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Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame inducts 2021 class

The Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame inducted its 2021 class last week, honoring five Missourians for their community engagement and support of public affairs.

Former Govs. Kit Bond and Bob Holden, Dr. Patricia Dix, Dred Scott, and United WE CEO Wendy Doyle made up this year’s class of inductees. 

“I’m filled with tremendous gratitude. I know my grandmother and mother would be so proud their legacy continues and then they would promptly say … let’s get back to work — there is more to be done,” Doyle said. “Different people have different roles to play in bettering our world. Leadership comes in many forms. And when making public policy, representation matters.”

Doyle has led United WE, formerly the Women’s Foundation, in expanding its footprint across the country. Her work focuses on women’s economic issues, female representation on boards and commissions, and promoting female entrepreneurs. She began working with nonprofits after a stint in public relations, working with the National Kidney Foundation and the Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas before joining United WE. 

Dred Scott and wife Harriett sued for freedom for their family in 1840, given that the family had been enslaved for several years in states that had abolished slavery before returning to Missouri. Missouri’s circuit court ruled in the Scotts’ favor, but the Missouri and U.S. Supreme Courts overturned the decision. Scott was eventually granted freedom. Scott’s family continues to uphold the Scotts’ legacy through the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation.  

Bond served in the U.S. Senate for 24 years, leaving office in 2011. While serving in Washington, D.C., he advocated for veterans’ care and equipment for the military as a prominent member of the Appropriations and Intelligence committees. Prior to his tenure on Capitol Hill, Bond served two nonconsecutive terms as Missouri’s governor and spent two years as the state’s auditor. He also promotes plant biotechnology to meet the demand for food across the world. 

Before being sworn in as governor in 2001, Holden served in numerous other public service roles. As the state’s chief executive, he made several advancements including moving Missouri up to No. 5 in the nation for women in leadership positions and creating Missouri’s first Hispanic Outreach Committee. After leaving public office, he founded the Holden Public Policy Forum and serves as CEO of the United States Heartland China Association. 

Dix is an obstetrician-gynecologist at CoxHealth, a role she began in 1988 after moving to the Springfield area. Her passion for the field encouraged her through medical school and her surgical residency, and she pursued the emerging field of maternal-fetal medicine in the early 1980s. She has served as a member of the CoxHealth Board of Directors since 1996 and was honored as the Missourian of the Year in 2009. 

The recognition honors Missourians who “support engaged citizenship and have a connection to the state of Missouri.” The first class was inducted in 2014. 

Cover photo depicts Dred Scott’s great-great-granddaughter Lynne Jackson, Dr. Patricia Dix, former Gov. Kit Bond, and Wendy Doyle at the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Courtesy of United WE.