American Association of University Women 

Marion Talbot in 1880

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is one of the oldest women’s organizations in the country. AAUW was founded on Nov. 28, 1881 in Boston, Massachusetts by 17 female college graduates who wanted to open the doors of higher education to all women and girls.

Marion Talbot (left) and Ellen H. Richards orchestrated the first meeting and both of these “founding mothers” went on to accomplish great things — Talbot became Dean of Women at the University of Chicago; and Richards was the first female student and instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the first woman in America to earn a chemistry degree.

For 125 years, AAUW has shaped the social, political, and economic scene for women, including the fight for pay equity; a woman’s right to vote; and legislation that protects women at home, in schools, and in the workplace. AAUW continues to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.