The Lasso March 2023 Women's History Month Special Edition

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Your student newspaper since 1914


History of

early T WU (3)

In this edition:


Leadership Hall(4-5)

Women in

politics (8)



History of early TWU

Women’s Leadership


The Lasso staff ’s favorite

inspirational woman

Women in Politics

Women on campus

Women with disabilities

Texas First Ladies








Adviser | Joseph Alderman

Editor-in-Chief | Maddie Ray

Engagement Editor | Karyme


Graphic Designer | Stephanie Vo

Staff Writers | Clarise Tujardon

Eclipse Stark


The History of Early TWU

Since 1901, Texas Woman’s

University has empowered and

educated thousands of women

and throughout this history, a

demonstrated commitment to

women’s education has been

emphatically expressed.

By Maddie Ray

“Let our daughters be taught all the

labors necessary to a well-kept,

hygienic home and also be trained

to some business… Let us stop the

embroidery and piano lessons long

enough to send them to a scientific

cooking school,” Stoddard said.

English, science, painting and

photography courses. In addition

to this, women were also given

the opportunity to take courses in

homemaking and even courses

in predominantly male segments

of commerce such as the political

economy and commercial law.

The University also held weekly

lectures open to both students

and community members on the

economics of cooking, the care of

the young, harmful bacteria and

demonstrations of new X-rays.

During the turn of the century, male

students could enroll in academic

schools, vocational schools that

prepared teachers, or industrial

schools that provided training within

other vocations such as agriculture.

In 1877, Texas A&M opened its

doors to offer an education to

train young men in agriculture and

mechanics. Shortly following, The

University of Texas was founded in

1883, offering education in literature

and science. The lack of a higher

education industrial school for

young women was significant and

proved to be a point of contention in

the following years.

In the beginning, the conversations

for the Girls Industrial College were

hushed whispers in some circles

until Texas State Grange and

Patrons of Husbandry A.J. Rose

began advocating for the college,

according to Dawn Letson, a former

archivist who compiled the history of

the founding of TWU.

“Do [girls] not need an industrial

college, too, where they can receive

a practical education which will

prepare them for some vocation

in life?” Rose said in a speech

at the Grange conference in

1899 according to journalist Nita


In 1891, the first bill to establish

a female industrial school passed

in the state Senate but failed in

the state House. Helen Stoddard,

President of the Woman’s Christian

Temperance Union, began

advocating for the school in 1893.

Additionally, Pauline Periwinkle

of the Dallas Morning News took

up the cause on the grounds that

industrial training would prevent

lower-income young women from

becoming prostitutes, which she

argued was the only other moneymaking

alternative for lower-income

women at the time.

Opponents still remained despite

the movement gaining traction. One

politician did not want to support

the bill because it has “female

rights written all over it,” while

another opponent believed that

women did not need to be trained in

homemaking skills, saying “instinct

will make a woman a perfect

housekeeper, a model wife and a

wise mother.”

Finally, in 1900, the Texas

Democratic Party called for an

industrial school for girls and, in

1901, the school was approved and

placed in Denton.

The beginnings of TWU represented

an experiment in educating young

women in non-traditional fields.

The English, Science and Fine

Arts departments offered traditional

Even the Pioneer Woman brought

controversy at TWU. After L.H.

Hubbard, president of what was

then known as the Texas State

College for Women, proposed a

statue honoring women to be on

the campus, he chose the threedimensional

plaster model of

a pioneer family that New York

sculptor William Zorach submitted.

They were thick-bodied and nude,

causing a chapter of the Daughters

of the Republic of Texas to say it

was “the greatest insult that could

be offered to these women who

believed and practiced the virtue of


Zorach attempted to change the

design to one with lightly draped

figures, but the commission

ultimately chose Leo Friedlander’s

model, which depicted a sturdy


The early history of TWU was

marked with hesitancy because of

its dedication to women, but it was

also notably progressive for its time,

providing women with valuable

education in the career fields most

available at the time, a legacy the

university continues to this day.


Womens Leadership Hall


The Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall

at Texas Woman’s University highlights various

women leaders with interactive displays and

learning opportunities.

The Women’s Leadership Hall is a gallery

inside TWU’s Old Main Building and is a

part of the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s

Leadership. The gallery displays include

Pioneering Women, 2018 Election: Women

Make History, Civics Learning Center, Minnie

Fisher Cunningham: Texas Suffragist and a

map highlighting women from almost every

county in Texas.

