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Eight of the forty-eight Honorees are “Women of Firsts.” 

Nearly half of the Honorees have ties to Colorado State University (CSU).  Learn their significant impact on the Fort Collins community, leaving legacies of courage, resilience, and passion.

The honoree gallery contains both video and audio content about each notable woman. Browse our gallery to learn more about their life journey and impact and see the portriate that has been created for each honoree.

 
Ann Azari - LHL Honoree
Ann Azari
Community Advocate & City Government

(June 20, 1930-Sept. 16, 2009 Deceased)

 

Ann believed in the power of community and devoted considerable effort to helping create private-public partnerships. A City Council member and three-term mayor, Ann initiated the Arts Alive organization and sought common ground among different cultures.

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Becky Hammon - LHL Honoree
Becky Hammon
Professional Athlete

Becky was a student at CSU and outstanding basketball star at the collegiate and professional levels.  Becky was the first woman hired by the NBA as Assistant Coach of the San Antonio Spurs

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Betty Aragon Mitotes - LHL Honoree
Betty Aragon-Mitotes
Community Advocate/Humanities Champion for Hispanic community

Betty is a leader, providing inspiration and a positive role model.  She is a long-time supporter of our Hispanic community.  She co-founded Museo de las Tres Colonias to preserve the historical contributions of early Hispanic pioneers and founded the Mujeres DeColores (organization for women of color) to help the most vulnerable, the working poor and low income. Betty initiated a film “Memorias de las Tres Colonias” and most recently created the documentary: “Fort Collins The Choice City for…Whom?”  

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Brownie McGraw - LHL Honoree
Brownie McGraw
Educator/Champion for K-12 Students

Brownie was a student at Colorado A/M (CSU), and was a dedicated educator and mentor throughout her life.  She committed her life to students in our community taking leadership roles to make a major impact on educational programs and policy. Because of her extensive service to the Poudre School District, McGraw Elementary School was named after her. She also played a key role in funding for the Inspiration Playground.

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Denise Burson Freestone - LHL Honoree
Denise Burson Freestone
Arts/Theatre

Denise was a student at CSU and Artistic Director/Co-Founder of Open Stage Theatre. Denise feels that theatre “can create a sacred space that crosses ethnic, social, and religious boundaries.”  OpenStage Theatre created in 1973 has won several prestigious awards over the years including 2011 Henry Award as an outstanding regional theatre and most recently again in 2017 the most prestigious of the Henry Awards for Outstanding Season, the first time a Northern Colorado company has received this coveted title.

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Elizabeth Auntie Stone - LHL Honoree
Elizabeth "Auntie" Stone
Enterprising Business Woman

1801 September 21, Elizabeth Hickok born to parents David and Adah Hickok in Hartford, Connecticut. Deceased:  1895

 

Auntie Stone casts her last ballot, voting as usual for the Prohibition ticket. On December 4, 1895 Auntie Stone, aged 94,  dies in her sleep at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Van Brunt.) Auntie Stone was Fort Collins’ founding mother and business woman.  In the late 19th century, this enterprising woman — an eventual symbol of early Fort Collins' pioneer spirit — opened the doors of her home to those in need of place to stay, creating the first hotel in Fort Collins.  She exuded a spirit of community and hospitality. 

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Gladys Louise Eddy - LHL Honoree
Gladys S. Eddy
Education/Advocate for Women in Business

(December 25, 1915 - February 08, 2010 Deceased)

 

In her 70+ years at Colorado A & M (CSU), Gladys was a leader in education and a champion for women.  She led efforts to teach business courses, create the College of Business, and played a large role in coordinating the annual Business Day event on campus, bringing in industry leaders.  Gladys helped promote student leadership within the College of Business and fostered the education and needs of women in business. There is a scholarship in her name for students who demonstrated leadership, citizenship (very important), and service to the community and the University.

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Hattie McDaniel
Hattie McDaniel
Arts/Radio-Movies

(June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952 Deceased)

 

Hattie lived in Fort Collins as young child and was the first African American to win an Oscar-or even to be nominated- for best supporting actress in 1940 for her role in Gone With the Wind. She was not allowed to attend the premier of Gone With the Wind in segregated Atlanta and was not allowed to sit with the cast at the Oscars in Hollywood. She was also the first African American to be on radio.

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