Last Friday, seven Kansas City area women were inducted into the new Starr Women’s Hall of Fame at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The Hall of Fame honors outstanding women, living and dead, from all walks of life, to preserve the history of their accomplishments and to inspire other women, UMKC said in a news release.
The induction was part of a luncheon at the Swinney Recreation Center, 5030 Holmes St. Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a cancer survivor, spoke.
The first class of honorees:
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▪ Marjorie Powell Allen, She donated the land to create Powell Gardens, founded the Women’s Foundation and the Women’s Employment Network. Allen, who died in 1992, initiated the process that led to the Central Exchange.
▪ Kay Barnes, the first woman mayor of Kansas City, who led the effort to revitalize downtown with the construction of the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and the new H&R Block headquarters.
▪ Myra J. Christopher, the founding director of what’s now called the Center for Practical Bioethics. She also is founder of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care and a member of the National Institutes of Health Interagency Pain Research Coordinating committee.
▪ Adele Hall, who was cited for commitment to helping children and families. Hall, who died in 2013, served as board chair of both Children’s Mercy Hospital and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, among many other civic activities.
▪ Shirley Bush Helzberg, a supporter of the Kansas City Symphony, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and redevelopment of the Crossroads district. She co-founded University Academy Charter School.
▪ Dorothy H. Johnson, a reporter and editor for the Kansas City Call and co-founder of the Central Exchange. Johnson, who died in 2004, also was director of the Community Mental Health Model Cities Program and the Jackson County Department of Health and Welfare, and executive director of the Geriatric Resources Corp.
▪ Martha Jane Phillips Starr, who established the Chair for Reproductive Studies at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Starr, who died in 2011, was president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Kansas City, founded the Women’s Council at UMKC and was the first woman to receive the UMKC Chancellor’s Medal.