Music professor attends Women’s History Month celebration at the White House

UNC music professor and opera star Louise Toppin was invited to the White House Women’s History Month celebration on March 18.

UNC music professor Louise Toppin was invited to attend a Women’s History Month celebration hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on March 18.

The invited group included leaders such as A&E Networks CEO Abbe Raven, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Girl Scouts’ CEO Anna Maria Chávez, astronaut Sunita Williams, activists Dolores Huerta and Lilly Ledbetter, and WNBA star (and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist) Tamika Catchings.

At the reception in the East Room, the President spoke about the important role of women in history.

“It is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental rights; the right to vote …” the President said in remarks captured on the White House blog. “And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters.”

At the event, the President also announced that he is nominating Cathy Russell, the Chief of Staff for Jill Biden, as the next Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

Toppin is head of the voice area in the music department and an internationally acclaimed opera singer. She came to UNC in 2010. She has performed all over the world, and was a finalist in the Munich International Competition and won the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions.

Read a feature story about Louis Toppin.