Today’s Trivia: Who was the Kansas City civic leader recently inducted into the UMKC Starr Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015?

Adele Hall

Adele Hall, 1931 – 2013, was a much beloved woman in Kansas City, best known as a civic leader and philanthropist. Many know Hall because of her marriage to former CEO and chairman of the board of Hallmark Cards, Donald J. Hall, Sr., but it was her commitment to community service and generosity that made her such a leader in Kansas City.

A champion of children’s needs, Hall served as board chair of Children’s Mercy Hospital, who named their Hospital Hill campus after her following her death in 2013. Nationally, Hall volunteered with the National Commission for Children, raising awareness on issues pertaining to children beyond Kansas City. Along with Children’s Mercy, Hall served on many local boards, including the Salvation Army (for which she served over 30 years), Nelson-Atkins Museum of art, Pembroke Hill School, American Red Cross, and Starlight Theatre, as well as board chair of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. To say her interests in the local community were numerous and broad is putting it lightly.

On top of her commitment to local civic leadership, Hall served on the national boards of United Negro College Fund, the Points of Light Foundation, American Academy of Pediatrics, Partnership for Children, the Menninger Foundation, George Bush Presidential Library Center, and the Library of Congress Trust Fund.

Along with local service and children’s needs, Hall was instrumental in starting and supporting women’s groups in Kansas City, and was the co-founder of both the Central Exchange, which helps women enhance their careers, and the Women’s Public Service Network, which provides the support for women looking for leadership positions, ranging from corporations to state government.

Hall has been well recognized by organizations in Kansas City and around the nation for her dedication and tireless work to help others. Such awards include Philanthropist of the Year from the Kansas City Council on Philanthropy, the William F. Yates Trustee Medallion for Distinguished Service from William Jewell College, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Nebraska (her alma mater, where she studied elementary education and English). UMKC has honored Hall twice, first by awarding her with the Chancellor’s Medal in 1987, and most recently, her posthumous induction to the UMKC Starr Women’s Hall of Fame. On top of this, STOP Violence Coalition named her the Kindest Kansas Citian, and in 1990 she was the first woman named Kansas Citian of the Year.

Adele Hall’s contribution and commitment to Kansas City was immeasurable, and she left an incredible legacy of dedication, selflessness, and community.