Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Women’s History Month Committee has planned a series of events in honor of Women’s History Month and is excited to celebrate (both virtually and in person) with the community throughout March. 

The month kicks off on Wednesday, March 10 with The Clare Award presentation to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The virtual ceremony, which will begin at 12 p.m. on Zoom, will also honor last year’s recipient, Roxiana Fuqua of Generation Dance. The Clare Award seeks to highlight women of vision who have transformed the world in their time. Both honorees are exemplars for their fields and their communities.

On Thursday, March 11 at 3 p.m., Dr. Madonna Murphy (USF College of Education) will shine light on some significant women who have been important in the history of the University of St. Francis in her presentation, “101 Years of USF History Through the Decades: Important Women.” Murphy’s talk will begin with Mother Alfred Moes and then highlight one woman from each decade of 1920-2020.

On Friday, March 12 at 1 p.m., Dr. Deborah Glenn (USF College of Education) and Dr. Elizabeth McDermott (USF College of Arts & Sciences) will lead a discussion of Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner’s Women’s Suffrage. The book discussion continues in memory of Dr. Elva Dawson, a beloved USF professor who was scheduled to lead this discussion March 2020 when events were abruptly cancelled.

USF Women’s History Month Committee members Jessica Peek, USF Director of University Ministry and Dr. Mary Ann Andrade, Director of the USF Counseling & Wellness Center, will host a “Knit Happens: A Virtual Knitting Workshop for Beginners” on Tuesday, March 16 at 6 p.m.  Attendees can de-stress, learn about the importance of knitting in the women’s movement, and finish a project during the course of the meeting.

Continue to unwind and reflect by attending the screening and discussion of “On The Basis of Sex” on Thursday, March 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium located in the Moser Performing Arts Center (space is limited). An optional Zoom link will be provided.

To cap the month, we celebrate Women Who Light Our Way and Our Lives with a virtual Tea and video on Friday, March 26 at 2 p.m. honoring local women nominated by faculty and staff.

All events are open to the public. Please contact Joanna Kourtidis at with questions or for Zoom login information.

USF Women’s History Month Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators who are passionate about engaging students and the community.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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