This past Saturday, ten Women You Should Know were inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Seneca Falls, NY, the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement. Inductees were selected based on their lasting contributions to society through the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy and science.

“The Hall is a place where their stories will be added to those of 256 prior Inductees,” Board of Directors President Jeanne Gioavannini said, “so that girls and boys, women and men, both nationally and globally, can be inspired to follow their own dreams and ambitions.”

Founded in 1969, the National Women’s Hall of Fame is the nation’s oldest membership organization recognizing the achievements of great American women.

Meet the class of 2015

Tenley Albright (1935 – )

Diagnosed with polio at age 11 and told she might never walk again, Tenley Albright returned to the ice rink and at age 16, won a silver medal at the 1952 Olympics. In 1953, she became the first American woman to win a world figure skating championship and became the first winner of figure skating’s triple crown. A gold medalist at the 1956 Olympics, Albright pursued a career in medicine. A successful surgeon and leader in blood plasma research, Albright was the first woman to serve as an officer on the U.S. Olympic Committee and was named one of the “100 Greatest Female Athletes” by Sports Illustrated. read more

Nancy Brinker (1946 – )

Nancy_Brinker_KomenIn 1982, with a promise to her dying sister, Nancy Brinker launched the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (changed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2007). Since its inception, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised over $2 billion for research, education, and health services, making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world. Along the way, Brinker pioneered the concept of cause-related marketing and established the color pink as the iconic representation for breast cancer. Almost 300 global and national companies are Komen sponsors, providing funding to fulfill the organization’s promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever. read more

Martha Graham (1894 – 1991)

M_GrahamMartha Graham’s impact on dance was staggering and often compared to that of Picasso’s on painting, Stravinsky’s on music, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s on architecture. Her contributions transformed the art form, revitalizing and expanding dance around the world. She created the Martha Graham Dance Company, one of the oldest dance troupes in America. As a teacher, Graham trained and inspired generations of fine dancers and choreographers. Graham technique, now a standard, codified method of training dancers, developed from the movement vocabulary she created for each new work. Graham introduced the use of moving scenery, used props as symbols, and combined speech with dancing – creating a whole new language of dance. read more

Marcia Greenberger (1946 – )

M_GreenbergerMarcia Greenberger’s work has affected virtually every major law of importance to women and girls in the U.S. for more than 40 years. A sampling of these laws include the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978), the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. After serving as the first female lawyer at Caplin and Drysdale, in 1972, she founded what today is called the National Women’s Law Center. This established her as the first full-time women’s rights legal advocate in Washington, DC. She is a leader in securing the passage of major legislation, counsel in landmark litigation establishing new legal protections for women, and the author of numerous published articles. Her work has culminated in U.S. Supreme Court victories strengthening protections for students and teachers against sex discrimination in schools and in the workplace and beyond and she frequently testifies before Congress. read more

Barbara Iglewski (1938 – )

B_IglewskiA Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Dr. Barbara Iglewski holds seven patents and is a prolific writer and editor. Her landmark discovery was that pathogenic bacteria communicate with each other. Iglewski’s work on the pathogenic bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa – its production, modes of action and regulation – and specifically how it damages the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis, has had an enormous impact nationally and globally. In addition, she has studied the biofilms that pathogenic bacteria make that cause intractable problems both in the body and in clinical and industrial pipes. read more

Jean Kilbourne (1943 – )

J_KilbourneJean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the 1960s, she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women and eating disorders. Kilbourne launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems – a radical and original idea at the time that is today mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs. She has transformed the way in which organizations and educational institutions around the world address the prevention of many public health problems including smoking, high-risk drinking, eating disorders, obesity, the sexualization of children, and violence against women. read more

Carlotta Walls LaNier (1942 – )

C_Walls_LaNierIn 1957, at age 14, civil rights advocate Carlotta Walls became the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine; nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Inspired by Rosa Parks and determined to get the best education possible, she enrolled in Central High School. Anger and violent behavior threatened their safety and motivated President Dwight D. Eisenhower to dispatch the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to protect their constitutional rights. Escorted to classes by armed guards, Walls and every other Little Rock student were barred from attending Central the next year when all four Little Rock high schools were closed. A 1960 graduate of Little Rock Central High School, LaNier has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. read more

Philippa Marrack (1945 – )

P_Marrack“Pippa” Marrack is one of the world’s leading research scientists investigating T-cells, the family of cells that help the body fight off disease. Her work has led to a greater understanding of their role in the immune system, and has impacted the health of millions of people across the world. Her findings shape medicine’s current understanding of the human immune system, vaccines, HIV, and other immune disorders. Her many awards include the prestigious 2015 Wolf Prize and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, often considered a predictor of the Nobel Prize. read more

Mary Harriman Rumsey (1881 – 1934)

M_RumseyThe founder of The Junior League, Mary Harriman Rumsey’s initial organization was a group of 80 debutantes in 1901. The Junior League was established to unite interested young women of means in joining the Settlement Movement in New York City. Rumsey and the League’s leaders brought together experts on the Settlement Movement to provide lectures and instruction to Junior League members. Today, The Junior League is one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing more than 150,000 women in 292 Leagues in four countries. read more

Eleanor Smeal (1939 – )

E_SmealAs one of the co-founders of The Feminist Majority Foundation, a former president of the National Organization for Women, and publisher of Ms. Magazine, Eleanor Smeal’s life and work has been dedicated to the achievement of women’s equality and human rights. Known as a political analyst, strategist, and grassroots organizer, Ms. Smeal has played a pivotal role in defining the debate, developing the strategies, and charting the direction of the modern day women’s movement. In her more than 40 years as a leader in the United States’ women’s movement, she has changed the landscape of women’s involvement in national life and culture. read more