This is a timeline of significant events for and by women on the ASU campus. Great stories began at Adams State, and, as part of that philosophy, we believe it is important to remember the stories of our University’s past!

This timeline is constantly being updated. Check back frequently!

Scroll to bottom of page to see most recent information


1921 – Adams State was founded by Billy Adams as a teachers college.

1925 – In June, Helen Eagle, of Monte Vista, was the first student to register for Adams State Normal School’s first summer session.

1925 – In September, Adams State’s first female teachers taught in the fall term: Elizabeth Briggs, Tessie M. Degan, and student librarian, Harriet Dalzell.

1926 – August 25, Š Harriet Dalzell Hester receives first college degree from Adams State. Dr. Richardson notes at Commencement, “First things happen only once.”

1955 –  Dalzell Hall was named in honor of ASC’s first graduate and first librarian, Harriet Dalzell Hester.

1974 – Marcia R. Luce presented an address at Adams State titled “Women Can Turn the World Right Side Up” as the keynote speaker for the Political Awareness Conference aimed at interesting high school and college women in political involvement. Her lecture was later published by Adams State.

1990s – Jodie Ryan, Chair of the English Department established a women’s studies class, which was called a foundations class at the time. She also taught “Women and the American Experience.”

1995 – ASU Women’s Studies Minor was established by Dr.Carol Guerrero-Murphy. The minor is now headed by Dr. Mari Centeno.

mari pic

Dr. Mari Centeno

carol pic

Dr. Carol Guerro-Murphy







2000 – Women’s Cross Country team wins eight consecutive NCAA Division II championship and sets new team score record.

2003 – Š Women’s cross country team sweep the National Title at 2003 NCAA Division II National Championships.

2005 – Adams State senior All-American Emily Mortensen, of Craig, Colo. was featured on the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Showcase TV Dec. 23 at 1 p.m., making her the first female student-athlete to appear as an RMAC in-studio guest.

2010 –  A new parental leave policy was adopted by the University to allow for paternal leave for a full semester, instead of just 12 weeks. This was a monumental moment in Adams State’s history that empowered women to become mothers without disruption to classes. Dr. Stephanie Hilwig and Dr. Leslie Alvarez spearheaded the 4-year effort to have the policy changed. The new policy also allows fathers to take leave to bond with their newborn. The first woman to use this leave was Jeanna Nielsen, and a couple of male professors are planning to use this paternal leave in the near future.

2013 – Dr. Beez Schell established “Women in Higher Education” for staff and faculty passionate about advancing, supporting, and advocating for women in higher education.


Dr. Beez Schell

2014 – March of 2014, The first ASU Women’s Week was held on campus. In April of 2014, a committee of committed faculty, students, and staff decided to make Women’s Week an annual event. ASU Women’s Week is the brainchild of ASU Student P.V. (Tori) Martinez and Dr. Stephanie Hilwig. Many professors in different departments, ASU staff, community members, and students come together each year to make this event a success.


Tori Martinez ’15

Dr. Stephanie Hilwig

Dr. Stephanie Hilwig







2015 – Adams State University Trustees name Dr. Beverlee McClure the 10th president of the university. She is the first female to hold this position.


Dr. Beverlee McClure


  • Lauren Martin was named NCAA Top 30 woman of the year and RMAC Woman of the year
  • rp_primary_160621_Woman_of_the_Year
  • Lauren Martin
  • Sunayna Wahi ’16 earth science student represented her country in the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, running the 110m.
  • Sunayna Wahi "16


More timeline items are coming soon. If you know of a significant accomplishment by and for women at ASU, or if you believe any information on this timeline is not quite accurate please let us know by filling out the reply box below. Thanks for sharing.

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