Inductees from 1977

  1. Harold W. Browning (1893-1987)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Education & Universities, Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation, Religion & Churches

    Harold W. Browning, 1893-1987, graduated from Rhode Island State College in 1914, and received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He was Director of Graduate Studies, Dean of Men, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Vice President, and Vice President Emeritus of the University at the University of Rhode Island. During his tenure, he played a prominent role in attaining university status for the school. Read more >

  2. Martin Chase (1906-1971)

    Categories: Philanthropists, Retail Pioneers

    Martin Chase organized the first discount merchandise store in the United States (Ann & Hope), which revolutionized American retail. The Mass Merchandising Foundation honored him for setting in motion the tide of low-margin retailing, which greatly extended the purchasing power of the American consumer. Mr. Chase was also active in community and philanthropic affairs. Read more >

  3. Thomas Gilbane (1911-1981)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Industry - General, Philanthropists

    Thomas Gilbane, 1911-1981, was a third generation Gilbane of Gilbane construction and President of Gilbane Construction Company. Thomas and his brother Bill built the company from a local firm to one of the top ten in the nation.

    Thomas Gilbane was also a former star athlete at Brown University, prominent in Boy Scouts circles and active in United Fund drives, Heart Fund and other community projects. Read more >

  4. William Gilbane (1909-1996)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Education & Universities, Industry - General, Sports - Football

    William Gilbane, 1909-1996, was Vice-President of Gilbane Construction, one of the largest firms in the country. He was known for being the Captain of Brown University's great 1932 football team, and was named "Big Brother of the Year" in 1956. William was General Chairman of the United Fund, and active in Boy Scouts and other civic endeavors. Read more >

  5. Gertrude Hochberg

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Education & Universities, Religion & Churches, Women

    Gertrude Hochberg was Vice-President of Bryant College and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Journalism. She was a past President of the Rhode Island Advertising Club, and a member of the Board of the National Council of Christians and Jews. She also served as Director of the Speakers Bureau for the United Way, and the first Chairman of the Rhode Island Commission on the Status of Women. Read more >

  6. Matilda Sissieretta Jones

    Matilda Sissieretta Jones (1869-1933)

    Categories: African Americans, Music (Singers, Composers), Women

    Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones ("Black Patti") 1869-1933, was a famous concert singer of the 19th century. After becoming the the first African-American artist to perform at the Wallack's Theatre in New York, she toured South America, Europe and Canada. Known as "the Black Patti," after Italian diva Adelina Patti, Ms. Jones performed in Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and before the crowned heads of Europe. Read more >

  7. Ted Knight (1923-1986)

    Ted Knight, 1923-1986, performed as Television comedian Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and had many great guest appearances. Having been born in Connecticut, he served several years as an announcer at WJAR. Read more >

  8. Maxwell Mays (1918-2009)

    Categories: Artists & Painters, Literature / Writers / Newspapers, Religion & Churches

    Maxwell Mays,1918-2009,was a lay preacher in his hometown of Greenville, Rhode Island, and one of the top painters of folk art in the United States. He exhibited in many of the major cities across the nation, and was past President of the Providence Art Club. His work, featuring traditional New England scenes, was published in Collier's, Yankee, American, and Cosmopolitan magazines. Read more >

  9. William E. Powers (1908-1989)

    Categories: Government & Politics, Law / Legal Pioneers

    William Powers, 1908-1998, although blind since the age of twenty, became Probate Judge in Cumberland, then State Representative from Cumberland for ten years. He was Attorney-General of the state from 1949 to 1958, and Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court from 1958 until his retirement in 1975. Read more >

  10. Earl C. Whelden

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Medicine & Health Care, Philanthropists

    Earl C. Whelden ran the Shriner's Circus at Narragansett Park for years, the proceeds from which went to the Shriner's Hospitals for physically handicapped children of all races and creeds. He also established the Palestine Temple Shriner's 22-bed Hodges-Lawton unit at Rhode Island Hospital for crippled children and ran an annual Christmas party for unfortunate youngsters at the Elk's Auditorium. His humanitarian efforts on behalf of needy children were his prime interest in life. Read more >

  11. Leonard Woodcock

    Leonard Woodcock (1911-2001)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Industry - General, Military

    Leonard Woodcock, 1911-2001, was national President of the United Auto Workers Union. He headed a group of Americans in seeking final disposition of the Missing-In-Action servicemen who served in Vietnam. He was recognized as one of the more conservative leaders. Read more >



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