“As the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s

Leadership was growing, there was a vision for

a space where we could showcase Texas women

leaders hoping to inspire women,” Elizabeth

Qualia, the gallery’s curator, said. “Not just

women but people of all different backgrounds,

and show that they can become leaders, too.

That they can follow their dreams and find out

what their passions are, whether it's in politics,

education, art or whatever. We use the gallery

to inspire students and the community.”

Pioneering Women is the central gallery

and displays 12 Texas women from different

backgrounds involved in politics, such as

Jovita Idar, Jane Nelson and Barbara Jordan.

The display has touch screens where visitors

can find the stories of each woman along with

quotes and videos. There is also a Texas Voter

screen where visitors can register to vote and

find their elected officials, and the Rising Star


interactive podium that visitors can stand

behind and read speeches by the women


“We talk about their lives, their career and

some of the obstacles they faced,” Qualia said.

“For example, Sandra Day O’Conner graduated

law school but then no law firms wanted to

hire women and she ended up serving in the

highest court in the country, which is pretty


The gallery has different artifacts from these

women such as Sandra Day O’Conner’s middle

school report card and pins from the La Raza

Unida party.

The 2018 Election: Women Make History

display showcases the women who ran for

office in Texas during the 2018 midterms,

which had an unprecedented number of

women running for office. The display also

honors the 17 African-American women that

were elected as judges within Harris county in

the same year.

"We really focus on the 2018 midterm

elections because they were so significant in

Texas,” Qualia said. “We had more women

running for offices related to Texas or in Texas

than we had previously in history. Another

thing that was very significant about that year,

besides that nationally there were more women

elected into the House of the Representatives

than had ever been elected before,

in Texas,” Qualia said. “We had more women

running for offices related to Texas or in Texas

than we had previously in history. Another

thing that was very significant about that year,

besides that nationally there were more women

elected into the House of the Representatives

than had ever been elected before, but in Texas

especially there were 19 African-American

women who ran for judicial seats in Harris

county. Seventeen of them won their elections

and it was dubbed black girl magic.”

This display also has an interactive map where

women from almost every county in Texas are

highlighted. The women that make up this map

range from singers to politicians to teachers

throughout history. The gallery worked with

the The Handbook of Texas Women in order to

select the 200 women.

“We have 200 historical Texas women there

from all different counties in Texas,” Qualia

said. “We have people like Selena and people

from the 1800s and 1900s, all from their different

walks of life. People that did different

things with their lives, authors, philanthropists,

historians, teachers and civil rights activists.”

The Civics Learning Center is a partnership

with ICivics, a non-profit founded by U.S.

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Visitors can learn about ways to be more civically

engaged and about their Texas Counties,

as well as view more Sandra Day O’Connor


The Minnie Fisher Cunningham: Texas Suffragist

exhibit views the fight for women’s suffrage

through the story of Minnie Fisher Cunningham.

Cunningham was a leader during

the fight for women’s rights and a key player in

the passing of the 19th amendment.

“We highlight her in our temporary gallery,

which is on women’s suffrage at the moment,”

Qualia said. “She was president for the Texas

Women’s Suffrage Association and she worked

to get primary suffrage passed in Texas. She

was just an interesting person because she realized

that the men she was working with were

making more money than her because she

was a woman, so she got involved in women's

rights and she didn’t stop after that.”

The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday

from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with tours starting at

11 AM. For more information, visit the Sue S.

Bancroft website.




“One woman in history that inspires me is Marsha P. Johnson. As a transgender

woman, she used her experiences to advocate for change in the gay rights

movement. Commonly known for her involvement in the Stonewall Riot,

Johnson also founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR)

which was dedicated to housing young transgender individuals who were

shunned by their families. She taught me to take pride in my queer identity and

to persevere through hardship to advocate for equality.”

