Mount Pleasant, IA – November 18, 2020 — The 2020 Belle Babb Mansfield Symposium at Iowa Wesleyan University was held on November 12, 2020. This year’s featured speaker was Caryl M. Stern, Executive Director of the Walton Family Foundation. The annual symposium included the presentation of the Mansfield Award and the dedication of a new National Votes for Women Trail Marker on the University campus.
As part of the symposium’s schedule, Dr. Caryl M. Stern provided a virtual Q&A session with students during the day and an evening lecture presentation for community members. At the conclusion of the evening program, Iowa Wesleyan University President Chris Plunkett presented Dr. Stern with the 2020 Belle Babb Mansfield Award. The Belle Babb Mansfield Award recognized Stern as a person of strong social conscience whose leadership through word, action, and service embodies the spirit of Arabella “Belle” Babb Mansfield. Stern’s work at the Anti-Defamation League, UNICEF USA, and the Walton Family Foundation has contributed to a more humane world. Her example inspires all through courageous leadership, generosity, and dedication.
In addition to these interactive virtual sessions, a new historical marker was also dedicated at the Belle Babb Mansfield statue on campus. In 2020, for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites established the National Votes for Women Trail; physical sites across the country to commemorate the people, places, and events important to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Belle, an 1866 Iowa Wesleyan University graduate, is often recognized for being the first woman to pass the Bar Exam in the United States in 1869. But, she also served as the presiding president of the state’s first “enfranchisement” convention in June 1870. This two-day event yielded the establishment of the Iowa Women’s Suffrage Association.
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Iowa Wesleyan University – As Southeast Iowa’s regional comprehensive university, Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.