Tallahassee honors state pioneers at the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame ceremony

Marry Lee Nunnally Farrior, Evelyn C. Keiser, and the late M.D. Charlotte E. Maguire were inducted into the 2015 Florida Women’s Hall of Fame Tuesday at The Florida’s State Capitol.

The women were recognized for their achievements in the state of Florida.

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater expressed that the women deserved the award, acknowledging that they created trail for other women to follow.

“It’s easy to knock down barriers when somebody has already created a trail,” Atwater said. “I couldn’t imagine the pressure you face being the first to try and break that barrier down.”

The Hall of Fame ceremony is held every March during women’s history month. The ceremony was hosted by Florida’s Commission on the State of Women Chairwoman Yvonne Fry.

The ceremony included live performances by the Powerstories, a theatrical production company out of Tampa.

Fry, expressed during her opening speech that these women help shape Florida.

“The impact of these women’s effort are examples of the important rolls woman play in helping to shape this state,” Fry said.

Each woman was presented with an award and will have their photo taken so that it can be hung in the capitol building for years to come.

Farrior was recognized for all her work with underprivileged children in Florida over a span of 55 years. Farrior’s passion for helping Florida’s youth eventually led to the creation of a child assessment and protection center know as Mary Lee’s House.

Keiser is the co-founder of a higher learning institution known today as Keiser University. Since the creation of Keiser University in 1977 nearly 20,000 students are pursuing degrees in different fields at one of the 15 locations within the state of Florida.

Maguire was commonly known as “the mother of FSU’s medical school” was one of the first women doctors in the state of Florida. Maguire was not only responsible for the creation of the state’s first pediatric center in 1952, but was also the driving force behind the creation of two major medical schools in Florida. Maguire passed away in 2014 at the age of 96.

Savona Bruno, Florida A&M University first-year accounting major student from Winter Haven Fla., was happy to see these women recognized and hope that one day see would make the same impact.

“To see women being recognized for their contribution to this state inspires me to strive toward hopefully one day being mentioned in the same sentence as these incredible women,” Bruno said.  

The Florida Women’s Hall of Fame has held this ceremony since 1982 and have honored great woman for years. Some notable Florida Hall of Fame inductees such as Zora Neal Hurston and JoAnn Hardin Morgan.

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam expressed that the ceremony is much needed.

“This ceremony creates an opportunity to celebrate the least talked about part of history in this state,”  Putnam said.

The success of the Florida women’s Hall of Fame is one small step for women and one giant leap for mankind.