Maddie Ray, Editor-in-Chief

“A woman that inspires me is Jovita Idar. Idar was born in Laredo, TX and

grew up on the border. She spent the majority of her life fighting for Mexican-

American and women’s rights. She advocated for education for all and used her

job as a journalist to highlight injustices. Idor also became the first president

of the “La Liga Femenil Mexicanista,” also known as the League of Mexican

Women. Our common identities and experiences help me feel like my work

and words have meaning, and it motivates me to continue fighting for all the

different things I am passionate about. ”

Karyme Flores, Engagement Editor


“A woman in history that has inspired me is Anna May Wong. She was an

important icon for Asian women and helped introduce a number of Asian faces

to the entertainment industry. It was always very welcoming to see a face that

looked like me when I watched TV as a child.”

Stephanie Vo, Graphic Designer

‘‘The woman in history that has inspired me is Kayleigh McEnany. Because of

McEnany, I learned to embrace my Republican-Conservative side and learned

the type of woman I wanted to become: one that picked herself up when she

fell down and stayed true to herself. In addition to that, she helped me learn to

trust in God during the hardest times of my life and turn to Him when I seek

guidance to know that everything will turn out the way it should. Finally, I

learned from her that it is perfectly fine to be a traditional wife and mother one

day and I hope I will have a successful career like her, whether it be in law,

communications, writing or politics.”

Clarise Tujardon, Reporter

“A woman who inspires me is my aunt Leah. She worked through nursing

school and built an amazing blended family with her husband. She has been

through a lot in life and she still never let it take her hope and light. Any time

I talk to her I know she can help me get different perspectives on problems I

may be having. She keeps me determined and inspires me to stay hopeful even

in hard times. My aunt works hard for herself and her family every day. She

keeps me inspired to work for what I want and love.”

Eclipse Stark, Reporter


Where Women


committee, as well as chair the

Senate Finance Committee for four

sessions. A notable achievement of

Nelson’s is establishing the Cancer

Research and Prevention Institute

of Texas, reforming the system of

medical liability and repairing the

foster system.

By Clarise Tujardon

Throughout the centuries, the role

of women has vastly changed in

history, especially in the world of

politics. In 1848, the first women’s

rights convention was held in

Seneca Falls, New York by Elizabeth

Cady and many other women

in order to demand women’s

rights, especially suffrage. In 1900,

Frances Warren became the first

female delegate to the Republican

National Convention and within

the same year, Elizabeth Cohen

of Utah became the first female

delegate to the Democratic National


By 1920, women hit an important

milestone as the 19th amendment

to the US Constitution was ratified,

ultimately giving women the right

to vote. Another key milestone

in the 1950s was when Charlotta

Spears Bass was nominated as the

first black female vice president

of the United States. Going into

the 2000s, women such as Elaine

Chao began serving in a president’s

cabinet as the first Asian American

woman when she was appointed

Secretary of Labor by President

George W. Bush.

Finally, in 2020, women reached a

significant milestone in politics that

took almost two centuries Wwhen

Kamala Harris was elected as the

first female Vice President of the

United States.

At Texas Woman’s University, there

have been many women who have

graduated from the university or

are connected with the University


who have gone on to serve in

politics. These women have gone

on to serve as a US House Member,

US District Judge, school board

members and other prominent

positions in politics.

A well-known female politician that

is associated with TWU is Texas

Secretary of State Jane Nelson.

At TWU, Nelson has an institute

called the Jane Nelson Institute

for Women’s Leadership. In this

institute, women are preparing and

receiving the guidance they need to

take on roles in business and public


The institute houses three centers:

the Center for Student Leadership,

the Center for Women Entrepreneurs

and the Center for Women in Politics

and Public Policy.

Nelson is the first woman in Texas

legislative history to stay as chair

on a standing budget-writing

A notable alumna from TWU is

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia

who is currently serving the 29th

District of Texas. Garcia received a

scholarship to the university and

graduated with a Bachelor of Arts

in Social Work and Political Science,

and went on to get her Doctor

of Jurisprudence at Thurgood

Marshall School of Law at Texas

Southern University. She then went

on to become a social worker and

legal aid lawyer and worked to

protect the vulnerable, especially

the young and old.

After that, Garcia began her

political career as the Director and

Presiding Judge of the Houston

Municipal System and served in

that position for five terms. In

1998, she was elected as the City

Controller, which is the secondhighest

elected official in Houston.

Finally, in 2019, she was sworn into

the Texas Congressional District 29.

