UMaine combines honors for community trailblazers on International Women’s Day

Two distinctions honoring women in Maine will be presented together for the first time at the University of Maine: the Maryann Hartman Awards and inductions into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame (MWHoF). During a pivotal time for both recognitions, the Office of the Provost, with the support of the BPW/Maine Futurama Foundation, streamlined them into a single selection process and event to be held on International Women’s Day Friday, March 8.

“UMaine is honored to host the prestigious Maryann Hartman Awards and Maine Women’s Hall of Fame ceremony,” said John Volin, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “By combining these two significant honors, we hope to recognize more women in a variety of fields who have excelled in volunteer or professional work and improved the quality of life for all people in Maine.” 

This year’s winners feature a social justice warrior grounded in faith, an abortion rights activist, a bicultural advocate for equality in healthcare and an expert in family health. Learn more about the two inductees into the MWHoF, Nancy Fritz and Julia McDonald, and the two recipients of the 2024 Maryann Hartman Awards, Marwa Hassanien and Kara Hay, by reading their biographies.

Every year since 1990, the BPW/Maine Futurama Foundation selected one to two inductees into the MWHoF and hosted a ceremony in observance of Women’s History Month. 

“The BPW/Maine Futurama Foundation is excited for UMaine to continue the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame,” said Myra Chaloult, president of the foundation. “Deserving women will be recognized at what I’m sure will be a wonderful event.”

Steering committee member Elizabeth Neiman, director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, said combining the MWHoF and Maryann Hartman Awards will improve the nomination pool and quality of the event. Differentiating each honor from the other, although difficult, allowed the selection committee to better define what it means in the 21st century to be a recipient of the Maryann Hartman Award or an inductee into the MWHoF.

The MWHoF honors lifetime achievement for mid- to late-career women, and the Maryann Hartman Award focuses on achievements over a more specific period in time. The selection committee aimed to create a process that encourages nominations for people who have guided change in women’s gender identity, sexuality and equity beyond the traditional ideas of leadership.

“We really did strive to define this award broadly so that people might recognize themselves and others as being achievers,” said Neiman. “I think that our pool of candidates really reflects that.”

Maine Women’s Hall of Fame

A photo of Nancy Fitz
Nancy Fritz (Click to read more)
A photo of Julia McDonald
Photo by Greta RybusJulia McDonald (Click to read more)












Maryann Hartman Awards

A photo of Marwa Hassanien
Marwa Hassanien (Click to read more)
A photo of Kara Hay
Kara Hay (Click to read more)












Contact: Ashley Yates,