Women in History

  • Susan Lindquist graduated with a degree in Microbiology in 1971. She is one of the most respected molecular biologists in the world, now a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Susan is also the co-founder of FoldRx, a pharmaceutical company, and the first female director of the...
  • Shelia Crump Johnson graduated from the University of Illinois in 1970 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She was the first female African American cheerleader at the University of Illinois. In 1979, Shelia co-founded the ground breaking Black Entertainment Television (BET) network. She is also the Vice...
  • Susan “Suze” Orman graduated from the School of Social Work in 1976 and went on to become an influential business icon, known for her financial advice, motivational speaking, writing, and television show. Suze is also the founder of the Suze Orman Financial Group. In 2009, she received an honorary...
  • Terry Hite David came to the University of Illinois as a sophomore in 1968 as part of the Project 500 group. As a student, she played for the women’s volleyball team before Title IX legislation existed. She graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, left the university for...
  • Beth Dohme Wallin graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1961. As a student, she was heavily involved in student organizations such as Alpha Lambda Delta, Omicron Nu, Torch, Psi Upsilon Omicron, and Mortar Board. Beth was also a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, served as President of the...
  • Carol Lee graduated with a degree in Secondary Education, specializing in English, in 1966. She has been instrumental in helping minority students overcome road blocks such as negative stereotypes and lack of resources. Carol helped found the Institute of Positive Education, the Betty Shabazz...
  • Carol Moseley Braun attended the University of Illinois in the 1960s, but ultimately received her degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1969. She became the first female African American Senator to the United States Congress, serving from 1993 to 1999. Women...
  • Doris Kelley Christopher graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1967. She is best known as the founder and chairman of The Pampered Chef. She is a Director on the University of Illinois Foundation Board and an avid donor to the University. Her contributions made possible the Doris Kelley...
  • Gayl S. Pyatt graduated from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1964. She later became the first female president of the UI Foundation and received the Foundation’s President’s Award for Service in 1995. In addition to her work with the UI Foundation, she has also been involved in the UI...
  • Jane Loeb joined the Psychology Department in 1968, and retired as Professor of Educational Psychology and Psychology. She also served in several administrative positions during her time at Illinois, including Director of Admissions and Records (1972-81), Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic...
  • Jill Wine-Banks graduated from the U of I in 1964 with a degree in Journalism. While a student, she was involved in various activities and societies, such as Shi Ai, the Daily Illini, Panhellenic Council, Iota Alpha Pi, and Kappa Tau Alpha. After graduating, she went on to receive her J.D. from...
  • Karol Kahrs began at Illinois in 1966 as an instructor in the College of Physical Education and spent many years coaching women’s sports. In 1974, she moved up to the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to develop the University’s women’s intercollegiate athletics program. After 36 years of...
  • Lorella Margaret Jones joined the Physics faculty in 1968 and was the first woman in the College of Engineering to receive tenure. Lorella was a high-energy theoretical physicist and an early adopter and promoter of Illinois’ PLATO (later known as NovaNet), the first large-scale computer-assisted...
  • Lynn Morley Martin graduated in 1960 with a degree in the teaching of English. Lynn served in the Illinois House of Representatives, the Illinois Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, where she secured a seat on the Budget Committee as a freshman member of Congress. She also served as U.S...
  • Marianna Tax Choldin began as a professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois in 1969 and remains an adjunct professor for the School of Information Sciences today. In 1991, she became the founding director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs. In her time...
  • Mary-Elizabeth Hamstrom began in the Mathematics department in 1961. She was promoted to Professor in 1966; 1 of 4 female full professors in College of LAS. She was an authority in point-set and geometric topology with special interest in spaces of homeomorphisms of manifolds. Women featured...
  • We have Nancy Goodman Brinker for today's Women in History Wednesday. Nancy Goodman Brinker graduated in 1968 with a degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is the founder and Chair of Global Strategy for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, an organization named for her sister who...
  • For this Women In History Wednesday, we have Nancy M. O’Fallon Dowdy! She graduated with a Master of Science in 1961 in Nuclear Engineering and received her PhD in Physics in 1966.  She was instrumental in nuclear disarmament dialogues after the Cold War. She served as Assistant Vice President...
  • Nicole Hollander graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1960 and is known for her daily comic strip titled Sylvia. She is also known for her graphic design work in the feminist publication, The Spokeswoman, where she had the opportunity to transform the newsletter...
  • Happy Women in History Wednesday! Nina Baym joined the English Department’s faculty in the 1960s and remained a professor for over 40 years. Nina helped expand the field of American literature to include women writers. She was named a Swanlund Endowed Chair, a Jubilee Professor in the College of...
  • For this week's Women in History, we have Patsy Parker. She graduated from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in 1968. During her junior year in the spring semester of 1967, she became the first female to be elected student body president at the University of Illinois. Women featured...
  • This Women in History Wednesday we celebrate UIUC alumna Justice Rita B. Garman.  Rita B. Garman graduated from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1965. While a student, she graduated with highest honors and was also a Bronze Tablet graduate. She is now the current Chief Justice of the...
  • Happy Women in History Wednesday! Today we honor Annette Lu Hsiu-lien, an advocate for democracy in Taiwan imprisoned for over five years for speaking out against the government. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Law in 1971. She established herself as a feminist...
  • Happy Women in History Wednesday! Today we celebrate Mary Temple Grandin! Mary graduated with a PhD from the College of ACES in 1989. Mary is a well-known professor of animal sciences, but she is best known for being one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to speak out about her...
  • Happy Women in History Wednesday! This week we celebrate Leslie Erganian! As an UIUC alum, she has become a well-known artist and photographer with several exhibitions, publications, and television appearances. Right after graduation, Leslie displayed her work at the Phyllis Needlman Gallery in...