Posted March 17, 2020

Historic markers ignite pride for Women’s History Month

While you may not be able to see these on-campus signs yourself, we’re bringing them to you virtually to celebrate these powerful women.

One of the historic markers installed on campus in honor of Women’s History Month.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg
One of the historic markers installed on campus in honor of Women’s History Month.

Women’s history month is celebrated across the globe, and we’re taking the opportunity to honor select Temple faculty and alumni. 

We’ve rounded up a list of impressive, trailblazing women who have paved the way for others through their creativity and social impact. These notable women have continually challenged the status quo at Temple, in Philadelphia and beyond.  

Although the semester has transitioned to online classes, you can still check out who we’ve featured through the photos and descriptions below, which are a nod to the historical markers found throughout Philadelphia. 

Laura Carnell
Carnell was actively involved in Temple’s community for more than 20 years in multiple roles, and rose through the ranks, working her way up from serving as an administrator for Russell Conwell to later becoming the first female dean and associate president. She also played an integral part in founding the Women’s Department of Temple College and was named to the Philadelphia Board of Education in 1923.

Nikki Franke, CPH ’74
Franke is a professional fencer and fencing head coach at Temple, where she started the program. She boasts a long list of notable achievements, including competing in the 1976 and 1980 Summer Olympics, receiving the U.S. Fencing Association Coach of the Year Award four (!) times, and co-founding the Black Women in Sport Foundation.


Sonia Sanchez
A leading figure in the Black Arts Movement, Sanchez has written more than a dozen books, short stories, essays, plays, children’s stories and more. Sanchez came to Temple in 1977 as the university’s first Presidential Fellow and held the Laura Carnell Chair until her retirement in 1999. She was also named Philadelphia’s first poet laureate. Currently, Sanchez serves as a poet-in-residence for the university.

Hazel Tomlinson
Tomilson was a pivotal figure at Temple from the age of 15. She served as a tenured professor before many universities recognized women in chemistry. She tirelessly worked to inspire, train and mentor students and faculty members, and her legacy continues to this day. 


Yolanda Wisher, CLA ’00
Wisher is a Philly-based poet, singer, educator and curator. She is active in Philadelphia’s arts community, and has contributed works to the Cherry Street Pier and Delaware River Waterfront. Wisher is known for creating musical, playful and brutally honest works on the topics of intimacy, power and identity, and in 2016 she was named the third poet laureate of Philadelphia. Wisher received her master’s degree in creative writing from Temple in 2000. 

Candice Dupree
Dupree played basketball at Temple from 2002 to 2006, and currently plays for the WNBA. During her time at Temple, Dupree was critical in helping Temple win three conference titles, 73 games and maintain a 27-week appearance in the national rankings. She is regarded as one of the most talented players of all time at Temple, and has been inducted into the Temple University Athletics Hall of Fame.

Although classes are currently being held online for the duration of the semester, discover where these markers are displayed on the map above. 

Be sure to tag us on social media in honor of Women’s History Month on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

—Samara Grossel