Where Is WDHOF?
Each year, the members of WDHOF attend various consumer diving expositions, the DEMA show (for diving professionals only) as well as symposia, conferences, seminars and special events throughout the United States. These venues allow our members the opportunity to give presentations/seminars about their areas of expertise and allow the ability for our members to meet and speak directly with the public.
What began as an idea to offer a tribute to the women divers of the Twentieth Century developed into a much wider vision when it starting recognizing those women divers who had contributed significantly to the exploration, greater understanding, safety, and enjoyment of our underwater world. Quickly it was noticed that these contributions would span a wide variety of fields of specialization, including: the Arts, Sciences, Medicine, Sports, Exploration, Archeology, Media, Safety, Education, Service, Business, Environment, and Conservation. And the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) was born.
The members of WDHOF are an elite group that includes the most notable women leaders and innovators in the diving community. It became the goal of it’s founders to recognize and honor, while raising public awareness of these women’s exceptional contributions. WDHOF was founded in 1999, and continues to be a collaborative effort between Beneath the Sea, Inc., the Underwater Society of America, the Women’s Scuba Association, Women Underwater, Hillary Viders, Ph.D., and Capt. Kathy A. Weydig.
There were seventy-two honorees on WDHOF’s inaugural roster. It was impressive to watch these women gather together at Beneath the Sea to receive their honors. Here were the top women divers of our time, from across the world, standing in awe of each other, as well-known name met well-known name for the first time. It was a gathering of eagles, this outstanding group of women who have established milestones in many diverse fields of diving.
Needless to say the debut and inaugural events of WDHOF were a huge success and the catalyst to continue it into the future! Throughout the following year those members that were unable to attend the Inaugural Awards Ceremony, were able to accept their awards at various dive expositions and other professional venues. In doing so they made the presence of WDHOF well known across America and throughout the world.
January 2001 brought WDHOF to the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) a dive show exclusively for the trade. Here, for the first time in front of the entire dive industry, WDHOF inducted the remaining members that they hadn’t been able to induct throughout the year. Notable among that group were Zale Parry, star of “Sea Hunt”, Dr. Eugenie Clark, also known as the “Shark Lady” as well as veteran wreck diver Evelyn Dudas and safety expert Andrea Zaferes.
Close to 100 attendees and media people looked on as a large group of fellow Inaugural Inductees, also attending DEMA, gathered for a dazzling show of the force of women-in-diving and their incomparable achievements. The applause and kudos that recognized these exceptional women and their achievements overwhelmed everyone present.
Nominations were received throughout the year 2000, surveyed, and screened by the WDHOF Selection Committee and its Board of Directors. Thirty-one new members were selected and inducted for 2001. The same nomination and selection process continued throughout 2001 and 16 new members were inducted in 2002.
WDHOF has garnered international acclaim by the men and women of the corps of divers, and the professionals in the industry. Learn more about the fascinating members of WDHOF by visiting the member roster pages.