Enjoy the walk
Author: Katie Hall
Posted: September 14, 2009

Walk of the Heroines path to Hoffman HallELLEN LAW, Portland's first African American woman school principal, is honored along with scores of other women path breakers and ceiling busters at Portland's Walk of the Heroines, completed this summer in front of Hoffmann Hall.

More than 650 women's names are engraved on stone walls—no woman is underfoot—and their biographies and photographs are featured on an on-site computer. Trees, flowers, benches, and a fountain are interspersed along the walls. All border a meandering stone walkway. One more wall and a stage honoring former Gov. Barbara Roberts will be added in the near future.

The honored women, living and deceased, were submitted by family, friends, colleagues, and organizations who made a donation in their name. Most are from Oregon, but they come from all over the county and from all walks of life. Those honored include Josephine Cochrane, a Shelbyville, Illinois, housewife, who hated doing dishes and invented the automatic dishwasher in 1886. Heroine Matsu Ito raised eight children on a farm in Hood River enduring many hardships, including internment during World War II. Former students have honored Diane Edgington, a Clackamas High School speech and debate teacher.

Portland State students have been involved in the Walk of the Heroines from the beginning, providing the first major gift of $200,000 from the Associated Students of PSU.

Learn more about Portland's Walk of the Heroines and the women it honors at

[Top photo by Edis Jurcys]

examining the names of heroines