The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Publisher 

Dunham named to Alaska Women's Hall of Fame

 

Corey Hester | For The LOG

Bev Dunham speaks of her adventures and accomplishments at her Alaska Women's Hall of Fame induction Friday night.

Anyone who's been in Seward long knows she's a mover and a shaker. Friday night many in Alaska also found that out when the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame inducted Beverly Dunham to their Class of 2014 at a ceremony in Anchorage.

Dunham was honored for her achievements in journalism and community advocacy.

The organization's website describes her as "a pioneer in journalism" who was "ahead of her time and a strong role model to many women and young girls growing up in Alaska."

It was in 1966 that Dunham, along with her husband Willard and Joanne Hoogland, founded The Seward Phoenix LOG. At the time, women in journalism wrote about "women's" topics. Not Dunham. She jumped right in and took on all aspects of news – government, politics, sports, business, and more. In doing so she set a path for more women to report on the news and be involved with the business side of publishing. She also gave high school students an opportunity to do school and sports reporting for the publication.

Over the years, Dunham lent her professional expertise to national organizations related to her profession and received recognition for her work. The LOG won several state and national writing awards during her tenure and Dunham's efforts resulted in the LOG receiving the School Bell Award for school reporting.

"Dunham is known as a woman of strong spirit and vitality. She is a 'doer' who is not 'too rigid and stuck in the past.' " says the Hall of Fame's website.

She was also cited for her civic service as a school board member, city council member and a short stint as mayor. The Hall of Fame writes of her work on many committees, commissions and volunteer efforts, from planning to tourism to corrections to historical preservation. It comments further, "Her community advocacy has had significant influence in Seward for a very long time."

When the LOG chatted with her about the award she said, "I'm honored and amazed. There are so many amazing women in Alaska deserving of the honor."

The secret to her success she said, with a laugh, is "A sense of humor. And doing odd things, like being on the parole board and the prison industries board. It was interesting and I learned a lot. With the newspaper, I have to thank Joanne because she was just as crazy as I was."

She also said, "If it weren't for Willard and the kids, I couldn't have done it all. They were supportive and worked helping with everything."

The Alaska Women's Hall of Fame honors women each year whose contributions have influenced the direction of Alaska in their community or the state in any field. Information about all the honorees is online at alaskawomenshalloffame.org.

 

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