|Title||American Association of University Women, Vermillion Chapter|
|Bulk Dates||(bulk dates, 1960-1980)|
|Quantity||3.0 linear ft.|
|Location||Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota.|
The American Association of University Women, originally known as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, was founded in 1881. This organization of female college graduates worked to expand educational and vocational opportunities for women. In the early 1900s, the group promoted legislation to advance women’s opportunities in education, and were active advocates of equal pay, suffrage, compulsory education, and funding for public schools and libraries. Later, they supported the ERA, the passage of Title IX, and the passage of Family and Medical Leave Act. Today, along with an extensive fellowship and grant program, AAUW also supports issues such as protecting Title IX and promoting women and girl’s participation in science and technology. The organization is also active in educating voters and advancing equality in education and in the work place.
The Association of Collegiate Alumnae at the University of South Dakota at Vermillion was founded on April 26, 1917. The first meeting was called together by Eva Robinson and Genevieve Blair. There were fourteen charter members and officers were elected. Jessamine Lee Fox was elected President; Margaret Wellington was Vice-President and Sylvanna Elliott was the Secretary and Treasurer. The group’s early work was varied. They labored with the Red Cross, performed war work, completed civic improvements and worked to get USD on a list of accredited colleges and universities. The group raised money for national causes and issues, as well as, for foreign student scholarships at USD, and for girls who needed financial aid to attend the University.
On October 23, 1924, the club was reorganized into the Vermillion Branch of the American Association of University Women of the University of South Dakota. The club raised money by selling maps, cards, and calendars, by hosting bazaars and silent auctions, and by generous member gifts. Along with their fellowship and grant programs, the club used their money to support worthy causes and fund educational presentations. They helped install a new chapter in Yankton and started several letter campaigns for many causes including, but not limited to, the Children’s Bureau, local school curriculums, and a permanent school fund.
At the time of this writing there is an active South Dakota Division of AAUW, but there is no longer an active branch at Vermillion.
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