Illustration by Stephanie Vo


On Campus

By Karyme Flores

Wednesday Jacob

Guadalupe Perez


According to TWU’s website, the

purpose of TWU is to educate a

woman in order to empower the

world. TWU women continue

to fulfill this calling by doing

various great things such as

writing renowned novels, creating

foundations to support young

adults and becoming NASA


The current students at TWU

continue to follow in the footsteps

of the great women that came before

them as they hope for success and

change in their futures.

“I hope that my job, hopefully

working in a school whether I end

up being an elementary teacher or

librarian, helps me stay financially

afloat in the way that I can still

travel and enjoy my hobbies,” Firstyear

education student Wednesday

Jacob said. “I hope my idea of

teaching now is similar to the way

it actually is and I’ll enjoy it. When

I get my own apartment and I live

with my cats, I hope everything is

in its place and I am not struggling

to pay my bills. My hope for the

future is that I can be financially

stable and happy in my job.”

Jacob plans to be an EC-6 teacher

that focuses on incorporating art

and music into her teaching styles.

“The idea of success or being

successful motivates me, but

my little sister is my biggest

inspiration,” Jacob said. “I am like

her role model and that motivates

me to do good and do well. At the

same time, art inspires me every

day. Art is everywhere and it is so

inspiring and it invokes wonderful

feelings in most people.”

First-year biology student

Guadalupe Perez Posada cites her

background as the inspiration for

everything she does.

“I grew up and was born in Dallas,

Pleasant Grove, and all of my life

I loved growing up in the city,”

Posada said. “I grew up as an only

child in a household where it was

my maternal grandparents and

then my parents so that was a very

interesting dynamic.”

Posada said that she has love for

various things from journaling

and writing to science and civic

engagement, and she hopes that

all her different interests can work

together in her future career as she

plans on becoming a physician

assistant focused on the gynecology

and obstetrics field. She explains

that her interest in this field was

sparked by the high mortality rates

during childbirth for women of


“I hope to become someone that

I am proud of,” Posada said. “I

want to be proud of myself and

that includes becoming a physician

assistant because I want to decrease

the maternal mortality rates in the

United States and I want to help

those numbers go down. I also want

and hope to be very involved in

advocacy and public policy because

I have found that being civically

engaged is something I love to do in

my spare time. Honestly, I just hope

to be an example and role model for

those that come after me.”

Stephanie Hoepner is a firstyear

student studying Theatre

Education. Hoepner is the daughter

of a Mexican mother and she lives

with her parents. Hoepner loves

art, theater and music.

“I really hope to teach high school

theater in the future,” Hoepner

said. “I’ve done theater since junior

high and it’s been such an amazing

experience and I would love to help

create those experiences for a new

generation of students. I would

also say my biggest inspiration is

my mom, who came to the United

States when she was six years old

and has worked ever since.


Fighting on Two Fronts

Advocates for Women’s Rights and Women

with Disabilities

By Maddie Ray

March is not only Women’s History

Month, but also National Disability

Awareness Month. Historically,

women with disabilities have not

been covered in conversations about

women’s movements and the unique

relationship of being both female

and disabled is not commonly


In the suffragist movement, Rosa

May Billinghurst was a prominent

disabled activist. Following a bout of

childhood polio, she was left unable

to walk but used an adapted tricycle

to maneuver herself. She specifically

advocated for women of the lower

socioeconomic class to gain the right

to vote, which was significant at a

time when few were advocating

for economically disadvantaged


with Myasthenia Gravis, a rare form

of muscular dystrophy. She served

as the first female principal chief of

the Cherokee nation in 1985 and

was the first woman to be elected as

chief of a major Native tribe. During

her time as chief, she founded the

Cherokee Nation Community

Development Department, revived

the tribal Sequoyah High School

and saw a population increase of

Cherokee Nation citizens from 55,000

to 196,000.

Her successes in advocating for

improved education, healthcare

disabilities, people’s perceptions of

you often change.”

Jazzie Collins, a Black trans woman

who was also public about her

experience being HIV positive,

experienced many hardships that

led her to organize initiatives for

transgender rights, disability rights

and economic equality in San

Francisco. She campaigned on behalf

of marginalized communities and

was Vice Chair of both the LGBT

Ageing Policy and LGBT Senior

Disabled Housing Task Forces.

Following her death, the first

homeless shelter in the United States

was opened in her honor called

Jazzie’s Place.

