President’s Message

Dear WWHP Friends,

Fall 2011 heralds the landmark occasion of Abby Kelley Foster’s induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was first nominated in the 1990s and four times since then. It’s been a long wait, and we are indebted to the women who began the process and to those who, over the years, persisted and continued to champion Abby. Thank you!

On October 1, 2011, over a dozen WWHP members and supporters were in Seneca Falls, New York, as Abby received her long overdue recognition (Lynne McKenney Lydick, dressed as Abby, accepted). It was my privilege to attend, – one of my last “official” duties as President before completing my term of office at the annual meeting on November 5th. By the way, please mark the date on your calendars to join us at the Worcester Historical Museum at 2:00 p.m. After a short business meeting, MA State Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Joanne Goldstein, will be our speaker. Like Frances Perkins, “Madame Secretary” Goldstein grew up in Worcester. “Worcester, the city of “Madame Secretaries,” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Worcester, the city of fantastic, amazing women … but who knew? Who knows? That’s something WWHP continually works to change.

Abby will also be inducted into the National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro, NY, on October 22nd. An induction dinner will be held at Colgate University followed by Lynne McKenney Lydick’s performance of “Yours for Humanity —Abby.” Co-author Carolyn Howe will be attending and some other of the band of WWHP “happy travelers.”

Along with this year’s national highlights, we were delighted to meet Professor Mary Muldowney from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Prof. Muldowney visited with the WWOHP to learn more about our oral history project. We shared information and decided that our website and hers will be linked. WWHP goes international!

Two of our Steering Committee members’ terms end with the annual meeting: Stephanie Yuhl, busy wife, mother and Holy Cross professor, who during one conversation about building membership said something like “Let’s just tell them to come and hang out with a great bunch of interesting, amazing, fabulous women!” Judy Finkel, chair of the events extraordinaire, will leave the Steering Committee, but move to the nominating committee. Many thanks to both. It has been my pleasure to serve with and get to know these “fabulous women.”

The heartbeat of WWHP is Nancy Avila, a remarkable woman in her own right. Nancy is one of those people who avoids the lime-light, remains in the background and quietly and effectively just MAKES things happen. I cannot complete this last “President’s Message” without a big shout out to Nancy: “Thank you!!”

Fran Langille

Published Date: 
October 6, 2011