47, 131 students currently call MSU their home and approximately 480,000 alumni hold degrees from the home of Sparty. Needless to say, Michigan State has provided educations to a diverse population and many graduates have gone on to become accomplished citizens. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we would like to highlight some of the most accomplished women graduates of MSU.
Each year a theme is chosen by the National Women’s History Project that highlights achievements by distinguished women. This year the theme is “Our History Is Our Strength.” This theme emphasizes the importance of learning about women’s tenacity, courage and creativity throughout the centuries. It also pays tribute to the millions of women who helped create a better world for the times in which they lived as well as for future generations.
Michigan State University has been the school to many accomplished women. These important women graduates have left a legacy for this school to enjoy for future generations. *Listed in alphabetical order by first name
Barbara Ross-Lee D.O. ‘73
Dean of the Ohio University’s Osteopathic Medicine College. She was the first African-American to head a medical school in the US.
Debbie Stabenow ‘72
US Senator and House Representative for the state of Michigan.
Donna Hrinak ‘72
US Ambassador to Brazil and Bolivia. She was the first female career Foreign Service officer to be named a US ambassador.
Dorothy Delay ‘36
Master violin teacher at the Juilliard School in New York.
Carole Leigh Hutton ‘78
Publisher and editor Detroit Free Press.
Cathy Jaros ‘71
Featured on the cover of Fortune Magazine. Working for Tappan Capital Partners, she specialized in leveraged buyouts of Food companies.
Florence Hall 1909
Headed the National Women’s Land Army during World War II. This program involved 60,000 women farm workers.
Genevieve Gillette ‘20
Founder and first president of the Michigan Parks Association.
Ingrid Saunders Jones ‘69
Vice President corporate affairs Coca Cola company.
Joan Lee Faust ‘50
Garden editor for the New York Times.
Joan Sills ‘75
President of Colony Hotels and Resorts. She was also the first woman to head a worldwide hotel.
Julie Aigner-Clark ‘88
Founder of the Baby Einstein Company.
Linda Puchala ‘69
President of the National Association of Flight Attendants. She was the only woman to lead an AFL-CIO affiliate.
Lynn C. Myers ‘64 – MBA ‘67
Served as general manager of the Pontiac GMC Division of General Motors. She was named McCall’s/Ward’s Auto World’s first “Outstanding Woman in the Automotive industry” in 1994.
Martha L. Gray ‘78
Co-director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology at MIT. She was elected to the board of directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.
Martha Smith ‘74
Played Babs, the sorority blonde in Animal House. She also starred in the TV series Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
Maureen McElheron ‘73
Won an Oscar nomination for the best short animated feature in 1988 composing the music for Your Face teaming with MTV animator Bill Plympton.
Molly Brennan ‘82
Member of the GM world championship team which won the first transcontinental solar car race. MSU Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 1993.
Nancy Ann Fleming ‘65
Miss America and Miss Michigan 1961.
Nancy Hays Teeters
Graduate study in economics at MSU. She became the first woman member of the Federal Reserve Board. She also served as the chief economist for the US House Budget Committee.
Pat Carrigan ‘50
Served as the first female manager of a GM domestic assembly plant. She also served as chair of the MSU Board of Trustees.
Penny Harrington ‘64
Chief of Police for Portland, Oregon. She was the first woman to head a major US city police force.
Robin Stone ‘86
Executive editor of Essence, a magazine for black women with a circulation of one million.
Sally Macut ‘72 –MA ‘79
Vice President of operations for Northwest Airlines.
Sherrie Payne ‘66
Joined the famous Motown trio “The Supremes” in 4975. She composed 250 songs.
Susan M. Schaffer MA ‘69
Vice President of United Airlines In-Flight services corporation.
Susan Packard ‘77 –MA ‘79
CEO of the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) she also headed the Food Network and the Do-It-Yourself Network. She was named cable TVs “Woman of the Year” in 1998.
Suzanne Sena ‘85
Host of the Celebrity Homes show on the E! Entertainment Television network
… and of course many others and many more to come.
Source: The Spirit of Michigan State, J. Bruce McCristal