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TWU to host ceremony recognizing the 2006 inductees of the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame March 5 at 1:30 p.m.



The Governor’s Commission for Women and Texas Woman’s University are hosting a recognition ceremony and reception to recognize the 2006 inductees of the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame on March 5. All four inductees — Amanda Dunbar of Allen, artist; Kathy Foster of Houston, founder and director of the Casa de Esperanza de los Niños, a haven for children in crisis; Dr. Shirley Neeley of Austin, Texas commissioner of education; and Dr. Ellen Vitetta of Dallas, director of the Cancer Immunobiology Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center — are scheduled to attend. Other guests attending include: from the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women — Keely Appleton, Chair, Leslie Guthrie, executive director, and Suzanne Azoulay, former commissioner; Dr. Perry McNeill, Mayor of the City of Denton; TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart; Dale Kimble, CEO for the Denton Area Teacher’s Credit Union; Carol Yonack, director of philanthropic management southwest for Bank of America; Dr. James Monaco, superintendent of the Aubrey Independent School District; and Joan Self, representing U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess.


This recognition ceremony will honor the 2006 Texas Women’s Hall of Fame inductees as their plaques and biographies are put on display at TWU’s Denton campus. The Governor’s Commission created the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984 as a biennial awards event to honor Texas women who have made significant contributions in areas such as the arts, athletics, business, education, health and leadership. In 2003, the Commission partnered with TWU to establish a permanent, physical Hall of Fame. The exhibit is located on the TWU Denton campus in Hubbard Hall, and contains a plaque for each of the more than 100 individual inductees, featuring her biography and photograph. An interactive kiosk also is available to view video clips of inductees. For more information about the Texas Women's Hall of Fame exhibit at TWU, visit www.twu.edu/twhf.

WHEN: Monday, March 5, 2007 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Hubbard Hall on TWU’s Denton campus. For directions and a map, visit www.twu.edu/maps.asp

(Provided by the Governor’s Commission for Women)

Amanda Dunbar of Allen is being honored for her work in the arts, a category in which recipients must show significant contributions to or the promotion of visual, literary, cultural or performing arts, media or communications. Dunbar, who is 23 and already a respected Dallas art gallery owner, will be the youngest Hall of Fame recipient to date. She is considered by many as one of the most collectible and dynamic young artists in the country. She began painting at age 13. At the age of 17, she began searching for ways to use her art to help others in need. She created the painted image “Angel Alliance,” which led to the formation of a charitable organization allowing young people to express themselves through the arts. More than $500,000 in donations has gone to schools, youth art programs and children’s charities for supplies, curriculum, healthcare and educational programs to assist youth providers. Dunbar’s dedication to children is demonstrated through her work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Wednesday’s Child and the Texas Medical Association’s “Be Wise – Immunize” campaign. She is also involved with the Grammy’s Musicares Foundation and various national celebrity fundraisers benefiting children’s and artists’ causes.

Kathy Foster of Houston is being honored for her excellence in leadership, a category that identifies leadership in the public and private sectors where a nominee's achievements must demonstrate an enduring state impact. Foster is co-founder and director of Casa de Esperanza de los Niños. After teaching at Nolan High School in Fort Worth for five years, her concern for the underprivileged led her to Houston, where she worked for eight years with the mentally ill and homeless at Magnificat House. With a dream and an initial donation of $500, Foster rented a home in a low-income area of Houston and began taking in young children in crisis; in 1982 Casa de Esperanza de los Niños was created. In 1986, through Foster’s concern for children with AIDS, Casa de Esperanza expanded its mission to include HIV-positive children. This was the second agency nationwide to recognize the need for specialized residential care of children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Foster now directs an organization that has grown to a full-time staff of 45, a budget of more than $2 million and a volunteer force of more than 350 people.

Dr. Shirley Neeley, the Texas commissioner of education, is being honored for her work in education, a category that recognizes outstanding contributions in the fields of math, science or technology education. Neeley began a career in education 35 years ago as an elementary school teacher. She went on to serve as an assistant principal and principal, as well as superintendent of Galena Park Independent School District for approximately 10 years. Under her leadership, Galena Park became Texas’ largest exemplary district from 2002-2004. In 2004, Neeley was named as Texas Commissioner of Education by Gov. Perry. As commissioner, she serves as the head of the Texas Education Agency, which oversees 1,037 school districts and 200 charter schools. In this position, she ensured that approximately 50,000 new students would find a school ready to provide shelter and education after the disasters of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Dr. Ellen Vitetta of Dallas is being honored for her contributions to health and social sciences, a category that recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of medicine, health and wellness, family and social issues, community health, and public health. Vitetta is a professor of microbiology and director of the Cancer Immunology Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. A world-renowned immunologist, Vitetta has pioneered the development of immunotoxins for treatment of disease, particularly lymphoma, breast cancer and AIDS. She was the first biomedical scientist from Texas ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Vitetta has authored more than 475 scientific articles and ranks as one of the top 10 female scientists in any field of research in terms of the frequency with which other scientists cite her publications.


For Further Information Contact:

Amanda McKeen Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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