Six named 2019 inductees to Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame

WILMINGTON — Gov. John Carney announced Thursday that six women have been selected for induction into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame for 2019.

The Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy and the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee received more than 60 applications. The committee chose six of the top nominees who made significant contributions in Delaware for induction into the 38th Hall of Fame of Delaware Women.

The inductees include Tania M. Culley, children’s rights activist and the first Child Advocate for the State of Delaware; Drewry N. Fennell, human rights advocate, leader in the fight for LGBTQ equality in Delaware and former Chief of Staff to Gov. Jack Markell; Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden, the first female President Judge of the Superior Court of Delaware; Maria Matos, a nonprofit leader for the Latino community and President and CEO of the Latin American Community Center; the late Blanche Williams Stubbs, a teacher, suffragist, social worker and civil rights leader; and Marie Swajeski, a pioneer in theatrical arts for children and founder of the Delaware Children’s Theatre.

In addition to honoring the inductees, this year’s ceremony will incorporate a Centennial of Women’s Suffrage theme. The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.
“It’s never a surprise the wealth of knowledge, leadership, and talent that is highlighted when we announce the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame inductees — and this year is no exception,” Gov. Carney said. “These women played distinct and important roles in our state and have touched the lives of so many Delawareans throughout their careers.

“Congratulations on your selection and thank you to the Women’s Hall of Fame Committee for choosing another round of remarkable Delaware Women for induction into the Hall of Fame.”

Inductees will be recognized at the 38th annual Hall of Fame of Delaware Women Induction Ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The event begins with a dinner reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by an awards program. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at de.gov/women.

Kay Keenan, chair of the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee, said making the selections is always difficult because there are many qualified candidates.

“We reviewed an overwhelming number of nominations this year, and many of the candidates were worthy of consideration, so that made our deliberations extremely challenging,” she said. “These remarkable women made a lasting impact on the lives of Delawareans, and we are thrilled to honor their legacies.”

“Our office is proud to promote the equality and equity of women, and the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame is one of the ways we recognize the achievements of outstanding women and their contributions to communities across Delaware,” said Melanie Ross Levin, director of the Office of Women’s Advancement & Advocacy. “We encourage the public to attend this special event as we highlight the enduring value of the inductees’ accomplishments.”

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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