by Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – Six Oklahoma women will be inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame on Thursday, April at the at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. The event, sponsored by the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, will begin at 4 p.m. The ceremony is open and free to the public.
The women being honored that evening are: Linda Cavanaugh, an award winning newscaster for NBC affiliate KFOR-TV: Edith Kinney Gaylord, journalist and newspaper executive; Glenda Love, executive director of Tulsa’s Ronald McDonald House (posthumously); Pat Potts, co-founder of the Community Resource Development Foundation; Meg Salyer, Oklahoma City’s City Councilwoman for Ward 6: and Rhonda Walters, former Oklahoma First Lady and president of Oklahoma Property Investors.
“We are honored to induct these six Oklahoma women into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame,” said Linda Haneborg, chair of 2017 Oklahoma Women Hall of Fame, commissioner for the OCSW and a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee. “This recognition is a testament to the vision and contributions each of these recipients have made throughout their lifetime.”
A member of the Oklahoma Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, Cavanaugh was noted as “one of the most distinguished journalists in the history of the state.”
Cavanaugh’s career includes becoming the first female co-anchor of the evening newscasts at KFOR-TV. In 2016, her series, “Faces of The Bombing,” was honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award in New York City. In 2015, Cavanaugh and the KFOR-TV team received a national Emmy Award for their live coverage of the Moore 2013 tornado.
Patrick B. McGuigan, editor of The City Sentinel newspaper, commented: “Linda and I learned to write better and think harder in our high school years at Bishop McGuiness. She is still making a difference.”
When she wasn’t allowed to join the Washington Press Club in the 1940s, Kinney Gaylord and other women started the Women’s National Press Club, in which she served as its second president in 1944. In 1982, Gaylord founded the Inasmuch Foundation, which has contributed more than $200 million to Oklahoma charities that help women, children and families. Before her death in 2001, Gaylord provided a $500,000 endowment to the University of Oklahoma’s School of Journalism to be awarded to deserving faculty members and students.
“Known as the ‘liberal Gaylord’ Edith was a pioneer for women in journalism,’ McGuigan recalls. “She was kind and helpful to me when I arrived at The Oklahoman in 1980. I honor her memory.”
Tulsa resident, Glenda Love received the Community Excellence Award from the community-based organization, Jazz Hall, for her significant contributions. She also serves on the board of trustees of OSU-Tulsa and the McDonald Corporation Global Advisory Council. Love is a passionate advocate for community projects as well as for cultural enrichment for the Tulsa community.
In an opinion piece Love penned for the Tulsa World, she said, “Let’s commit, as a united community, to overcoming the challenges of our past and collectively work towards planning a better future for everyone.”
Pat Potts, MBA, serves as president of the Potts Family Foundation. She founded the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and served as its president and CEO for more than 20 years. Founder of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, she has also served as president of the Oklahoma City School Board, Oklahoma City Beautiful, the Zoo Trust and the Society of Fund Raising Executives. Recently, Potts was honored as a 2016 Festival of Hope Honoree by HeartLind, a “Door-Opener” by ASTEC Charter Schools in 2015 and “Woman of the Year” by The Journal Record in 2012.
Meg Salyer has served as the only woman on Oklahoma City’s Ward 6 City Council for more than eight years. She was recognized in 2016 with the United Way’s John and Berta Fay Rex Community Builder Award and received the Junior League’s Mary Baker Rumsey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. In 2003, Salyer was elected the first woman president of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City. First volunteering with the Woman’s Committee of the Symphony in 1984, she now serves on 20 corporate and non-profit boards, Salyer’s focus remains on improving the quality of life and expanding opportunities for women, children and families in Oklahoma, her adopted home.
“Meg Salyer has been a ‘player’ in Oklahoma City politics and policy for decades,” McGuigan stated. “I admire and respect her.”
A tireless businesswoman, Rhonda Walters serves as a broker of record for five Real Estate sales associates. She has had a life-long commitment to improving the quality of life for women, children and families in Oklahoma. From organizing the highly successful Healthy Futures Immunization Campaign when she was Oklahoma’s First Lady, to establishing in her son’s memory with the Shaun Walters Chair in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics through Children’s Medical Research Foundation, Walters has been active in Oklahoma children’s advocacy, business and political affairs for more than 30 years. Walters and her husband David recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Fe Family Life Center in Oklahoma City.
“I want to congratulate Rhonda for being inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame,” said former Governor David Walters, Rhonda’s husband. “Her family is proud that her many contributions to children’s health have been recognized. As a role model for her family it’s heartening that she is recognized as such for the state.”
McGuigan added, “I have known Rhonda Walters for 27 years. I have seen her model in daily living faithful service to her beliefs, and loving care for those around her. I appreciate her civic spirit, and her notable and long-sustained involvement in our local community in a wide variety of worthy causes. It is worth observing that she will enter the Hall of Fame with a particularly distinguished group, including my friend Pat Potts from the Public School Foundation’s ‘Project Kids’ days. My wife and I cherish the friendship of Rhonda her and her husband, David.
“I am grateful to the state Women’s Hall of Fame for extending this recognition to our former first lady,” McGuigan said. “My sincere congratulations to all the honorees.
The Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame is one of several events sponsored by the OCSW to support its mission to improve the quality of life for women, children and families in Oklahoma.
For more information about OCSW, visit www.ok.gov/ocsw.