The American Association of University Women (AAUW), a not-for-profit organization, operates at the national, state, and local levels, with 100,000 members, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university partners nationwide. AAUW was founded in 1881, initially incorporated as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, and then was named AAUW in 1921. Since its early beginnings, AAUW has served as an influential lobbying body furthering gender equity causes.

AAUW's mission, “to advance equity for women and girls though advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research,” captures the organization's overreaching purpose and its historical roots. AAUW's origins can be traced to skepticism common in the 1880s among America's founding colleges regarding women's place in the academy. Women's early 1880s collegiate clubs, working to debunk a myth that higher education harmed women's health, served ...

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