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Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony highlights: Clinton, Hochul and the 2022 inductees (photos)

  • / Updated:
  • Hayley Jones 

Crowds gathered at The Smith Opera House in Geneva on Saturday for the 30th National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current New York Governor Kathy Hochul were both in attendance at the ceremony.

Clinton was the guest speaker at the event while Hochul delivered opening remarks.

This year’s inductees are Octavia Butler, Judy Chicago, Joy Harjo, Indra Nooyi, Katherine Johnson, Rebecca Halstead, Emily Howland, Mia Hamm and Michelle Obama.

Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

2022 Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees take the stage at The Smith

The ceremony started around 2 p.m. with words from Natl. Women’s Hall of Fame Executive Director Jennifer Gabriel.

Gabriel welcomed two young women from STARS CGI, a coalition of ten NYC non-profits with a mission of empowering girls, to the stage.

The two young women read aloud “On the Pulse of the Morning,” a poem by Maya Angelou, while the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic debuted an original piece of music made for the ceremony.

Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

The 2022 Inductees and their representatives, as well as the Hall of Fame Board of Directors, proceeded to the stage and took their seats.

Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Related: Gov. Hochul to join Hillary Clinton at National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this weekend

Gov. Hochul delivered opening remarks before welcoming guest speaker Clinton

Governor Hochul came on stage just prior to Clinton’s keynote speech to say opening remarks.

“My responsibility as the first woman governor of New York is to welcome you to this great celebration,” said Hochul. “Overdue, but, as I said on the first day I took office, ‘I didn’t come here to make history. I came here to make a difference.’ That’s exactly what the women on this stage have done.”

Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Hochul spoke about Seneca Falls’ central role in the women’s rights movement as well as the challenges facing women today.

Clinton’s speech highlights Seneca Falls history, present-day challenges to women’s rights

“It’s absolutely a thrill to be back here at this fabled auditorium in Geneva, in upstate New York with all of you,” said Clinton during her speech.

She spoke of the trailblazing nature of those that attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

“The Declaration of Sentiments, hammered out just ten miles from here, really stands the test of time. It was inspirational and also practical,” said Clinton. “Many of the women who gathered to embark on the conversations and debates did not see it come to fruition, but they understood they had to start the journey together.”

Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Related: Hillary Clinton will be keynote speaker at National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on September 24th in Geneva

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Clinton also mentioned present-day issues concerning women’s rights.

Additionally, Clinton said she is “deeply worried” about the impact the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade. will have on women’s rights nationwide.

Clinton ended her speech on a hopeful note, saying, “Let’s be optimistic, but let’s put ourselves to work to overcome the worries that we face.”

Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Inductees near and far honored at 2022 Ceremony

Inductees who attended the September 24 ceremony in-person were Harjo, Halstead and Nooyi. Fellow inductees Chicago, Hamm and Obama attended virtually.

Butler, Johnson and Howland were all honored posthumously.

A representative from the Octavia E. Butler Estate accepted the medal on the late Butler’s behalf.

Chicago, a popular installation artist, was honored next.

American labor leader and 1993 Inductee Dolores Huerta presented Chicago’s medal while Chicago herself sent in a recorded message of thanks.

“Jules,” a representative, accepting the medal on behalf of Butler. Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Inductee gives a shoutout to her hometown in the Southern Tier

Lieutenant General Carol Mutter presented the next medal to Halstead, the first woman in U.S. military to command in combat at the strategic level.

Halstead was born and raised in the village of Candor in Tioga County, New York.

Inductees Joy Harjo, left, and Rebecca Halstead, right. Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Sports broadcaster, athlete and 2003 Inductee Donna de Varona presented the induction medal to Mia Hamm.

Hamm couldn’t attend in person, instead recording a message that was played live. Her former coach Colleen Hacker accepted the medal on her behalf.

Clinton takes stage once more to introduce Harjo

Clinton was welcomed back to the stage again to introduce Inductee Harjo.

Harjo is a poet and artist who was appointed poet laureate of the U.S. in 2019.

A member of the Mvskoke Nation, Harjo was the Native American to hold that position.

Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, members were in attendance. Harjo asked them to stand during her speech.

2015 Inductee Carlotta Wallis LaNier attended virtually to introduce posthumous Inductee Howland.

Emily Howland. Photo: National Women’s Hall of Fame

Born in 1827 in Sherwood, New York, Howland was an education equality and women’s advocate as well as an abolitionist.

Late NASA mathematician Johnson is another 2022 Inductee. Family members accepted the medal on her behalf.

2003 Inductee Linda Alvarado presented Nooyi, former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, her medal.

“I stand here this afternoon in awe of the women in this room who represent the best of what this country has to offer,” Nooyi said during her acceptance speech.

Inductee Indra Nooyi. Photo: Hayley Jones, FL1 News

Related: Tickets for National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony go on sale: Smith Opera House in Geneva to host

Speaker Pelosi introduces Michelle Obama: Both women Hall of Fame inductees

The final inductee of the afternoon was Michelle Obama. Speaker of the House and 2013 Inductee Nancy Pelosi introduced Obama, with both women joining the ceremony virtually.

Obama concluded the ceremony with a message to the girls and young women listening:

“I want you to know there is no limit to your dreams, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, because believing in yourself, reaching for something more, that’s how you’ll become the person you’re truly meant to be.”

To learn more about the 2022 National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees, head to this website.

Watch the full 2022 Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony