Commission on Women
Governor Beshear Honors Kentucky Women

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 11, 2008  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass
Work 502-564-2611
Cell 502-382-6973

Governor Beshear Honors Kentucky Women

Three honorees  inducted to Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit

FRANKFORT, KY (March 11, 2008) – Gov. and Mrs. Steve Beshear, joined by the Kentucky Commission on Women, today honored three inductees to the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit at the state capitol. The exhibit recognizes outstanding Kentucky women and their lifetime achievements.

The governor also signed a proclamation declaring Women’s History Month in the commonwealth. Today’s event kicks off this annual March celebration.

“Women have played critical roles in all realms of Kentucky’s history, from medicine to education to science to religion to sports and politics,” said Gov. Beshear. “We dedicate this month in their honor to ensure that those contributions are not forgotten.”

“Together as we celebrate Women’s History Month across the commonwealth,” said Mrs. Beshear, “we encourage girls to dream larger and women to think bolder, while giving boys and men a greater understanding of the worth and experiences of Kentucky women.”

Recognizing that there is no shortage of women contributing greatly to Kentucky, the governor and Mrs. Beshear unveiled the three portraits of Sally Shallenberger Brown, Jacqueline A. Noonan and the late Lyda “Gertrude” Ramey. Their portraits will be hung alongside the 53 portraits already displayed in the west wing corridor of the state capitol.

Brown is a chief advocate for the environment and environmental preservation. She has served on more than 17 Kentucky boards and more than 19 national boards with an emphasis on the environment and development. At the young age of 96, Brown now lives in Florida, where she continues to donate time and energy to valuable charities and organizations.

Noonan began her career as a pediatric cardiologist in 1955. Her skills in research led her to publish over 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles and also led to her original description on hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which is now known as Noonan Heart Syndrome. Since 1964, Noonan has served as a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and has served as chair of the Department of Pediatrics for nearly 20 years.

Ramey’s childhood experience helped her empathize with those for whom she would later spend her life serving. In 1944, she opened The Ramey Home, a haven in Boyd County for abandoned and neglected children. She continued to work closely with the operations there until her death in 1991. Over the years, The Ramey Home has served more than 3,000 children.

“For too many years, the contributions of women have been omitted from Kentucky history,” said Eleanor Jordan, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women. “The annual Kentucky Women Remembered ceremony and the celebration of Women’s History Month serve to recognize and highlight the significant roles women have played in the story of our commonwealth.”

The Kentucky Commission on Women presented a Kentucky Colonel commission to artist Mary Lou Hall, of Elizabethtown. Hall has painted the portraits of many inductees to the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit including this year’s honorees.

Kentucky Women Remembered began in 1978 and consists of portraits depicting outstanding women in Kentucky’s history. The exhibit found a permanent home in the Capitol in 1996 after many years of traveling around the state.  Thousands of visitors to the Capitol view the portraits each year and learn about the heritage and contributions of Kentucky women.

Each year, the Kentucky Women Remembered Committee selects up to three Kentucky women to become part of the exhibit and assure their place in the state’s history. Nominees must have been born in or spent a significant part of their lives in Kentucky and may be living or deceased.

For more information on the Kentucky Commission on Women, visit