The late Mildred Brown (Brownie) Schrumpf 

Mildred Schrumpf

As Home Economist, "Good Samaritan," Nutritionist, Newspaper Columnist, Food Judge, Author and Cook, Mildred "Brownie" Schrumpf can truly be called "First Cook" of the State of Maine. "Brownie's" spark, her stimuli for good, simple, "State of Maine" cooking influenced over three generations of Maine families. Consequently, their children and their grandchildren have grown up healthier and happier because of her.

Born in 1903 in Readfield, and a graduate of the University of Maine, Orono, with a B.S. in Home Economics, "Brownie" Schrumpf was assistant 4-H Club leader for the State of Maine (1925-32) and the Penobscot County 4-H Club agent (1932-39). In the 40s "Brownie" was a part-time instructor at the University of Maine, Orono, teaching foods, food preservation, and camp cookery to the forestry students at the University. For 42 years (1951-93), "Brownie" Schrumpf was food columnist for the Bangor Daily News. Deeply committed to the use of native, Maine-grown foods and simple methods of food preparation, she carefully changed her recipes to fit the seasons. Hers has been a constant quest for the new recipe, the new method, and the new concept of preparation.

Throughout the 50s and 60s, "Brownie" was the Maine Food Products Promoter for the Maine Department of Agriculture at the Eastern States Exposition. In addition, she ran a TV series of food demonstrations and worked on the staff of the General Alumni Association of the University of Maine. "Brownie" was also a member of the Board of the G.A.A., serving as Assistant Executive Director (1963) and as Acting Director (1968). She was president of the Maine State Home Economics Association (1952-54), a member of the Women's Legislative Council, and always an active member of the American Association of University Women.

During the 70s and 80s, "Brownie" acted as a food expert in another TV series titled "A Time to Live", and was a teacher for 20 years for the YWCA cooking classes. As author, she wrote two very successful cookbooks, The Flavor of Maine (BDN 1976, 164 pp.) and Memories from Brownie's Kitchen (BDN 1989, 230 pp.)

Since retirement, "Brownie" has never stopped. She lectured, wrote, and judged food exhibits wherever they took her. She took meals to the ill and elderly, chauffeured them and shopped for them, and visited local nursing homes and schools regularly.

Mildred "Brownie" Schrumpf has been honored with a variety of awards, including The Black Bear Award (University of Maine, 1957), Woman of the Year (Maine Press, Radio and TV Women, 1968), Unofficial Ambassador of Good Eating (Maine Department of Agriculture, 1970), General Alumni Association Pine Tree Alumni Service Emblem (1974), Kiwanis Recognition in Service Award (Orono-Old Town Kiwanis, 1976), and American Association of University Women Achievement Citation Award (Maine AAUW, 1989).

Dedicating her professional and personal life to the betterment of nutrition in the State of Maine, "Brownie" Schrumpf represents the entire 20th century's development of cooking as a science. In her mother's day, recipes were ambiguous, reading a 'pinch' of this and a 'dash' of that until your 'taste' was satisfied. "Brownie's" directions were precise, and a tasty, healthy diet was assured. She taught the women of Maine to use independent thought and scientific judgment to better their family's nutrition. "Brownie" has passed on her love of cooking the simple "State of Maine" foods to a new generation of Maine cooks, and the legacy of "Brownie" Schrumpf will live forever!

1989 Photograph

Inducted March 1997

 

 

The late U. S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith

Margaret Chase Smith

Former Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Maine's First Lady, is perhaps best known for her contribution to the well being of the United States and its people with her consistent stand for the condemnation of bigotry and injustice wherever she found it. Her stand against "McCarthyism" in the early 1950's marked her outstanding courage and devotion to conscience and justice.

Margaret Chase Smith is the only woman elected to serve in both houses of Congress. She was first elected to the House of Representatives from the Second District of Maine in 1940. In 1948, Mrs. Smith was elected to the United States Senate by an overwhelming margin. She received the greatest total vote majority in Maine history.

In 1954, when Senator Smith was re-elected to a second term in the Senate, she received the most votes of all candidates for all offices. In the primary that year, she set a new record for the total number of votes received in a contested primary, a great illustration to all women that gender is not an obstacle if one is willing to work hard and be honest. In 1966, the Senator repeated her record.

