The American Association of University Women of Falls Church celebrated its 65th anniversary with a gala brunch on Saturday, Nov. 7. At the gala, the members of the Falls Church chapter of the association reminisced about the club’s role in Falls Church over the decades and its history of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research nationally since 1881.
Dr. Cristina Stanciu of Virginia Commonwealth University, who is a recent recipient of a fellowship funded by the Falls Church chapter of the American Association of University Women, joined in the festivities. She spoke to the members about her new book, The Making and Unmaking of American Indians and Immigrants in American Literature and Culture, 1870-1929, and noted the importance of American Association of University Women’s national fellowship program in supporting women’s education.
Storyteller Colleen Pelar rounded out the program. She talked about how her high school mentor nudged her into taking a risk by enrolling in chemistry. Meeting this challenge changed the way Pilar thought about herself and it changed the course of her life.
Known in Falls Church for their annual spring book sale, the Falls Church American Association of University Women has used the proceeds from the book sale for scholarships for women and girls. Members used the occasion of their anniversary celebration to look back on their history of support at the national and local level.
Since 1991, the branch has contributed $68,000 to American Association of University Women’s National Career Development Program and has established a $100,000 endowment that funds American fellowships in the humanities. The branch has also funded 100 scholarships totaling $88,900, which have been awarded to girls in the Falls Church area for their college education.