Friday, May 13, 2011

Fergus Falls AAUW--50 years strong!

The 1961 charter dinner
of the Fergus Falls AAUW
In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the U.S.’s 35th president. The Berlin Wall was constructed, the Peace Corps was established and New York Yankee Roger Maris from Fargo, ND, hit his 61st home run of the season, breaking Babe Ruth’s record. In Fergus Falls, a new AMC Rambler cost $1,846. The Fergus Theatre showed such movies as “101 Dalmations” and “West Side Story.” And the Fergus Falls branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was formed.

The branch’s first president, Lois Fankhanel, presided over 21 charter members. There were no less than 13 standing committees for such topics as the arts, education, international relations, social and economic issues, and the status of women.

Along with the monthly meetings, the Fergus Falls branch held a spring tea for senior girls from Hillcrest, Fergus Falls High School and the junior college, now M-State. In 1963, the first home tour was held, co-sponsored by the Fergus Falls AAUW and Shover Nursery School Mothers. Proceeds of the tour helped finance the educational projects of the two groups.

Fifty years’ later, the biannual Tour of Homes is still one of the Fergus Falls AAUW’s most popular fundraisers, along with the annual book sale. Proceeds help fund the branch’s scholarship and educational programs. This past year the branch hosted its first “Science Girl Saturday,” an event for fourth and fifth grade girls to experience firsthand what STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers are like.

On Monday, May 16, the Fergus Falls AAUW will celebrate its golden anniversary with a member dinner at the Bigwood Event Center, followed by a keynote by Margaret Anderson Kelliher at 7:30 p.m. Her talk, “Women and the Future of Minnesota’s Workforce: STEMming the Tide” is free and open to the public.


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations and best wishes for the next 50 years!

    Peggy Woods-Clark
    AAUW Website Manager