Elise Waerenskjold
“Drinking, quarreling and fighting are common here [in Texas]. ”

Institute of Texan Cultures

The Gallery of Great Texas Women

“I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life.
You always look ahead; you never look back.”
–Ann Richards, former Texas Governor

Women like Ann Richards worked hard to enhance a bright future for Texas and, indeed, our Nation. Their contributions continue to empower new generations of women, encouraging them to journey forward unafraid and with the soft Texas wind at their backs.

While pioneers like Richards often prefer to look forward, there is great value in looking back on their accomplishments. What better forum for an exhibit honoring these pioneer women than an environment where young women are building their own foundations for the future?

When the Division of Housing and Food Service contacted the team at UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures and proposed a joint project, we were delighted to contribute to the effort.

For nearly forty years, the Institute has researched and re-told the stories of many of Texas’s most iconic cultural contributors. Our experience has taught us that the story of Texas would not be as proud, groundbreaking, or, frankly, entertaining had women like the ones you will read about here not left their mark.

We add our thanks to fellow collaborators from the Governor’s Commission for Women and Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas Woman’s University, the Orange Jackets at The University of Texas at Austin, and particularly the Division of Housing and Food Service for their vision in seeing this project through from conception to completion.

Finally, we challenge each of the women who walk through these halls to embrace the spirit of Texas women who came before you. Aim for greatness. And when you’re done, there will be a space reserved for your story in the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio.