Nov President’s Letter: 130th anniversary of AAUW

This month AAUW celebrates its 130th anniversary! Since its first meeting in 1881, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. Today AAUW contributes to a more promising future and provides a powerful voice for women and girls. Here are some highlights of the contributions of AAUW:

In 1920, the year women gained the right to vote, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie receives $156,413 from AAUW members toward the purchase of one gram of radium.

In 1945 AAUW launched a program to raise funds to bring women to the U.S. to study.

By 1960, AAUW International Grants had enabled 500 women from 34 countries to study in the U.S. Studies sponsored by the AAUW Committee on the Status of Women generate a member finance series that features a money management portfolio (1953-54), a finance folder (1954), and a kit on Social Security (1955).

 In the 1960s, AAUW lobbies for support of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. The Educational Foundation launches the Coretta Scott King Fund, providing opportunities for black women to study African American history and culture, social change, and peace.

In 1972, AAUW is instrumental in the passage of Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds. Rep. Patsy Mink (D-HI), an AAUW member, co-authored the law.

In 1991, AAUW commissions the research report Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America, the most extensive examination of the comparative self-esteem levels, career aspirations, educational aspirations, and math/science interests of American girls and boys ever done.

In 2001, AAUW and the National Education Association convene a task force in response to findings that sexual harassment is pervasive in schools in Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School. AAUW is currently updating this report.

For more information on the accomplishments of AAUW, see

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