Augusta Jane Chapin, an organizer of the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, and the only woman to present a session at the Parliament, will be honored by the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame this year.
Born in New York, Chapin completed her education in Michigan and was the second woman to be ordained as a Universalist minister. She was also the first woman to serve on the Council of the Universalist General Convention, and the first woman ever to receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, presented to her at the Chicago World’s Fair.
Chapin was a champion of women’s rights, forging the way for future generations of women in the United States to seek higher education and advanced degrees.
In addition to organizing the first Parliament in 1893, Chapin also served as Chairwoman of the Woman’s General Committee. She gave comments at the opening and closing presentations of the Parliament, and stated in her opening address, “My memory runs easily back to the time when, in all the modern world, there was not one well equipped college or university open to women students, and when, in all the modern world, no woman had been ordained, or even acknowledged, as a preacher outside the denomination of Friends.”
Chapin will be honored among two other Historical Honorees and 10 Contemporary Honorees on October 19 in East Lansing.