who, for the past 45 years, have been breaking barriers at Texas A&M. Twelve “women firsts” (symbolic of the 12th Man) were recognized at the WFSN Inaugural Annual Meeting. They included:
- Dr. Betty Miller Unterberger became the first woman full professor in 1968;
- Dr. Anne Marie Elmquist named head of the Department of Modern Languages, become the first female department chair in 1973;
- Troby Hoffacker Parrish ‘78 became the first woman Class Agent for The Association of Former Students in 1978;
- Linda Cornelius Waltman ’79 became the first woman on a full athletic scholarship. In 1980 she became the first woman in the A&M Sports Hall of Fame;
- Doriot Mascarich ‘81 became the first woman to command a Battalion in the Corps of Cadets in 1981;
- Karen “Chief” Guerrero ‘82 was a member of the first women’s national championship team in 1982, scoring that achievement in softball;
- Dr. Jane Stallings became the first woman to serve as dean when she was named Dean of the College of Education in 1990;
- Vicki Brown Sobecki ‘78 became the first woman president of the Letterman’s Association in 1990;
- Dr. Josie Ruth Williams ’71 became first (and only) women to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2001;
- Glenda Mariott ’79 became the first woman president of The Association of Former Students in 2002;
- Carri Wells ’84 became the first woman president of the 12th Man Foundation in 2002;
- And lest you think women are through shattering ceilings at Texas A&M, also receiving recognition was Samantha Kropp ‘10 – who just this year became the first woman drum major in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. She is in A Battery and is the Artillery Band Drum Major.
The Inaugural Annual Meeting was hosted by two more women firsts:
- In October 2007, K. Sue Redman ’80 and Carol E. Jordan ’80 were elected Co-Presidents of the interim board of the newly created Women Former Students Network. At the Inaugural Annual Meeting, Carol E. Jordan ’80 was elected first President of the formally constituted membership of the Women Former Students’ Network.
MISSION OF THE TAMU WOMEN FORMER STUDENTS’ NETWORK
The mission of the Women Former Students’ shall be to enhance the excellence of Texas A&M University by promoting the active engagement of women in the educational, charitable, and cultural life of the institution. The mission shall be witnessed through increased engagement of women former students in academic, research and service activities; through their expanded role as mentors of current women students, and future generations of women students; and through their increased philanthropic ties to the university and the Association of Former Students. In the representation of its membership and in all its activities, the Network shall strive to value and promote inclusiveness and diversity.