2017 Chautauquans: The Legendary Ladies ~ Mary Rippon

Mary Rippon

Mary Rippon(1850-1935) was highly educated in spite of not coming from a background of wealth. Her father died when she was quite young and she inherited the farm; when the farm was sold, the proceeds of the sale were used to pay for her extensive education. 

Mary was the first woman professor at the fledgling University of Colorado in 1878. She was a member of the original faculty. At that time, there were few women educators in the US, much less one that taught co-educational classes. She excelled in the man’s world of academia and gained her professorship. 

At the university she strived to uphold the philosophy of living a life of the highest integrity; however she fell in love with one of her students. They married and had a child. He was not employed so the burden of providing support for the family fell onto Mary. Because a woman could not be both married and have a career, she hid the fact of her marriage and motherhood. She was able to hide her other private life for many years.







Charlene Pazar

Charlene Pazar as Mary Rippon

Charlene Pazar, a retired Federal employee from the Rocky Flats Plant, Jefferson County, Colorado, became a member of The Legendary Ladies, Inc. in 1997. She enjoys her involvement in the organization because it is the voice of so many interesting and historical women who have received only a line or two in the history books. Their stories need to be told and that is what The Legendary Ladies do.  She also performs “Mother Jones, Labor Activist.”

Charlene and her husband, Bill, have been involved in a number of volunteer activities in Golden, Colorado for many years. She dedicates her performances in memory of him as he was very proud of what she was doing.



Don’t miss The Legendary Ladies’ Straight Out of Colorado’s History, a Community Presentation, Friday, August 18 at 10 am, Mesa County Libraries, Main Branch. Community Presentations are FREE and open to the public. More information here.

The Legendary Ladies will also present Saturday, August 19 at 12:30 pm and 7 pm at The Avalon Theatre. 

All Saturday daytime presentations are FREE and open to the public.

Evening performances:

$5 for Adults; Free for children 13 years and younger

$20 for family pass up to 6 people

Ticket Sales: 
Avalon Theatre Box Office: 12-8pm, Monday-Friday
Online here
Phone: (970) 812-1292
Also Available at the Door

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