NEWARK, Del. – The Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee and the Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy, with support from the Delaware Department of Human Resources, inducted seven outstanding women into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Wednesday evening.
This year’s inductees have made significant contributions to the lives of Delawareans. The inductees include Anne Canby, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Carolyn Fredricks, Teri Quinn Gray, Ilona Holland, Dr. Karyl Rattay, and Aida Waserstein.
“It is our honor to recognize these women and their positive impact on our community through this induction ceremony,” said Governor Carney. “Anne Canby, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Carolyn Fredricks, Teri Quinn Gray, Ilona Holland, Dr. Karyl Rattay, and Aida Waserstein are true role models, and it is our honor to give them the recognition they deserve.”
“In addition to the contributions and abiding inspiration provided by the individual honorees, there is a sense of generational connection,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “It’s a sense of doors opening, one by one, hardly ever with the first push, and never by just one hand. Thanks to our honorees, past and present, we have so much to celebrate, even as we see so much still to do.”
A pioneer in transportation, Anne Canby was the first women to lead the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) in 1993 and was Deputy Director of Transportation during the Carter Administration.
“My induction is not just of my work, but that of everyone who actually did the work,” said Anne Canby.
The late Alice Dunbar-Nelson was a suffragist, poet, activist, and educator at Howard High School in Wilmington.
“[Alice questioned] whether or not future generations would have the opportunity to learn about her legacy. But thanks to the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame selecting her as one of this year’s inductees, people will know her story and her impact in the state of Delaware and beyond,” said Monet Lewis-Timmons who championed Dunbar-Nelson’s nomination and accepted the award on her behalf.
Carolyn Fredricks is the Executive Director of the Modern Maturity Center and longtime advocate for Delaware seniors.
“For 50 years I have been doing a job I absolutely love,” said Carolyn Fredricks. “Not many people can say that. I love the people and I love the staff. It has been my honor and privilege to be of service to the older adults of Kent County.”
A former DuPont scientist, Teri Quinn Gray, now works as Chief Operating Officer at the science-based crop protection company, Provivi, in California.
“I bring greetings in the spirit of Ubuntu, an African concept that self-identity is understood best through community,” said Teri Quinn Gray. “Tonight, is a testament of this. Whereas I am because we are, we are because I am.”
Ilona Holland is a children’s educator with a focus on literacy. She has consulted on children’s educational TV programming, authored numerous children’s books, and is a partner with the Delaware State Library system. Addressing the young people in the room, Holland encouraged them to look for role models, never give-up, to ask for and accept help, and to pass on their kindness.
“If you embrace these principles, you will experience incredible personal rewards, you will make a difference, and you too will find a place in someone’s hall of fame,” said Ilona Holland.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Karyl Rattay served as Director of Delaware’s Division of Public Health. She holds the longest tenure in the role.
“I am proud of what we did to improve Public Health as an agency, along with the health of our residents… It has been the greatest honor of my lifetime to serve Delawareans in this role,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay.
Aida Waserstein is a retired judge of the Family Court of Delaware. She has written several children’s books with the goal of helping foster children by telling her own immigrant story.
“We are all stronger when we welcome people of other backgrounds, with distinct languages, skills, talents and world views. The result is a fresh outlook and innovative ideas that nourish our society and makes us better people with deeper foundations of caring and understanding,” said Aida Waserstein.
The Hall of Fame of Delaware Women was established in 1981 and is the oldest annual celebration of its kind commemorating Delaware women. Eligible women must have been born in Delaware or resided in the state for minimum of ten years.