March Is Women’s History Month
Join us during the month of March as we celebrate U.S National Women’s History Month. Throughout the month of March we will be honoring and celebrating outstanding AOII women in history. These are just a few of the countless AOII women who have made their mark on the world and continue to inspire all around them. Their stories have impacted and are currently impacting women in history!
Lucy Somerville Howorth
Lucy Somerville Howorth, Kappa (Randolph Macon) was initiated in 1913. As a lawyer and judge, she was the first woman to serve as top legal counsel to any executive or administrative agency of the Federal Government, the first woman to chair the Mississippi State Board of Law Examiners and the first woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1922. She was appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt to several high-ranking positions and was in the room in Nashville when Tennessee became the last state to ratify the 13th amendment on August 18, 1920. She said that experience inspired her to many of her later accomplishments. Lucy also served as a member of the AOII Executive Committee (now our Executive Board) and is the 1985 Wyman Award winner recognizing outstanding success in a profession, the arts or service to humanity.
Margaret Bourke-White, Omicron Pi (U of Michigan), was initiated in 1923. Margaret was a widely acclaimed, award-winning photojournalist during the mid 20th century. Margaret was a trailblazer, both as a woman and as a photographer, the first to cover WWII (or any war) embedded in tanks and on the front line, photographed world dignitaries, captured gut wrenching images of the Depression in the South, of Apartheid in South Africa, and deplorable conditions in concentration camps. One of her photos appeared on the cover of the first issue of Life Magazine and was a longtime photographer for Fortune, Time, and Life Magazines. She has been portrayed in several movies by celebrities such as Farrah Fawcett and in many published works.
Jane Batterson Dickman
Jane Batterson Dickman, Rho (Northwestern ) was initiated in 1927. Jane (far left in photo) is responsible for the establishment of the Meals on Wheels program in the United States. The program was unknown outside of the UK where it originated when Jane gathered a few friends to launch the non-profit in East Orange, NJ. As the volunteer Executive Director, she wrote an article about the program that appeared in Reader’s Digest in 1957. Inquiries started to pour in helping her secure corporate funding to distribute information kits that led to the establishment of Meals on Wheels in the US.
Wendy Chamberlain, Rho (Northwestern U) initiated in 1967, Wendy is a veteran diplomat who has served in the United States Department of State and US Agency for International Development. She notably served as the US Ambassador to Pakistan and to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, worked for the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, and served as President of the Middle East Institute from 2007-2018.
Nada Bakos, Alpha Phi (Montana State) was initiated in 1988. Nada is an American former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst and targeting officer who was involved in a number of notable counterterrorism operations during her career. She was part of a group of female CIA analysts studying Al Qaeda and its leader, as portrayed in the 2013 HBO documentary, Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden. She also served as the Chief Targeting Officer in the search for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and predecessor of ISIS. After 10 years, she left the CIA and is currently a foreign policy consultant and guest commentator on many international and national media outlets.
Do you have an inspiring AOII woman in history story you would like to share? Email us at email@example.com.