Estelle “Bill” Belanger

Class of 1935

Bill Belanger was a pioneer in West Virginia journalism. After breaking barriers herself by becoming an editor in the 70s when most women journalists were restricted to the society sections, she was instrumental in establishing the West Virginia Press Women’s Association and served as its first president. She was an art and drama critic for both Huntington newspapers. She served as an assistant city editor and as a feature editor for The Huntington Advertiserand as city editor and forThe Herald-Advertiser. She earned many awards for critical reviews, and for feature and column writing. Her interest in education lasted a lifetime. Thirty-seven years after she completed her bachelor’s degree, Belanger enrolled in the journalism program again and earn her master’s degree in 1972. She was cited as a Woman of Achievement by the Wet Virginia Press Women. Belanger was awarded a study-research grant for a trip to the Orient on a “Meet the People” work and study project with special reports published about the arts for several countries. She was an active alumna the remainder of her life. During the latter part of her career with TheHuntington Advertiser and The Herald-Dispatch, she distinguished herself as the fine arts editor. For years after retiring, she continued to write columns.