Frances Willard (1839-1898) was an inspirational educator, reformer, and suffragist. She graduated from Northwestern Female College in Evanston, Illinois, in 1859. A teacher for 16 years, Frances promoted coeducation and a comprehensive education curriculum. During this time she served as president of Evanston College for Ladies and later as the first female dean of Northwestern University.
After the Civil War, Frances became increasingly involved in social issues. In 1879 she helped found the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and served as president until the end of her life. Frances was a prominent speaker, working tirelessly for women’s suffrage and prohibition. Her work greatly contributed to the passage of the 18th and 19th amendments.
Frances’ goal was to educate others and incite change, urging women to “Do Everything”. She actively supported the kindergarten movement and federally-funded training for teachers. Frances’ accomplishments were acknowledged with a statue in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol, the first woman so honored.