Le Fer Hall

Viewing the Past to See the Future: Celebrating Women’s History Month

Alum Stories, Blog | 03.27.2024

As an institution born in sacrifice by women who journeyed from France in the mid-1800s—one who would become Indiana’s first Saint—to establish an academy in Indiana, it’s no surprise that alumni of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College would go on to change the world.

When searching for “famous women from SMWC,” an array of women will pop up. As Women’s History Month comes to a close, take a moment to reflect and acknowledge some remarkable women of The Woods who participated as a driving force to serve others and effect positive change in the world.

Barbara Brugnaux - Board of Trustee Member
Barbara Brugnaux ’70

Barbara Brugnaux ’70 became the first woman to serve as a judge in Vigo County, Indiana, when she was appointed to the bench by the Indiana Supreme Court in February 1994. With her election to a full term in November 1996, she became the first woman to be elected judge in the county. After 15 years as a full-time judge, she is now enjoying the life of a senior judge, which she often compares to being a substitute teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from The Woods in 1970 and went on to earn her master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University. She earned her degree in law from Indiana University – Bloomington. Judge Brugnaux is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and the Indianan Graduate Program for Judges. Before assuming the bench, she had a private law practice and served as a deputy prosecutor.

Elizabeth “Libby” Cassinelli Prince Moore ’47, Ph.D.

Elizabeth “Libby” Cassinelli Prince Moore ’47, Ph.D. (1925-1994) made history for all Woods women in the healthcare field as she was the first Woods graduate to become a medical doctor. She was devoted to her work in pediatrics, caring for patients as she did her own children. Known to her patients as “Dr. Cass,” Libby was often described as a woman who was one of a kind and generous. Before passing in December 1994, she served as the director of Pediatric Outreach Services at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport. She had previously served as director of the Caddo-Shreveport Health Unit and chief of the Pediatric Clinic at Barksdale Air Force Base Hospital for 32 years.

Mari Hulman George

Mari Hulman George (1934-2018) was chairwoman of Hulman and Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mari followed in the footsteps of her parents, Mary Fendrich, 1923, and Anton “Tony” Hulman, as a philanthropist, making a transformational gift in 1989 to establish one of SMWC’s signature programs, the Mari Hulman George School of Equine Studies. She was also passionate about supporting the arts, animals and auto racing. She received an honorary degree in 1997 from the College.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.