What is AAUW? The American Association of University Women has sought to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research since its inception in 1882. One organizer was the first woman admitted to MIT and another was the first to major in Chemistry in the United States. Four years after the founding of AAUW the organization published research refuting the prevalent medical opinion of the day that higher education was deleterious to the health of women. When Congress voted to support Madame Curie’s research with a $50,000 award, AAUW members raised over $156,000. The second largest organization for women in the USA, AAUW is the source of more funding for women’s post graduate education than any organization in the world.
The AAUW branch of Fort Myers/Lee County, an affiliate of the national AAUW, has been meeting continuously since 1961 (See History). Our branch includes members from all parts of Lee County including Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Pine Island. We welcome new members with associate, undergraduate or graduate degrees from accredited academic institutions. We also offer a Friends membership to persons who have not earned a degree but support the mission and purpose of AAUW. Many of our members work with other AAUW women at the state and national levels.
Membership in our branch affords us an opportunity to network with community leaders and women of varied backgrounds. Nine monthly meetings are held annually and feature educational programs addressing issues of interest to the members (see Meetings). In order to raise funds for our scholarship account, members support several fundraisers (see Special Events).
This is what we do
The AAUW Fort Myers/Lee County (FL) Branch, Inc. has been making a difference in our community for more than 50 years. Since 2000 we have established Endowed Scholarships at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Florida Southwestern State College and the AAUW/Sue Gottcent Scholarship through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. Additionally, we have awarded scholarships to graduating high school seniors and to eligible technical school students; provided annual support local and state STEM initiatives; and donated to PACE, the Human Trafficking Awareness Fund, Odyssey of the Mind, the National Association of Women in Construction Building Blocks program at Tice Elementary School (see Scholarships).