“You have to acknowledge that

women with disabilities are

marginalized in many ways, and

oftentimes their disability is not

mentioned or highlighted,” Hill said.

“To identify disability as an aspect of

our women leaders is really impactful

for other new and upcoming leaders

[to show] that there are examples

of women who accomplish great


Billinghurst was sentenced to one

month of hard labor in a windowsmashing

campaign in which

demonstrators destroyed property

in popular London neighborhoods

to make a statement on women’s

suffrage. Even while in prison, she

grew the movement by recruiting

fellow inmates.

“I think women support one another

throughout life’s challenges, and

through community, help each other

gain access related to disability,”

Director of Disability Services for

Students Crystal Hill said. “I think

the increased visibility of women

with disabilities will help people

understand and maybe release the

stigma related to disability.”

Wilma Mankiller was a community

organizer and indigenous activist


Illustration by Stephanie Vo

and housing services earned her

an induction into the National

Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and

the Presidential Medal of Freedom in


“I think it’s difficult when you’re in

both of those groups being a woman

and disabled,” Goyal said. “As a

woman, you’re already seen as less

than a man in terms of pay or in

terms of what you can do as a person

and then when you’re disabled,

especially when you have invisible

The DSS office at Texas Woman’s

University works in partnership

with students, faculty and staff

to eliminate or minimize barriers

and facilitate inclusion on campus,

according to their website. Some

accommodations students can

receive are extended testing time,

sign-language interpreters, extra

time to travel to class and more.

“If you need tools to gain greater

access to your environment or to

your educational experience, it’s

not because of you, it’s because of

the barriers in your environment,”

Hill said. “So I think women on

the forefront of the disability

movement helped to bring home the

representation needed for people to

become better self-advocates for their

own accessibility.

Texas First Ladies

By Clarise Tujardon

Throughout the course of Texas’

history, the state has seen many

first ladies come and go. Texas

first ladies reside in the Governor’s

Mansion in Austin and have

played many different roles.

A Texas first lady may use her

position to voice their own

political views and support causes

important to them, while others

may not engage in politics.

A prominent Texan first lady that

did not engage in politics is Adele

Baron Lubbock, who was the first

wife of former Governor Francis

Lubbock. After Adele Lubbock’s

death in 1882, Francis Lubbock

remarried in 1883 to Sarah Black

Porter, then to Lou Scott in 1903.

During her time as Texas first lady,

Adele Lubbock supported her

husband by hosting parties at the

Governor’s Mansion where they

interacted with serving senators

and house members. According

to Texas State Cemetery, Adele

Lubbock found it difficult to serve

them during those parties because

finding food during the Civil War

was challenging.

According to Texas State

Cemetery, Adele Lubbock became

a godmother to many children

at the end of her life because she

did not have any children of her

own. On Dec.1, 1882, she died in

Austin, Texas, and was buried in

Houston, Texas. In 1905, Francis

Lubbock passed away and before

that, requested in a letter that Adele

Lubbock’s remains be placed next

to his at the Texas State Cemetery.

Anita Thigpen Perry, who is

married to former Governor Rick

Perry, was involved in politics.

Before Rick Perry became the

governor of Texas, Anita Perry

earned a bachelor’s degree in

nursing at West Texas State

University, which is now known as

West Texas A&M University, and

later received a Master of Science

degree from the University of

Texas Health Science Center at

San Antonio. Throughout Anita

Perry’s career in the medical field,

she has worked in the areas of

surgery, pediatrics, intensive care,

consulting and administration.

In the course of Anita Perry’s time

as Texas’ first lady, she worked on

bettering the health of Texans. She

used her experience in nursing

to promote healthcare issues and

promoted nursing careers to young

Texans. According to Texas State

Cemetery, she advocated for family

violence prevention, Alzheimer’s

disease education and breast cancer


Because of her advocacy in the

medical field, Rick Perry referred

to Anita Perry as the “first

nurse” of Texas. Anita Perry’s

accomplishments were honored in

2001 with two endowments that

benefited the issues that she has

been raising awareness for at West

Texas A&M University and the

University of Texas Health Center

at San Antonio. While another

accomplishment of hers is having

a scholarship named after her,

the Anita Thigpen Perry Nursing

Excellence Scholarship, which

gives students a scholarship to the

Nursing Program at West Texas

A&M University.

Francis and Adele Lubbock

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

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