Harriet Edith Van Horn

Harriet Edith Van Horn, 1941

B.A., Denison University

Citation awarded May, 1991

Following her graduation from Denison in 1941, and with World War II raging, Harriet Edith Van Horn began her employment with the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, where she began her tireless battle for the rights of women, minorities, and all employees. In 1948, Edith moved to the electrical appliance division of the Dodge Motor Corporation as an assembler.

She was elected chief-steward of women electrical workers of the UAW-CIO, and received the “Feminist of the Year 1975” award and various other awards from the Detroit chapter of the National Organization of Women. In 1977, Edith served as an organizer and educator for the United Auto Workers International Union. In 1984, she was presented the Solidarity Award by the UAW, the most prestigious commendation that can be awarded for service to the union. In 1986, she was the recipient of Denison’s first Grace Lyon Alumni Award.

Edith continues her devotion to the causes to which she has dedicated her life and work by involvement with the Detroit City Council Task Force on Crime; Women’s Action Alliance Board; National Women’s Political Caucus; National Organization for Women; Coalition of Labor Union Women, of which she is the founder; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; National Congress of Neighborhood Women’s Board; Detroit Feminist City Club; Full Employment Action Committee; and Committee for National Health Security Programs.