Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Jean Carnahan has done many things — first lady of Missouri while husband Mel was Governor, speaker, author, historian and she was Missouri’s first female senator.
She was included in the Outstanding Women in Missouri traveling exhibit, put together by the Missouri Women’s Council. On Monday, she opened the exhibit in Fulton, officially.
That exhibit is now housed at the Churchill Memorial Museum on Westminster College’s campus. It was an exhibit Dr. Rob Havers said the museum was excited to host.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “Obviously our main mission is Churchill, but we like to have exhibits that have relevance to the local community and Missouri in general.”
Havers said the presence of Jean Carnahan at the exhibit only enhanced the experience.
“It’s tremendous. As you can see from the crowd, it’s a popular thing,” he said.
He was speaking of the crowd of students, members of the Missouri Women’s Council and local interested community members who attended the opening and stayed after Carnahan spoke to take in the exhibit as well as speak to the senator.
“I totally feel unworthy of (being in the exhibit),” Carnahan said.
“I see so many women around the exhibit, some of whom I know and some I wish I knew who have each done something unique in their own right for Missouri and Missouri’s history. They’re just really important.”
Carnahan was invited to open the exhibit by Rob Crouse, director of public relations for the college, who worked in Mel Carnahan’s office when he was governor.
During her opening, she noted the presence of Maya Angelou, a native St. Louis resident, in the exhibit.
Carnahan spoke fondly of Angelou, noting her use of the term ‘shero’ when speaking of a female hero.
“We should all celebrate not only our heroes, but our sheroes,” Carnahan said during her opening speech. “We all have sheroes in our lives, whether it’s mothers or grandmothers and sisters and aunts. They are there to inspire us.”
The grand opening for the exhibit was pushed back after last week’s snowstorm, but both Havers and Carnahan said they were pleased a rescheduled date for Carnahan’s appearance was available.
The exhibit is open daily at the museum until Feb. 3. Sixty-two women are showcased in the exhibit that originally unveiled in the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda in 2002.