AAUW Tucson Has Over 100 Years of Scholarship Giving
To Our Local Scholarship Funds and National AAUW Funds!
It was 1909 when the Collegiate Club of Tucson, AZ, was organized by a small group of women college graduates. One of them was Clara Fish Roberts, the first person to have registered at the new University of Arizona (U of A) in September 1891. From the beginning the purposes of the club were “to foster college spirit in the community and to promote the friendly intercourse of its members”.
In that spirit the education of women was always uppermost as a continuing goal of the Collegiate Club, and in 1913 a scholarship of $50.00 was established to support university women students to secure their education. In 1917 the Collegiate Club supported a University of Arizona women student as well as giving a male engineering student a Wartime Scholarship of $150.00. The club funded $100.00 scholarships after that and by 1919 the collegiate club had supported 13 scholarships totaling $1,100.00 – a grand accomplishment for that time!
The Collegiate Club was chartered as the Arizona Tucson Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in 1931. From this point on scholarship was a major focus. In 1945 the branch was active raising funds for the new Indian Scholarship as well as continuing to support U of A students. In 1946 funds were contributed to the AAUW international fund for women students to study abroad. Tucson Branch also established endowed AAUW Funds Research and Projects Grants at the National level. In 1966 Fellowships were given to women students at the U of A. Scholarships awarded to University of Arizona students were discontinued in 1976, after having been given for more than 60 years. The Indian Scholarships continued under the more appropriate name The Native American Scholarships. The Native American Scholarship was re-evaluated and the branch voted to continue encouraging Native American high school students to finish high school in Tucson Unified School District. The Branch expanded scholarships to Pima Community College students sponsoring the Virginia Palmer Memorial Scholarship.
In the past 20 years the branch has received very generous donations from four of its past members as part of their estate planning. Louise Hoppy bequeathed money to fund an endowment for the Native American Legacy Scholarship, Lois Sand Mitsch’s donation was used to established an AAUW Funds Research and Projects Grant, Sue Banfield’s donation added funding to the Virginia Palmer Memorial Scholarship, and Esther Scher’s estate funded an AAUW Funds Research and Projects Grant and an endowed scholarship at the University of Arizona College of Education.
For more than a century, members of the Tucson Branch of AAUW have supported the furthering of education for women. The sources of support have changed through the years but not the firm commitment to contribute successfully to enlarging the ever widening types of careers and the pool of educated women!
Currently we no longer are the directors of our scholarships and have chosen Tucson Unified School District’s Educational Foundation to manage the Native American Legacy Scholarship, Pima Community College Foundation to manage the Virginia Palmer Memorial Scholarship, and the University of Arizona Foundation/ College of Education to manage the Esther Scher Teaching Fellows Scholarship.
The AAUW Research and Projects Grants are all fully funded and managed through AAUW Funds along with several other national funds that can be contributed to at our annual AAUW Funds Fundraiser. Continued donations to any of the local endowed scholarships can be made through the branch or the appropriate foundations.