January 2015 AAUW President’s Letter by Beth Nienow

One of my favorite aspects of this time of year is catching up with friends and relatives near and far.  Of course, modern technology has changed the way we all keep in touch.  It’s now possible, thanks to social media and e-mail, to know intimate and mundane details of people’s lives who live miles away and in some cases, persons we have never met face to face.  One of my favorite Facebook friends is an AAUW member in Washington state whom I have never met, though I have encountered some of her fellow branch members at national conventions I have attended.  Yet I’ve learned so much from her about AAUW and technology and have watched her daughter grow up from a middle school student to a university where one of my friends from Hamline teaches.

Among my holiday greetings this season was a card from Florine Swanson, AAUW Legacy Circle chair for our area.  You may remember Florine traveled from Iowa to attend our banquet last May at the Country Club.  Florine mentioned how much she enjoyed our dinner program and book sale and hopes that more members from our branch will be inspired to join the AAUW Legacy Circle.

At the same time I sometimes feel clueless about the lives of my relatives and former classmates who live in the same corner of southeastern Minnesota, so it’s hard to know if all this modern technology is the answer to all our communications needs.  As our branch board struggles with making the decision to change our newsletter  and other communications to electronic only, we are well aware that we will gain as well as lose some benefits in the process.  The important thing is that we all keep in touch and communicate with each other as often and effectively and efficiently as we can.  The method, perhaps, is not so important.  As E.M Forster said, “Only connect”.

Best wishes to all for 2015.

Beth Nienow

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