January – May


This campus has always had a high percentage of female students and faculty. Many have had significant roles in shaping the university, our community, and have been influential in Oregon’s history. This exhibit is a celebration of Western’s rich feminine experience and is a natural outcome of our work in the WOU archives. The original concept for this exhibit is credited to Dr. Emily Plec of the Communications Studies department. Pioneer women stood side by side with men in establishing this State. The actions and sacrifices of Laura Harris and Cassie Stump allow women today to enjoy the right of voting and other freedoms. Women like Jessica Todd, Anna Penk, Jeanne Deane, blazed trailed and opened doors which shaped the culture of the Western Oregon University Community.
Presented here are only a few examples of the dynamic women who were educated or taught on this campus. As you read the stories of these vibrant women, our hope is that you will share our appreciation for the rich culture that was molded into the community we call Western Oregon University.

Katherine Arbothnot
Jeanne Deane
Laura Harris
Pear Heath
Dessa Hoffstetter







Cassie Stump
Anna Penk
Jessica Todd
Montana Walking Bull
Betty Youngblood














With special thanks to…
Dr. Emily Plec, Associate Professor in Communication Studies
— for the initial idea of the exhibit
Dr. Kim Jensen, Professor in History
— for her support of our exhibit program and her research on Laura Harris
Stephanie diBono, WOU archives student employee & history student
— for her enthusiastic research assistance
Marissa Clausen, WOU library student employee & art student
— for her research and design assistance
Amy Reynolds, WOU library student employee & art student
— for her research and design assistance

Location: 3rd floor galleries
Curator: Jerrie Lee Parpart & Kelly Slaughter, WOU Exhibits & Archives