Charlotte Schexnayder, an early member of Arkansas Press Women and past president, was named as an inductee into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame on Monday.
Schexnayder, a former newspaper owner who also served many years in the House of Representatives, was one of seven women chosen for the honor in 2019. The Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame announced the selections on Monday on their website.
The goal of the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame is to honor, in perpetuity, women whose contributions have influenced the direction of Arkansas in their community or the state.
The biography accompanying Schexnayder’s nomination highlighted her many firsts in Arkansas.
She became president of the Arkansas Press Women in 1955. She was the first woman elected to the Little Rock chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and became its first female president in 1973. In 1977, she was elected president of the National Federation of Press Women. In 1981, she became the first female president of the Arkansas Press Association. In 1989, she was elected treasurer of the National Newspaper Association, and by 1991, she was its first female president.
More recently, Schexnayder authored a book about her experiences – The Salty Old Editor: An Adventure in Ink.
“We are thrilled to see Charlotte being recognized for the pioneer she is,” said Kristin Netterstrom Higgins, current Arkansas Press Women president. “She’s an inspiration to so many women journalists in the state as well as people involved in policy and community development.”
As noted in the biography, Schexnayder, formerly of Dumas, was the lead sponsor of several bills enhancing the Freedom of Information Act. She was the lead sponsor of a bill creating the Arkansas Ethics Commission and a bill creating sales tax for a research center and endowed chair at UAMS in alcohol abuse prevention.
Schexnayder now lives in Little Rock. She will be formally inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame on Aug. 29 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
For information about purchasing tickets, go to http://www.arwomenshalloffame.com/purchase-tickets.
Schexnayder is the second past APW president named to the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. Dorothy Stuck, a founding APW member who served as president in 1953, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017. At the time, the group was known as Arkansas Newspaper Women.
Roberta Fulbright, another APW legend who helped get the group off the ground, was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
photo caption: Charlotte Schexnayder, an early member of APW, poses with Mary Hightower (left) and Kristin Netterstrom Higgins (right) in March. The Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame announced April 22 that Schexnayder was one of seven women they would induct in 2019.