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Madison club highlights Women’s History Month

February 28, 2017

March is Women’s History Month, a time for “commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.”

To localize that celebration, the Madison branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is creating a series of slides to celebrate Dakota State University’s historic women. One will be posted every weekday in March, with the exception of spring break week March 6-10.

This idea was the brain child of AAUW member Deana Hueners-Nelson, who suggested the project at a recent meeting. She is an English instructor at DSU. 

“AAUW’s mission is to empower women,” Hueners-Nelson said, “and a significant part of reaching that mission is education. DSU has played a significant role in educating and empowering women since 1881. I wanted to honor those women’s accomplishments and remind others how much women have contributed to our university and community.”

The club members voted unanimously to take on the project.

“Women have played an integral role in the history and success of DSU,” said club president Colleen Ryan. “During Women's History Month the Madison AAUW branch wants to bring attention to these women who are the backbone of DSU, but too often overlooked.”

Because others have felt that women’s history has often been overlooked, observances have expanded over the last century. In 1909, a women’s day was celebrated in New York, according to a Time magazine article published in 2016. By 1980, the celebration had grown to a week, and then it expanded to a month-long observance, officially established by Congress in 1987. There are also international observances.

For this month of 2017, AAUW will be sharing their slides about DSU women on a public Facebook page, @madisonaauw, and on digital display boards around campus. They will also be shared on the DSU Facebook page, @DakotaStateUniversity.

Some of the women who will be featured include June Emry, Ruth Habeger, Cecelia Wittmayer, and Kari Forbes-Boyte.