History

Since its first meeting in 1881, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. When more than a century ago a Harvard physician claimed that higher education jeopardized women’s health, AAUW conducted research that proved he was wrong. When the number of female college students grew, AAUW funded fellowships to support them. When girls and boys were treated differently in school, AAUW research put gender bias on the national agenda. When women received less pay than their male colleagues for the same job, AAUW continued researching, educating, and advocating for equality.

In January 2013 the St. Louis Branch received a congratulatory letter from Linda D. Hallman, CAE, executive director for AAUW: “On behalf of AAUW, I am delighted to recognize the AAUW St. Louis (MO) Branch on its 120th anniversary. We applaud your exceptional service and demonstrated commitment to education and equity for women and girls. Please accept this certificate of honor as a small token of our gratitude. …”

Over the years, Branch records were forwarded to the State Historical Society of Missouri.  These records were recently used by Anne Boxberger Flaherty, PhD, assistant professor of political science at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, an AAUW dissertation fellowship awardee and AAUW member, to write a paper with Carly Hayden Foster, PhD, also an assistant professor of political science at SIU-E, Gateway to Equality: Desegregation and the American Association of University Women in St. Louis, Missouri, published in Women’s History Review, 20 Aug 2014 .

HISTORY
Early AAUW St. Louis Branch

1898 – St. Louis Branch of Collegiate Women organized.

1919 – April. National Convention of the Association held in St. Louis, Planters Hotel; 300 graduates of 83 colleges attended.

1919 – St. Louis Branch members became members of International Federation of University Women. IFUW organized under leadership of American and British associations.

1921 – The College Club of St. Louis, organized in 1901, merged with the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. National name of ACA changed at this time, so the name of the local branch became “The College Club, St. Louis Branch, American Association of University Women.”

1949 – Membership policy voted at national convention that any woman holding an approved degree from an institution listed by AAUW was entitled to membership in the Association and its branches. Some members of the branch withdrew from the Association at this time and retained the name “The College Club” and the house on Delmar Street owned by the branch by decision of the U. S. Supreme Court.

1956 – Branch name changed officially to “American Association of University Women, St. Louis Branch.”

PAST PRESIDENTS

Members who have served as Missouri State president:

1933-1935  Mrs. Roy Coffey
1941-1943  Mrs. Lillian Stupp
1971-1973  Dr. Margaret Fagin Hartung
1977-1979  Miss Ella M. Bettinger
2014-2016  Diane Burre Ludwig
2016-2018  Janet A. S. Scott

Members who have served as St. Louis Branch president:

Association of Collegiate Alumnae St. Louis Branch:
1907-1911 – Miss Elizabeth Moore

College Club of St. Louis:
1901-1903 – Mrs. George Gellhorn

American Association of University Women, St. Louis Branch:
1920-1922 – Mrs. Roscoe Anderson
1923-1924 – Mrs. Evarts A. Graham
1924-1926 – Mrs. Eugene R. McCarthy
1926-1927 – Mrs. F. Ray Leimkuehler
1936-1938 – Miss Lillian L. Stupp
1938-1940 – Mrs. Homer V. Howes (Vera Obserschelp)
1940-1941 – Mrs. Logan R. Fuller
1941-1942 – Mrs. George C. (Doris Talbot) Hetlage
1942-1943 – Mrs. Arthur Sherwood
1944-1946 – Mrs. Rudolph H. Detjen
1946-1947 – Mrs. Neal J. Campbell
1949-1951 – Mrs. William H. Stead
1951-1953 – Mrs. Albert C. (Theresa Adams) Mayer
1953-1955 – Mrs. Arthur S. (Marion Vose) Gilson
1955-1957 – Mrs. Ralph Bieber
1957-1959 – Mrs. Allen B. (Helen Beryl Sher) Shopmaker
1959-1961 – Mrs. Donald A. Stewart
1961-1963 – Mrs. Paul W. Crow
1963-1965 – Mrs. John F. (Fleta Scott) Hallums
1965-1967 – Miss Helen Margaret Dieterich
1967-1969 – Miss Ella Margaret Bettinger
1969-1971 – Miss Margaret Joyce
1971-1973 – Mrs. Leopold Hofstatter (Theresa Adams Mayer)
1973-1977 – Mrs. Gary F. (Sandra L. Strawn) Graf
1977-1979 – Carol Ann Davis
1979-1981 – Barbara Lee Johnson
1981-1983 – Mrs. Beecher R. (Helen F. Huntoon) Henderson
1983-1985 – Anne Sullivan
1985-1987 – Nadine Ingram See
1987-1991 – Mrs. Frank (Elaine Koumparakis) Moss
1991-1993 – Nancy R. Crowe
1993-1995 – Barbara Lee Johnson
1995-1997 – Barbara Lee Johnson
1997-1999 – Helen Huntoon Henderson
1999-2001 – Kathyrne I. Meyer
2001-2003 – Janet A. S. Scott
2003-2005 – Janet A. S. Scott
2005-2007 – Amy Telthorst Weisser
2007-2009 – Amy Telthorst Weisser
2009-2011 – Diane Burre Ludwig
2012           – Janet A. S. Scott
2012-2013 – Janet A. S. Scott, Carol Davis McDonald
2013-2015 – Janet A. S. Scott, Carol Davis McDonald
2015-2017 – Janet A. S. Scott, Carol Davis McDonald
2017-2019 – Janet A. S. Scott, Carol Davis McDonald
2019-2021 – Ellen Irons