Junior League Founder Mary Harriman Will Be Inducted Into the National Women’s Hall of Fame
(Press release, March 10, 2015) — The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI) is pleased to announce that Mary Harriman, the founder of The Junior League, has been chosen for induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y., the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement.
AJLI Executive Director Susan Danish said, “This is a great and timely honor for a remarkable woman whose life in public service began in 1901 at the tender age of 18 and ended, with her untimely death at 53, as one of the highest ranking women in the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.”
She added, “Born into a family of great privilege and wealth, Mary took a path that was 180 degrees from what was expected of a woman from one of New York’s most powerful families. While studying at Barnard College, she embraced the settlement house work of Jane Addams and was inspired to do something to better the lives of the largely European immigrants living in squalid conditions on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She rallied her young friends (including Eleanor Roosevelt) and thus was born the Junior League for the Preservation of the Settlement Movement. Today, the organization she founded is now 292 independent Junior Leagues in four countries.”
Mary Harriman’s achievements also have been recognized by the National Women’s History Museum.
The National Women’s Hall of Fame is the nation’s oldest membership organization dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of great American women. It was created in 1969 in Seneca Falls by a group of local women and men who believed that contributions of American women deserved a permanent home in the small village where the fight for women’s rights began.
The 2015 Induction Ceremony will be held Oct. 2-4, 2015 in Seneca Falls. The other inductees are Tenley Albright, Nancy Brinker, Martha Graham, Marcia Greenberger, Barbara Iglewski, Jean Kilbourne, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Philippa Marrack and Eleanor Smeal. They join other notable women such as Margaret Sanger, Sojourner Truth, Maya Angelou, and past Junior League members Eleanor Roosevelt, Sandra Day O’Connor and Julia Child.