Sen.Collins inducted into Maine Women’s Hall of Fame

13 years ago

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was officially inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame during a March 19 ceremony at the University of Maine at Augusta. Katherine Musgrave, professor emeritus at the University of Maine, was also inducted.

Sen. Collins’ induction into the Hall of Fame marks the first time a mother and daughter have both been inducted; Sen. Collins’ mother, Patricia, of Caribou, was inducted in 2005. During her speech, Sen. Collins spoke of her mother as one of two women in particular on the distinguished honor roll that have a special place in her life.

“Even at the age of 83, she never fails to hear the call of duty. Today she is on duty in Baltimore as New England’s only female delegate to the National Advisory Council of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” Sen. Collins said.

The second Hall of Fame member who inspired Sen. Collins is “the legendary” Margaret Chase Smith.

“In 1922, at the age of just 25, she helped found a BPW chapter in Skowhegan. Four years later, having worked as a teacher, a telephone operator, and in newspaper and woolen mill management, she was elected president of Maine BPW,” Collins said.

“Of course, more elections and even greater accomplishments lay ahead for Margaret Chase Smith,” the senator continued. “She once told me that the support she received from BPW members in her very first campaign for Congress made all the difference. From the very first time we met, when I was a high school senior, I have been inspired by her integrity, determination, and commitment to public service.”

During the event, Sen. Collins was introduced by Shelley O’Rourke of Caribou and Geri Martin of Fort Kent who, along with Mary Canning of Dexter, nominated the senator. Sabrina Cote, a 2010 graduate of Bowdoin College and a 2006 Girls State delegate, also recognized Sen. Collins; among those who recognized the accomplishments of the Caribou senator during the March 19 ceremony was former Maine Senator and Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen who spoke at the event via a video presentation.

“Ever since I learned of my election to the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame early this year, I have reflected on the significance of this honor,” Sen. Collins said during the event. “This recognition — and to be honored with Katherine Musgrave — means a great deal to me,” she said. The senator then took a moment to recognize individuals who supported her nomination into the Hall of Fame, including Darlene Grass, Kathy Mazzuchelli, Kris Doody, Jason Parent, Tim Crowley, Mary Adams, Yvonne Brooker, Nora Thombs, Faith Varney, Rosemary Walker and Sabrina Cote.

Sen. Collins devoted the majority of her speech to discussing the state of political discourse of the country and its implications for the effectiveness of government, “and in a larger sense, for the functioning of society as a whole,” she said. “We need a more civil tone in public debate, in Washington and throughout the country.”

The ceremony was attended by Sen. Collins’ father, Don Collins, brother Sam, and niece Laura, who made the trip down to D.C. from Caribou to be with the senator during her induction into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame.

“I’m grateful that so many friends and members of my staff made the effort to be here as well,” Sen. Collins said.