AAUW in Massachusetts: A Short History

In the fall of 1881 a group of women college graduates met in the MIT laboratory of Ellen Swallow Richards, a Vassar graduate who had received from MIT the first bachelor of chemistry degree awarded to a woman in the United States. Early in 1882 the group organized formally as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae.

In 1884 the ACA recognized local “branches.” The Boston Branch, formed in 1886, was the third ACA group to organize as a branch.

The Massachusetts Division (now termed “State”) was formally established on May 10, 1930 by representatives of the following branches: Boston, Connecticut Valley, Fall River, Gardner, Lowell, and Worcester as well as the College Club of New Bedford. Current branches number eleven and are, in order of forming: Boston, Worcester, Taunton Area, Melrose-Wakefield, Bedford-Lexington Area, Cape Cod, Canton, Hingham Area, Merrimack Valley, Newburyport, North Shore Area.

Massachusetts state members have sponsored eight fellowships through the Educational Foundation. The Pamela Lincoln American Diversity Fellowship endowment in honor of a past state president and New England Region Director, and the Sema Faigen International Fellowship, in honor of this past president of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, are completed.