Orange native to be inducted in Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame
NEW HAVEN >> The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame will induct and celebrate three women who have not only been the heroes of their own stories but in the lives of many others as well, according to a release.
Army Capt. Kristen Griest, Maj. Regina Y. Rush-Kittle and USAF Col. Ruth A. Lucas will be honored at the 24th Annual Induction Ceremony and Celebration in November.
“Throughout history, women everywhere have heroically embarked upon groundbreaking pursuits,” the Hall of Fame said in a release. “And, for nearly 25 years, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame has been telling their stories.”
These three women have exemplified the words “protect and serve,” and motivated those around them, according to the release.
— Army Capt. Kristen Griest was the first female infantry officer in the U.S. Army and one of the first two women ever to graduate from Army Ranger School. Griest is a native of Orange and a graduate of Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.
— Major Regina Y. Rush-Kittle is a military and law enforcement trailblazer and highest-ranking African American woman ever to serve in the Connecticut State Police. Rush-Kittle grew up in Middletown and graduated from UConn with a B.A. in Political Science. She has previously worked for the Department of Corrections and was the first African American female officer at the Middletown Police Department.
— USAF Col. Ruth A. Lucas (1920-1970) was the first African American woman to attain the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force and advocate for improved educational opportunities for service personnel. A Stamford native, Lucas graduated from Tuskegee University in 1942, served in Japan in the 1950s and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1957. She spent the rest of her career in Washington, D.C., where she held positions in education and research and broke multiple racial and gender barriers.
“Strong, courageous women have changed history,” says Kathryn Gloor, executive director of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. “Our 2017 inductees are not only trailblazers in their chosen fields, but have willingly risked their lives to defend our country and our communities. We are grateful for their service, and honored to celebrate their heroic achievements this year.”
The 24th Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration will take place on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. In addition to its three inductees, the CWHF will honor 10 women who protect and serve our communities through their own work. These honorees will be announced in May.
The mission of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is to honor publicly the achievements of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls, according to the release.
The organization was founded in 1994 in Hartford.