Branch History

Ithaca Branch Historical Highlights

May 16, 1918 – 25 women meet at Ithaca High School to form the Ithaca Branch. Founding mothers include Juanita Bates, who became the first New York State AAUW president, and Gertrude Martin, executive secretary of AAUW, which began in Boston in 1881.

1924 – One of the first co-operative nursery schools in the country, the East Ithaca Pre-School, was formed by the Ithaca Branch and mothers in the Bryant Tract area.

1949 – Great Books study groups organized for the community.

1959 – Fellowship dinners for international graduate women students inaugurated.

1967 – Study group on population leads to establishment of Ithaca Planned Parenthood.

1973-77 – The Continuing Education study group works to expand educational opportunities for women and persuades Cornell to open courses to extra-mural students.

1980 – Ithaca Branch supports the Cornell 11 and persuades national AAUW to establish the Legal Advocacy Fund to provide legal assistance for faculty women denied equal employment opportunities.

1993 – Workshops on gender bias show educators how schools often shortchange girls and what can be done about it.

1998 – Ithaca Branch joins the Tompkins Girls Hockey Association to lobby for girls hockey teams in the Empire State Games and New York public high schools.

2000 – Ithaca Branch co-sponsors a Sister-2-Sister event with a coalition of community groups to help middle school girls address issues vital to them.

2002 – First Transitions Workshop for women returning to school; Sister 2 Sister events in Ithaca & Lansing

2003 – Author’s luncheon series begins

2001-11 – Annual Sister 2 Sister events continue