Senator Smith put her name at the forefront of women's achievements that have significantly improved the lives of women when, at the Republican Convention in 1964, her name was placed in nomination for the President of the United States. This is the first time a woman had been so nominated by a major political party.

Senator Smith is the first woman elected to a leadership post in the United States Senate, serving as the leader of the Conference of all Republican Senators from 1967 until her retirement. In 1943, as a member of the House of Representatives, she secured a seat on the powerful Naval Affairs Committee enabling her to have influence over shipbuilding and other interests vital not only to Maine, but to the Nation as well.

Senator Smith is also recognized for her contribution of enduring value to women's rights when she pioneered in the area of reserve legislation and waged a successful battle for women in the armed services. She succeeded in achieving regular, rather than just reserve status, for women. She was nicknamed "Mother of the WAVES" after introducing legislation to create this organization.

Senator Smith is a charter member and past president of the Skowhegan Business and Professional Women's Club and also was president of the Maine Federation. On July 6, 1989, President George Bush presented Senator Margaret Chase Smith with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor "... for her commitment to truth and honesty in government and in America."

1960 Photograph

Inducted March, 1990

 

The late Mabel Sine Wadsworth

Mabel Wadsworth

While earning her RN degree at the University of Rochester, Mabel Sine Wadsworth heard of Margaret Sanger's pioneer work in birth control, and developed her own interest in helping women gain control over their reproductive lives.

When Ms. Wadsworth moved to Bangor in 1946, she joined the Maternal Health League, an organization patterned after Sanger's work promoting contraceptive education.

Mabel Wadsworth's community involvement in volunteer organizations have included the League of Women Voters and the Hospital Auxiliary. She helped form the Abnaki Council of Girl Scouts, served as the first president of the Bangor Counseling Center's Board of Directors, and was active in the development of the Women's Resource Center, out of which evolved the Displaced Homemakers Organization.

In the 1960's, Ms. Wadsworth organized the first Family Planning program in Maine and as the first director of Family Planning in the central Maine area, she used the outreach ideas she had seen employed years earlier by the Maternal Health League. She also set a precedent when she sent a registered nurse to nurse practitioner school so that Family Planning need not rely solely upon physicians to deliver birth control services.

In the early 1970's, Mabel Wadsworth was highly instrumental in the passage of legislation which mandated teenagers the right to confidential contraceptive services. She helped establish the Maine Family Planning Association, and was the first president; she is currently an active member.

Ms. Wadsworth is presently a member of the Board of Directors of Legal Services for the Elderly, and raises funds for the Bangor Symphony, Spruce Run (the local family violence project), the United Way and Red Cross. Still visible in the struggle to maintain reproductive rights for women, Ms. Wadsworth is an original founde rof the Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center, where she inspires and shares that organization's vision of a feminist health center empowering all women, through knowledge and with advocacy, to take control of their lives.

1990 Photograph

Inducted March, 1990

 

The late Marti Stevens

Marti Stevens

Marti Stevens' legacy to Maine of education, inspiration and theater reflects her belief that education and knowledge will provide power and a better world. How can one measure the impact of a whirlwind or a rainbow? Marti Stevens was a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm and a rainbow of warmth, giving, and talent. Her impact on the lives of Maine women is immeasurable, continuing even after her untimely death.

Earning her Bachelor's Degree in journalism at the University of Missouri and Masters in Education at City College of New York City, Marti also studied acting and directing as well as teaching in ghetto schools.

Her commitment to education via non-traditional programs was the catalyst for her grant-writing and for her founding of Cornville Academy, Cross Roads, Teens 'n Theater, Maine Literacy Theater, and Education Skills, Inc., helping people who are disabled, at-risk, incarcerated, teen-agers, and other adults.

Marti was Director of Somerset County Basic Skills from the late 70s until her death in 1993. She authored training modules for the Literacy Advocacy Program, used throughout Maine. Cross Roads won national recognition and developed into a coeducational alternative education program, recently renamed the Marti Stevens Learning Center, one of the oldest and largest in Maine, under her directorship.

