Montana State University has named 125 “extraordinary, ordinary” women who have made important contributions to the university and the state and inspired others, as part of its yearlong 125th anniversary celebration.

The women range from Una Herrick, who came in 1911 as the first dean of women students, to President Waded Cruzado, who 99 years later became the first woman to lead the university.

More than 400 women were nominated from across Montana. The final 125 were chosen by the MSU President’s Commission on the Status of University Women.

The list shines a light on women who have been leaders, problem solvers and innovators, Cruzado said in a press release. They should, she said, “give us inspiration and hope for the future about how the daughters of the land-grant university in the future will excel in everything they do.”

The women chosen represent different eras, races, ages, academic and service specialties, said Rebecca Belou, commission co-chair.

The women’s stories are on display in MSU’s Renne Library through Nov. 9. There are posters and interactive exhibits in the atrium, and their books and writings are in the library’s first-floor open collection and second-floor special collections. The display case at the library entrance also features memorabilia from some honorees.

Women honorees and family representatives for those who have passed away will be celebrated at a private lunch on Friday. At Saturday’s football game against Cal Poly, the women will gather on the field to be applauded.

Nika Stoop, event committee chair, said the list includes women faculty members, scientists, engineers, Native Americans, support staff, alumni, physicians, athletic leaders, women’s rights advocates, Extension Service, Museum of the Rockies and student leaders.

“That’s what I was amazed by – the breadth of women named,” Stoop said.

The honorees include:

Faculty: Brooke Anderson, Marjorie Haymond Beckman, Janis Bruwelheide, Frieda Bull, Gladys Branegan Chalkley, Bertha Clow, Suzanne Held, Chere LeClair, Marilyn Lockhart, Michelle Maskiell, Laura Massey, Mary Murphy, Martha Harwood Maxey Bolls Palffy, Gladys Roehm, Elisabeth Swanson, Jayne van Alstyne, Margaretha Wessel and Franke Wilmer.

Scientists and engineers: Ann Bertagnolli, Corale Brierley, Joan Broderick, Ann Camper, Erin Cech, Sarah Codd, Betty Coffey, Ingrid DeGreef, Angela Des Jardins, Florence Dunkel, Julia Haggerty, Frankie Jackson, Helene Michael, Mary Ann Pearce, Mary Schweitzer, Heidi Sherick, Tracy Sterling, Jean Sweeney, Sachiko Tsuruta, Jovanka Voyich-Kane and Cathy Whitlock.

MSU leaders: Waded Cruzado, Cathy Conover, Alison Harmon, Una Herrick, Ilse-Mari Lee, Carmen McSpadden, Marjorie Paisley and Sharron Quisenberry.

Athletics: Camie Bechtold, Cass Bilodeau, Tricia Bader Binford, Vicki Carle, Marga Hosaeus, Virginia Hunt and Judy Spoelstra.

Women’s advocates: Patricia Anderson, Betsy Danforth, Ariel Donohue, Kristen Intemann, Bridget Kevane, Ellen Kreighbaum, Sara Rushing, Christian Marie Sarver, Alanna Sherstad, Jessie Smith, Jan Strout and Melody Zajdel.

Nursing: Kay Chafey, Pat Oriet, Anna Shannon, Anna Pearl Sherrick and Donna Williams.

Extension: Dorothy Aasheim, Sandra Bailey, Harriette Cushman, Geraldine Fenn and Marsha Goetting.

Native Americans: Minerva Allen, Lynette Chandler-Stein, Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, Elouise Cobell, Florence Garcia, Mary Lukin, Henrietta Mann, Margaret Hiza Redsteer, Gail Small and Sharon Stands Overbull.

Support staff: Phyllis Bock, Tammie Brown-Butler, Corlann Bush, Diane Donnelly, Mildred Leigh, Yvonne Rudman, Ronda Russell, Rita Sand, Leslie Taylor, Lucille Smith Thompson, Nikki Tuss and Cecilia Vaniman.

Alumni: Crystal Alegria, Victoria Barnick, Michelle Bryan, Jaynee Drange Groseth, Kerry Hanson, Jane Marguerite Lindsley, Shyla Patera, Nancy Selski, Louise Stone Shunk, Elmira Smyrl and Kath Williams.

Physicians: Marjorie Fowlkes, Nora Chestnutt Gerrity and LeeAnna Irvine Muzquiz.

Student leaders: Kiah Abbey and Lindsay Murdock.

State politics: Dorothy Bradley, Dorothy Eck and Denise Juneau.

Arts: Olga Ross Hannon, Meta Newhouse, Frances Senska and Jessie Wilber.

Museum of the Rockies: Regina Gee, Caroline McGill, Sheldon McKamey and Marilyn Wessel.

Gail Schontzler can be reached at or 406-582-2633. Follow her on Twitter @gailnews.

Gail Schontzler covers schools and Montana State University for the Chronicle.

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