AAUW Sioux Falls Branch
During most of the 19th century, few women completed high school and only daughters of the privileged or well educated had an opportunity for a higher education. In 1881 seventeen women met in Boston, Massachusetts, to discuss forming an association to help other women. By earning a college degree, each had greatly exceeded the educational prospects available for most women of that time. This group formally organized a month later as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA) . Its mission was to band together to encourage other women to pursue the goals of a college education, equity for all women and girls, lifelong education and positive societal change. The first ACA research survey studied the impact of higher education upon the health of women. Contrary to statements made by a prominent Boston physician, the study reached the conclusion that a woman’s health was not adversely effected by attending college. ACA offered to admit branches as local chapters of the parent organization, and South Dakota’s first branch was organized at Huron in 1917. Later the national association’s name was changed
.In 1923 Lorena King Fairbanks invited 11 women to her home for a March 18 organizational meeting. Included was Claire Coulter, wife of the president of Sioux Falls College. Sioux Falls became the third branch in the state, and Lorena was elected its first president. Early action by the new branch included a letter to President Calvin Coolidge endorsing America’s participation in the League of Nations and the World Court. In the 1930’s the branch began a children’s theater project, surveyed recreation facilities available to girls 13 to 25, and hosted local young women who were first-time voters. Some branch meetings were held in nearby Glidden Hall. In the 1950’s one branch survey led to the opening of the Minnehaha Mental Health Center, the first in the state, while a second survey prompted the beginning of the public junior high school system. With support from the branch, the first woman was elected to the Sioux Falls School Board. Over the years the branch has raised more than $200,000 for scholarships for women to attend the University of Sioux Falls and other colleges. Since its modest beginnings in 1881, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. It continues to contribute to a more promising future for women and girls and to promote a powerful voice on their behalf.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Women. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #30 Calvin Coolidge series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1923.
Location. 43° 31.978′ N, 96° 44.303′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on West 22nd Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker is on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls, at the gate from 22nd Street, in front of the Norman B. Mears Library. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 West 22nd Street, Sioux Falls SD 57105, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Old Yankton Trail and Stage Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Drs. Van Demark (approx. 0.3 miles away); From Glory to Glory (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lost Bird (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pillars of the Nation (approx. ¾ mile away); Col. Melvin Grigsby (1845-1917) (approx. ¾ mile away); The Lyon Family Home / William & Winona Lyon (approx. ¾ mile away); Lady Liberty (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 9, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2016, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 337 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 8, 2016, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.