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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The history of UA’s powerful women

Jamie Odom / Arizona Sonora News Service

Arizona holds a long list of powerful women who not only impacted their communities but helped better the state and, in some cases, the entire country. Here’s some influential women from the past and some today, all in celebrations of Women’s History Month.

Louise Foucar Marshall

Louise Foucar Marshall changed the college classroom for the state of Arizona when she became the first female professor in 1900, according to UA Special Collections. She taught in many fields — from botany to four different languages. After teaching at the UA for three years, she moved on to work in business and property development. Marshall created the first suburban shopping center in Tucson known as University Square just at the edge of campus, according to Special Collections. In 1930, Louis and her husband, Thomas, created the Marshall Foundation, the first private foundation in Arizona. The foundation was created to provide scholarships for women hoping to attend college. According to the Marshall Foundation, nearly half of the donations made are to the UA primarily for student scholarship programs.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart

President Ann Weaver Hart is making history at the UA as she is currently the first female president the school has ever inaugurated.

Hart, a Utah native, had previously been president at Temple University and the University of New Hampshire, as well a vice president for Claremont Graduate University, according to information provided by the president’s office. She also spent time at her alma mater, the University of Utah, as a teacher, dean and assistant to the president.

Since Hart’s inauguration in 2012, she has implemented her strategic plan of “Never Settle.” According to the UA, this plan holds the manifesto that the university will continue to develop and explore all the areas it is capable of. Through this plan, Hart and the University of Arizona Foundation launched the Arizona Now campaign with the hope of raising $1.5 billion to better the university. According to the Arizona Now Campaign website, the donations have reached $1.168 billion as of Feb. 27.

Beyond Hart’s efforts to improve, she holds active positions in the community, as she hold over 12 member positions with organizations such as Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Arizona State Board of Education and the Tucson Festival of Books, according to the president’s office.

Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, director of Sarver Heart Center

Dr. Nancy Sweitzer, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Cardiology at the UA College of Medicine — Tucson, has made impactful strides in the field of medicine as well as the empowerment of women.

Sweitzer, a Wisconsin native, joined the UA Sarver Heart Center in 2014 and has since taken her passion for research, education and medicine to further develop the already nationally recognized Banner University Medical Center.

“I am building a clinical research core at the Sarver Heart Center, available to all our doctors and researchers, which will help us work together to pursue important advances in cardiovascular care,” she said.

As the first woman director the Sarver Heart Center has seen, Switzer recognizes the power and potential she has to build on a legacy for women in the field of medicine.

“I hope in my role to show what is possible and encourage young, ambitious women to be deliberate and thoughtful in their career development,” Sweitzer said.

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