The seven women picked for the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame represent some of the best citizens of Greater Kansas City.
They are community standouts in education, philanthropy, business, ethics, politics and community development. Women and men throughout this community should aspire to be like them. The University of Missouri-Kansas City made the announcement on Monday. They are:
▪ Marjorie Powell Allen, the first woman to chair the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the University of Kansas City Trustees. She donated the land east of Lee’s Summit, which became Powell Gardens. Allen founded the Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Employment Network and helped in the creation of the Central Exchange.
▪ Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes. Her work led to the revival of downtown with the construction of the Sprint Center, the Power & Light District and the new H&R Block headquarters. Barnes helped lead efforts toward diversity and inclusion and served on the City Council, the Jackson County Legislature and is the founding director of the Center for Leadership at Park University.
▪ Myra J. Christopher, a founding director of the Center for Practical Bioethics, which had been known as the Midwest Bioethics Center. She is a founder and board member of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care and a member of the National Institutes of Health Interagency Pain Research Coordinating committee.
▪ Adele Hall, a civic leader committed to families and children. She served as board chair of Children’s Mercy Hospital and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, served on the board of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and was on the board of the United Negro College Fund, Points of Light Foundation and was a co-founder of the Central Exchange.
▪ Shirley Bush Helzberg, civic leader, businesswoman and educator known for her long support of the Kansas City Symphony, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, the redevelopment of the Crossroads district and co-founder of University Academy Charter School.
▪ Dorothy H. Johnson, a reporter and editor with The Call of Kansas City. She also served as director of the Community Mental Health Model Cities Program, the Jackson County Department of Health and Welfare and was executive director of the Geriatric Resources Corp.
▪ Martha Jane Phillips Starr, a philanthropist and community activist for whom the hall of fame is named. She established the chair for Reproductive Studies at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, was president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Kansas City, founded the Women’s Council at UMKC and established the Starr Symposiums.
The inductees will be celebrated at a March 13, 2015, luncheon at Swinney Recreation Center at UMKC. The next class will be announced in 2016.