Seven Women Who Made a Difference - Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame

Seven Women Who Made a Difference
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Madeline La Framboise Anna Sutherland Bissell Dr. Pearl Kendrick &
Dr. Grace Eldering
Dorothy Leonard Judd Helen Jackson Claytor Betty Ford


With this publication, the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, in cooperation with the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame, celebrates the lives and achievements of seven remarkable women who had strong connections with the Grand Rapids area and who have been honored by the Hall of Fame. The perseverance, dedication, and pioneering efforts of these seven women in their chosen fields over a period of many years "made a difference" in the life of this community, the state of Michigan, and the nation. The short biographies of these women include the citations honoring them when they were inducted into the Hall of Fame and also supplemental material researched and written by Council members.


The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council was established in the spring of 1988 to promote the historical study of women and their organizations in this area. The Council undertakes activities that will result in the collection of oral histories and other pertinent materials and fosters research, curriculum development, exhibits and publications pertaining to women's history. The Council works cooperatively with local, state and national bodies with complementary goals.


The Michigan Women's Historical Center, located in the historical Cooley-Haze house in Lansing, is sponsored by the Michigan Women's Studies Association. The exhibits in the Center portray the lives, achievements and history of Michigan women; the Hall of Fame pays tribute to particular women of the past and present who have made outstanding contributions to the history of their time. These women are celebrated at an annual Hall of Fame dinner.


On behalf of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, I want to thank the Grand Rapids Foundation and the Frey Foundation for their very generous grants to the Council, which have made this publication possible. We are grateful to the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Michigan Women's Historical Center, which have provided historical material for this publication. The pictures in the book were from the Michigan Women's Historical Center with the exception of the picture of the Indian woman accompanying the biography of Madeline La Framboise. This portrait was from a book, The People of Three Fires, published by the Grand Rapids Inter-Tribal Council.


A very special thank you is due all the individuals who have contributed to the publication including Elizabeth Giese, Education Director of the Michigan Women's Historical Museum; Gordon Olson, Grand Rapids City Historian and member of the Women's History Council; and other Council members, B. Margaret Voss, Ph.D., Marjorie C. Smith, Sue Conklin, Mary Meade Fuger, Mary Alice Williams, and Kyle Irwin.

Jane H. Idema, Editor
March, 1991