American Association of University Women
In 2006, AAUW celebrated its 125th anniversary. It was on November 26, 1881 when Marion Talbot and Ellen Richards invited 15 alumnae of eight colleges to meet. They envisioned an organization in which women college graduates could band together to open doors of higher education to other women and to find wider opportunities to use their training.
The first research study they conducted was to prove that higher education does not adversely affect the health of women college graduates. By the early 1900s, AAUW was advocating child labor laws, compulsory education, juvenile courts, abolition of child labor, and funding for public schools and libraries. In 1920, they presented to Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie funds to purchase one gram of radium.
In 1955, AAUW supported the first legislative proposal for pay equity in a year when women working full-time made .65 to every dollar earned by a man. Pay equity is an issue we are still fighting. AAUW now has over 100,000 members in every part of the United States. For more information, please visit www.aauw.org.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW has a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since AAUW’s founding 130 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW’s commitment to educational equity is reflected in our public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.
AAUW Beaver Valley Branch
On February 13, 1930, seventeen women met in Alumni Hall on the campus of Geneva College. This was the birth of the Beaver Valley Branch of the American Association of University Women. By the second year, there were 45 members. Dr. Gyla MacDowell was the first president.