In a national contest, Ames widow and mother of eight, Lilly May Riggs was chosen as 1953 Iowa Mother of the Year. Along with mothers from all the other states she was honored at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Lilly May was the widow of Rev. Fred Riggs, pastor of the United Brethren Church. In addition to her generous hospitality especially to foreign students she played a big part in getting Iowa State College to open its dorms to African-American women.