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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 25, 2016

Distinguished Lecture Series to host women’s equality activist

Lilly Ledbetter

Lilly Ledbetter

Northwest Missouri State University will host woman’s equality activist Lilly Ledbetter as the next guest of its Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 8.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building. Ledbetter also will talk with students and faculty at 3:30 p.m. Room 40 of the Valk Center.

Ledbetter landed her dream job in 1979 at the Goodyear tire company and was one of the first females to be hired at the management level. After nearly two decades at the company, however, she discovered she was receiving thousands of dollars less than her male peers.

Ledbetter fought the injustice, taking her case to the Supreme Court and eventually becoming the namesake of President Barack Obama’s first official piece of legislation in 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.

In 2012, Ledbetter authored “Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond,” which she reveals the trials she has faced in her life and how she overcame them. Ledbetter continues to fight for equal rights by encouraging other women and minorities to join the pursuit for equality.

Ledbetter is Northwest’s 2015-2016 James H. Lemon Lecturer. For more information about Ledbetter, visit

James H. Lemon operated a successful farming option in Nodaway County, served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, starting in 1904. He introduced and fought for the bill that created Northwest, which culminated 30 years of struggle to bring higher education to the region. Beatrice E. Hansen, Lemon’s granddaughter, generously founded the lecture series bearing his name in 1996. Beatrice earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwest and was an assistant professor of business at the University of Northwest Colorado until her retirement in 1979.

The objective of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to enhance the academic environment through individual discipline and interdisciplinary topics. Supported by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Involvement, the series presents the Northwest campus and surrounding communities with opportunities to hear from extraordinary individuals from around the globe. Scholars, world travelers and leaders in their fields visit the Northwest campus to share their wisdom, insight and experiences.

For more information about the Distinguished Lecture Series, contact the Kenton Wilcox, chair of the Distinguished Lecture Series Committee, at

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468