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Houston Heights Woman's Club 

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Founder's Day Reception & 2020-21 Hortense Ward Appreciation Award Presentation

Sunday, November 07, 2021 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Women's involvement in our communities is just as important in 2021 as it was in 1920.  This was the theme of 2021 Founder’s Day which was held Thursday September 30.  

Founders’ Day is one of our club’s signature events where we present the Hortense Ward Appreciation Award to a third or fourth year female Houston area law school student.  Due to the pandemic, the 2020 event was canceled and this year’s recipient came from those who had applied in 2020.  

The 2020-21 award recipient is Maryam Ghaffar.  Before entering law school, Maryam taught English at HISD’s Pilgrim Academy Middle School for three years as part of her Teach for America service.  She was inspired by her students to attend law school and specialized in Education Law.  Maryam received her JD from University of Houston Law Center and graduated summa cum laude in her class.  Maryam recently completed a clerkship with Justice John Devine at the Supreme Court of Texas and now serves as a law clerk for federal judge Jeffrey Vincent Brown on Galveston Island. When she thoughtfully accepted the award, she reminded us how much this scholarship makes a difference. When she received the news, she had been wondering how she would pay her moving expenses to Galveston to start her new job. This scholarship came at just the right moment for her.

Our Speaker was Rae Bryant, a member of the Houston Genealogical Forum (HGF).  She and fellow genealogists created the Houston Suffragists Project as a way to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. These dedicated genealogists started with a simple goal: to find the Harris County 1920 poll tax list and make the women's names publicly accessible. After researching many primary source documents, they have located, researched, and cataloged the names of Harris county women who paid the poll tax and registered to vote in 1920.

This appreciation award continues because of our memberships belief in honoring the memory of Hortense Ward and the positive impact the award has on a deserving woman. So many people helped bring this special event together.

Thank you to:

Our event Sponsors: Found Realty.

To Epicurean Group, LLC and Patti Ramsey for providing the delicious food.

Viula Torgerson and Carrie Schadle for starting this process, your work with each of the universities brought us our best and biggest applicant pool yet.

Rae Bryant, for sharing her research about our club, and for "bringing history to life" for us.

Carrie Schadle, Autumn Humphreys, Ginnie McConn, Leah Braden, and Edda Tinis, for serving on the scholarship committee. 

Shea Hill for the lovely flower arrangements 

Teresa Matlock and Leah Braden for bringing everything together for a memorable evening. 

Leah Braden closed the event in the words of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: "Well behaved women seldom make history.  Let's make some history, ladies!"

1846 Harvard Street 
Houston, Texas 77008

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