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Gov. Greg Abbott and the Governor's Commission for Women announced Monday that they are inducting six "extraordinary" Texas women, including one Austin face, into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame for 2020-2021.


The women are chosen for their outstanding achievements in their fields; filling in the business category, jewelry designer and entrepreneur Kendra Scott will represent Austin this year in the hall. The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 4 at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.

"The Texas Women's Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates remarkable Texas women not only for their individual achievements but also for their contributions to an even stronger Texas of tomorrow, and I am honored to welcome these six accomplished women as inductees," Abbott said. "Each of the honorees is recognized as a trailblazer, an inspiration for the next generation of leaders who will follow in their footsteps."

The honorees:

Kendra Scott, business

As founder of the jewelry empire of the same name, Scott is being recognized for her "extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit," strong leadership abilities and continuous philanthropy in support of women and children's causes.

Lauren Anderson, arts

A lifelong ballerina and one of the first Black dancers to become a principal dancer for a major dance company, the Houston Ballet, Anderson's artistic achievements, philanthropy "inspiring children to reach for the stars," and barrier-breaking accomplishments earned her a spot in the hall.

Charlye Ola Farris, legal profession

(Wichita County Historical Commission)

Born in 1929 in Wichita Falls, Texas, Farris would go on to become the first female lawyer in her hometown and the first Black woman to serve as the Special Wichita County Judge in 1954. Though she passed away in 2010, Farris is being inducted into the hall for her "pioneering role" in the legal sphere and "paving the way for others by overcoming adversity with dignity and perseverance."

Dawn Ferrell, military service

(National Guard Biography)

A retired Major General in the U.S. Air Force, Ferrell was a principal advisor to the Adjutant General of Texas for all Air National Guard issues and is being recognized for her military service and contributions to higher education.

Elaine Stolte, community service

Known for her advocacy for decades of service connecting child sexual abuse survivors to help services, Stolte, strategic policy and partnership advisor for The Children's Assessment Center Foundation in Houston, was inducted for her work as a "tireless advocate" who gives a voice to children.

Ofelia Vasquez-Philo, civic leadership

(San Marcos Public Library)

A prominent figure in nearby Hays County, Vasquez-Philo founded the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos community center and was an active promoter of Hispanic heritage. She passed away in 2017 but will be remembered for her "legacy of community service and trailblazing leadership in support of civil rights and the preservation of Hispanic arts, culture and heritage."

All six women, joining former First Ladies, astronauts and other significant women, will be forever immortalized with a photo and biography in the Hall of Fame at Texas Woman's University. Women have been nominated for the list biennially since 1984.

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