AAUW History

Celebrating the 19th Amendment

Our History

Marion Talbot

Those ivory towers were mostly white and male in 1881, when Marion Talbot called together the first generation of alumnae. Seventeen women attended. A year later, they formally created a group to help women establish their new place–at school and at work–in a man’s world. Today AAUW has 170,000 members nationwide.

Did you know that –

  • In 1888 AAUW gave Ida Street $350 to pursue graduate research–possibly the first fellowship of its kind in any country.

    Ida Street

  • In 1920 Marie Curie received $156,413 toward the purchase of a gram of radium.
  • To date the AAUW Fund has helped 7,500 women worldwide achieve their personal goals.
  • Total fellowships, grants, and awards now exceed $3.5 million annually.
  • Awardees include former secretary of U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, anthropologist Margaret Mead, and astronaut Judith Resnick.

Women’s brain overuse causes body to be harmed? (Get real!)

When, in the 1880s, a Harvard doctor claimed higher education jeopardized women’s health, people believed him–until AAUW research proved him wrong. Since then, AAUW Educational Foundation studies on sexual harassment, gender bias in the classroom, girls and computers, women’s transitions through work and school, pay equity, and more have made headlines and sparked change across the country.

[Source: AAUW pamphlet # 329-01]


The following historical lists are available for viewing or printing by following the highlighted links below:

AAUW of Oregon Past State Presidents

State Convention Host Branches

Branch Establishment Dates