The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Hutchinson talks

Yesterday, the Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, the first woman to represent Texas in the United States Senate, honored pioneering women who have paved the way for women at the 40th Annual SMU Women’s Symposium. Hutchison acknowledged how many pioneering women faced obstacles and challenges, but never gave up.

During her speech, Hutchison referred to the women she interviewed for her books American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Have Shaped Our Country and Nine and Counting: The Woman of the Senate. Hutchison decided to write these books when she realized the lack of respect for women without an education in other countries.

“It’s not just women who lose in the unequal footing between men and women, it is a society,” Hutchison said.

Fortunately, Hutchison said women are respected in the U.S., because of an educational experience. Hutchison recognizes several women in her books that have helped pave the way for women today.

Hutchison referred to Clara Barton, founder of American Red Cross, and how Barton faced many obstacles and ridicule. According to Hutchison, Barton is now known as the “Angel of the battlefield.”

In addition, Hutchison recognized Mary Cassatt as a pioneer in the arts. Hutchison said Cassatt was the “black sheep” in a wealthy family, because she wanted to move to Europe and become an artist. According to Hutchison, Cassatt ignored the criticism from her family because “she had a talent and persevered.”

Hutchison is especially grateful to Ovita Kalahari, a Democratic Party activist, who is remembered for recruiting women into the Auxiliary Corp. during World War II.

“One of the legacies she has left behind is me,” Hutchison said.

After Hutchison graduated from the University of Texas Law School, Kalahari was able to get Hutchison a job as a news reporter for KPRC without any background experience. Hutchison said that her experience as a news reporter “opened another door for me, even though it was a different way.” Hutchison said, “I wouldn’t be standing here without my experience as a news reporter.”

Ashley Bonilla, third-year student, said: “It’s exciting to point out the strong impact pioneer women have made on [Hutchison’s] life.”

Second-year student Sara Cain added, “It’s great how she mentioned women of the past and the continuing tradition of women making a difference.”

This year marks the 40th Annual Women’s Symposium, an annual two- to three-day event that bring men and women of all ages together to discuss and analyze topics of national interest. This year’s theme, “Are We There Yet? 40 Years on the Road to Full Participation,” celebrates women’s advancements throughout the spectrum of civic involvement, political leadership, and employment over the past 40 years. In addition, the symposium acknowledges the struggles and obstacles that women have encountered along the way.

Hutchison has been reelected twice to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. Since 2001, Hutchison has served as Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Conference, making her one of the top five leaders of the Republican Party, and the only woman.

“[Hutchison] is an inspiration to all us, because she acknowledges that many pioneering women failed and brushed it off, and still made an impact on our generation and generations to come” said third-year student Sydney Schempf.

According to Hutchison women must have “a spirit, a positive attitude, and a absolute perseverance.”

“Getting self up, dusting self off,and keep going in life,” Hutchison said.

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