TRAINING FOR TOMORROW, the successful program she developed with the Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community (formerly Displaced Homemakers) and ASPIRE, has been replicated by the State of Maine and continues to be used statewide.

She presented the improvisational theater concept throughout the country and at international educational conferences. She taught composition at the University of Maine at Farmington for twelve years, ending with her death. Her love of theater was the impetus to co-founding the Cornville Players which evolved into Curtain Up Enterprises and the resurrection of Lakewood Theatre, the oldest summer theater in Maine.

Marti's energetic life included her farm, where she raised flowers, vegetables, cows, sheep, chickens, and even peacocks, as well as serving terms as the plumbing inspector. Her love of life, talents, energy and enthusiasm were boundless, and the people of Maine are the beneficiaries.

The late Marti Stevens, our whirlwind -rainbow, gave lasting value to Maine women in many ways, through education, entertainment, and inspiration, reflecting her beliefs, her commitment, and her work.

1987 Photograph
(Photo by: Vernon Homer)

Inducted March, 1996

 

Dr. Nancy Hensel

Nancy Hensel

Dr. Nancy H. Hensel is President of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, having moved into this position in 1999 from the University of Maine at Farmington where she served first as Dean of the College of Education, Health and Rehabilitation (1992-95) and then as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (1995-99). Before her affiliation with UMF, she lived and worked in California. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, San Francisco, and her doctorate from the University of Georgia. Her academic preparation has concentrated most heavily on early childhood education, and throughout her career, her professional research, writings and presentations have focused on a variety of issues related to women's equity.

As a leader in higher education in Maine, Dr. Hensel has led several efforts that significantly benefit the citizens of Maine. She chaired the state Committee on Results Based Teacher Certification, which developed the ten standards for teacher education that are now used to certify all Maine teachers. Her strong leadership, staying the course in a very difficult change process, resulted in a teacher education certification process that is noted nationwide as exemplary and has led to Maine having some of the best-prepared teachers in the country.

In her work at Presque Isle, she led the effort to establish the Houlton Higher Education Center, where individuals, especially women who are place-bound by family and other responsibilities, can receive work training, complete their GED, or earn a college degree in their own community. The Center is a partnership of the University of Maine at Presque Isle; the Northern Maine Technical College; Women, Work and Community; and the Houlton Adult Education Program. It was Dr. Hensel's efforts that coordinated the planning of this one-stop education center, including working with state legislators to obtain funding. Because of her efforts, this innovative Center now serves as a model throughout Maine and rural areas elsewhere to address the training and education needs of individuals, especially women, for whom traditional education programs do not work.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hensel has been a tireless advocate for women, constantly exploring the complex issues facing women and the many intersections of issues that are unique to women in today's society. She has, in her writings and professional presentations, explored over and over again, in many ways, the question, "How is balance struck for women?"

In her professional work, she has constantly studied, researched, and written on women's issues. Her 1991 groundbreaking monograph was the first of its kind to focus on the impact of maternity and child rearing on university tenure; this monograph has since had significant impact on university campuses nationwide as leaders have increasingly sought to address the issues of tenure, maternity leave, and women's roles in the higher education power structure.

Dr. Hensel serves as both a professional and personal model for women who seek to become leaders with integrity. She has achieved a remarkable career and has a strong sense of herself, but her actions come from a selfless place. In an environment traditionally dominated by males, she has taken a chair at the leadership table while remaining true to herself, governed by her intelligence and sense of justice, and she has led other women by her example.

Not to be overlooked are the challenges she establishes for herself personally. Her friends have marveled at her personal focus on adventure and exploration of the unknown. From seats of comfort, they have cheered her on as she has explored the flora and fauna of the Amazon, the icy environment of the South Pole, and with great respect, waited for word as she traveled to Tanzania and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Dr. Hensel sets persona' goals for herself that unintentionally built deep respect for her among her friends and colleagues, both female and male alike.

As Dr. Hensel takes her place in the Maine Womens Hall of Fame, all citizens of Maine should be proud that ten years ago she chose Maine as her home. Women throughout the state, her friends, colleagues, and even those who do not know her personally have benefited, and will continue to benefit, significantly from that choice.

2003 Photograph

Inducted March 2003