Today, March 8, 2018 marks International Women’s Day! Rochester, New York is lucky enough to be filled with countless women who have made their mark on history. From suffragists, to activists in the Women’s Rights Movement, to members of Rochester’s Chamber of Commerce, today is all about honoring them.

Susan B. Anthony

Born in 1820, Susan Brownell Anthony is one of Rochester’s most famous women activists. Known for leading the Women’s Rights Movement here in Rochester, she was a pioneer crusader for the movement across the entire United States. Susan B. Anthony’s countless efforts and drive for change assisted in the implementation of the Nineteenth Amendment in our country. This amendment granted women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony also led multiple campaigns against alcohol, and was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House is located here in Rochester, and is the site of her famous arrest for voting in the year 1872. The house is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and is $5.00 for students with a valid ID. Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite is located in Mount Hope Cemetery in Section C, Plot 93. There are multiple markers throughout the memorial park that help visitors find the famous site.


Mary Jemison

Mary Jemison, another famous woman from Rochester, NY was a frontierswoman who was kidnapped by French raiders, and was eventually adopted by the Seneca tribe as a young adult. Born in 1743, Mary Jemison’s statue now stands in Letchworth State Park. After becoming completely assimilated into the Seneca’s culture, she decided to remain within the tribe, instead of returning to her British culture. After some time, Mary Jemison owned her own land, and had children. Her story demonstrates the suffering of the many captives among Native Americans, and their women specifically. Mary Jemison is buried at Letchworth State Park, and the site is open for all to visit.


Martha Matilda Harper

Martha Matilda Harper was born in 1857, and is often referred to as the “Greatest Businesswoman of all time.” She not only pioneered retail franchising, she invented an entire industry that still stands today. Martha Harper was bound to servitude from an extremely young age, and eventually learned hair techniques from a holistic doctor. She grasped everything she learned from the doctor, and in 1882, Martha Harper immigrated to Rochester, NY. The young entrepreneur and inventor went on to building an international network of hair salons. Martha Harper used the skills and secrets that the doctor had shared with her, and at the company’s peak, there were more than 500 franchises and countless products. Some well-known clients that Martha Harper had the opportunity of working with were Jacqueline Kennedy and Susan B. Anthony. Martha Harper died in 1950, and her gravesite can be found at Riverside Cemetery, here in Rochester.


Lovely Warren

Lovely Warren was born in Rochester, NY, and was the city’s first female and youngest mayor ever. She is the current mayor of the city, and previously was the President of the Rochester City Council. This American politician and businesswoman got rid of the city’s red light cameras in line with her efforts to reduce the city’s poverty rate. Reelected in 2017 for another 4-year term after winning 60% of the vote, she hopes to engage in further development of the eastern Inner Loop, and hopes to also increase development in Bull’s Head on West Main Street.

There are also plenty of Rochester Institute of Technology women alumni, who have honorably contributed to our campus and society on many different levels. Check some of them out!


Nancy Jurs

Nancy Jurs is a nationally celebrated ceramics and fibers artist. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1963.


Cassandra Straubing

Cassandra Straubing graduated in 2010, and currently resides as the Glass faculty head and studio coordinator at San Jose State University in California. She also serves as the President of the board of directors for the International Glass Art Society. Her work has been displayed nationally.


Patricia Moore

Patrica Moore graduated in 1974, and is an industrial designer, gerontologist, author, and educator. Patricia Moore has been named by ID magazine as one of the 40 Most Socially Conscious Designers in the world.


Marilyn Bridges

Marilyn Bridges graduated in 1979, and is an aerial photographer. Her astonishing photographs have been displayed across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her work is included in over 50 collections.


Brittney Lee

Brittney Lee graduated in 2006, and is known for her visual development on Disney’s “Frozen.” As of 2015, “Frozen” was the highest grossing film of all time. She has also worked on “Zootopia.”

Today is to honor the women who have made tremendous impacts on history. Whether suffragists, or Rochester Institute of Technology alumni, all have contributed to society in a variety of ways. Let’s use today to honor these women.

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