The American Association of University Women was founded in 1881 by a group of 17 women who defied conventions of the times and earned college degrees. Founders Marion Talbot and Ellen H. Richards envisioned an organization uniting female college graduates to play it forward, helping other women attain higher education and finding opportunities to put their education and training to use.
The AAUW mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research continues. This small group has grown to a current national network of 100,000 plus members of 1,000 branches and 600 college/university partnerships. Since its founding, members have examined and taken positions of important issues of the day, including educational and economic equity and social problems.
Our own Harrisburg branch of AAUW celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2011. The branch has a rich history of accomplishments and contributions to the area (see AAUW Harrisburg History). Over time, our activities and focus have evolved. We remember, however, that our groundbreaking foremothers bestowed upon us an obligation to continue to play it forward. We continue to support the community through advocacy, educational/scholarships, philanthropy, and research.
- Advocacy – Our members engage in public policy on the local, state and national levels and give voice to issues of concern to women, girls and families.
- Education – Our members promote, through community outreach and scholarships, our belief that education is the gateway to economic security for women. We provide at least two scholarships annually: The Martha M. Dohner Memorial Scholarship and the Beverly J. Smith Memorial Scholarship.
- Philanthropy – We have a history of making a difference locally through scholarships, support to local non-profits such as through our YWCA literacy program, and other community giving. Our fundraising and dues support the fellowships, grants, and awards programs administered by AAUW nationally.
- Research – Research is funded collectively by all AAUW branches through our dues and contributions to Association, and which, ultimately, AAUW Harrisburg Branch brings to light and usefulness through our local programs, publications and outreach that help women and girls live better lives.
We are honored to be the branch co-presidents for the 2014-2015 year and to help continue this legacy.
Our members are our foundation, strength, and greatest asset. We invite you to join us. Browse our web site to learn more about AAUW, our Harrisburg branch, outreach, and activities. Please contact us for additional information.
Carol Stark and Susan Boal Shill
AAUW Harrisburg Branch Co-Presidents, 2016-2017