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Gateway to Women's History

The American Association of University Women advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Roughly 2,000 women and men belong to AAUW branches throughout Texas.

A Brief History of AAUW Texas

The Texas Division of the AAUW was organized at Dallas Texas, October 1926, with ten charter branches and fewer than six hundred members. The original branches were Amarillo, Austin, Commerce, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Georgetown, Lubbock, San Antonio and Waco. The San Antonio and Fort Worth branches belonged to the Southern Association of College Women before 1921. At its peak, AAUW Texas had over one hundred branches within the state and a combined membership of almost nine thousand.

AAUW Texas has a rich history of community, state, and international involvement. Successful community projects have marked the history of AAUW Texas branches. These include support for cultural activities, monitoring the use of local and state tax revenues, environmental issues and improvement of school systems. Since the 1992 AAUW Texas branches have concentrated on activities, which address the Initiative for Educational Equity, including Math/Science Conferences, Educational Equity Roundtables, Sister-to-Sister Conferences and programs to assist nontraditional students.

Individual members have received Educational Foundation fellowships and grants that provided financial assistance for publication of children’s books, history projects, competition of higher degrees, and change of careers. AAUW Texas members have been individually and collectively involved in activities that have improved their communities and enhanced the status of women.

AAUW Texas has played an active part in the Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) since its inception in 1983. Former AAUW Texas President Sylvia Newman was the second President of LAF. Several cases involving Texas universities have been supported by the Fund. Texas Women’s University and Plano Collin County Community College have received Progress in Equity Awards for their efforts to advance equity on their campuses.

AAUW Texas has historically supported those legislative issues, which critically impact the women and children of the state. Major thrusts have included: support of the Texas Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), support of specific acts which positively affect the status of women, endorsement of legislation aimed at improving the status of Texas schools and support of public policy which expands appreciation of the arts. AAUW Texas is a sponsor of Women’s Legislative Days. Recently, AAUW has worked in coalition with other groups, including the Texas Freedom Network, Coalition for Public Schools and the Texas Women’s Coalition.

The archives for AAUW Texas are located in the Texas Woman’s University Library. In 1951, TWU generously provided space and personnel to provide a permanent home for the State historical materials.

The history of the Texas Division, as well as the histories of the other four states in the Southwest Central Region, has been compiled in two publications. The first was published I 1966, and the second I 1976 in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Southwest Central Region. Currently AAUW Texas has an on-going project to update the history of the state organization.

Updated June 2004 by Patricia Ross

Based on a brief history by Lynnette Solomon published in 1992 Handbook


Featured Items
Florene Miller Watson at a AAUW meeting, March 19, 2001
American Association of University Women Archives, 1881-1976
Vivian Seidle and Thelma Swindell of the Texas AAUW Arlington Branch, Feb., 2008
Fort Worth Branch AAUW records, 1914-
Papers of Edna Ingels Fritz, first president of the Denton Branch of the AAUW
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