American Association of University Women
Mena Arkansas

Contact Information
4097 Highway 71 South, Hatfield, AR 71945
Meeting Day 3rd Monday
Meeting Time Varies
Meeting Place Varies
Membership College Graduates
Community Projects

Since its first meeting in 1881, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. Today, with more than 100,000 members, 1,000 branches, and 500 college and university partners, AAUW contributes to a more promising future and provides a powerful voice for women and girls—a voice that cannot and will not be ignored.

It all began with a meeting of 17 like-minded women who had defied society’s standards by earning college degrees. What started out as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae in 1881 has grown into a powerful network of more than 100,000 women who have influenced—and at times even shaped—the debate over equity in education.

1881 - Marion Talbot and Ellen H. Richards invite 15 alumnae of eight colleges to a Nov. 28 meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. They envision an organization in which women college graduates can band together to open doors of higher education to other women and to find wider opportunities to use their training.

1882 - The Association of Collegiate Alumnae, AAUW's forebearer, is formally organized on Jan. 14, with 65 graduates of eight colleges and universities as founding members. Their purpose: to unite alumnae of different institutions in "practical education work." Wesleyan University (Conn.) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are admitted as charter members.

1884 - Branches are admitted as local groups of the parent organization, with the provision that they cooperate in the general work of the Association while carrying on independent work. Washington, D.C., is home to the first branch in 1884. New York, Pacific (San Francisco), Philadelphia, and Boston follow in 1886. Eight additional colleges and universities—all member alma maters—are admitted as charter members: Vassar, Wellesley, Cornell, Smith, Oberlin, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Michigan.

1884 - Washington, D.C., members immediately launch into action. They inspect the sanitary conditions of D.C. schools and present their findings to Congress. They also investigate the advantages and disadvantages of a wide range of traditional and nontraditional careers for women. The results of the study are printed in the December 1898 edition of ACA Journal.

1885 - The first research study surveying women's health and physical education comprises feedback from 1,290 members. It is published by the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor and establishes that, contrary to prior statements made by a prominent Boston physician, higher education does not adversely affect the health of women college graduates.

For more history visit on line at:  History Pages

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Source of data:  Polk County Fact Book 2005 and Personal Interviews
07/16/15 08:16 PM

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