These seven women were inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame on January 17, 2019 at the Governor's Mansion in Austin, TX.
“Never give up. Always pursue your dreams.” Those are the words of the most-decorated gymnast in American history, the first female African-American all-around world champion and a five-time Olympic medalist—and still counting. Simone Biles has shown strength, commitment and perseverance throughout her young life.
One of the most admired First Ladies of the United States and of Texas, Mrs. Laura Bush is celebrated for her lifetime of distinguished public service. Actively involved in issues of national and global concern with an emphasis on education, health care, human rights and the preservation of our nation’s heritage, she has traveled to more than 76 countries, including two historic solo trips to Afghanistan, and has launched groundbreaking education and healthcare programs in the U.S. and abroad.
She has captivated audiences worldwide for more than six decades, using her melodic voice and magnetic presence to bridge many cultures. Born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona in El Paso, Vikki Carr signed her first recording contract in 1961 and released her Grammy-nominated hit single, “It Must Be Him.” A singer with remarkable technical skill, she gained effusive praise from stars such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Elvis Presley, and performed for presidents and royalty.
When Hurricane Harvey struck a devastating blow in August 2017, Susan Dell challenged her foundation team to think in big ways about how they could help their fellow Texans. Susan and her husband, Michael, quickly committed over $43 million as part of a goal to successfully raise $100 million for rebuilding and recovery across 41 counties.Through the ongoing efforts of her team at the Rebuild Texas Fund, a wide network of organizations are now working on the ground to help impacted families and communities return to normalcy and economic stability.
While she was not originally scheduled to be on the flight that day, Captain Tammie Jo Shults’ calm resolve and courageous leadership in the midst of crisis saved 148 lives aboard Flight 1380. During the climb out from New York’s LaGuardia airport, she experienced a catastrophic engine failure and a rapid depressurization when debris from the explosion punctured the cabin. Tammie Jo Shults’ professionalism and skill as a pilot, as well as her grace under pressure, allowed her to successfully complete a single-engine emergency landing in Philadelphia.
For nearly two decades, this humble risk-taker—a Catholic nun with a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame—opened the doors to higher education for more first-generation college students, working adults and other underserved communities in Texas. One of the first women to lead a Texas university, Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss of the Congregation of Divine Providence was in 1978 named president of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.
Though hers is the last name called in the Texas Senate’s alphabetical voting order, her work ethic and voting record are inarguably first in the record books. Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Texas Senate, the second highest-ranking senator, and the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator. Her legendary work ethic is reflected in her 100 percent voting record, a national record, having cast more than 60,000 consecutive votes and passed 1,024 bills, more than any other legislator in Texas history.
Alphabetical Listing of Texas Women's Hall of Fame Honorees
Page last updated 10:35 AM, August 23, 2019