While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Betty Anderson
American Association of University Women Logo. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Jessie Daniel Ames
Portrait of Jessie Daniel Ames. Courtesy of Women in Texas History. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN. The Texas branch of the American Association of University Women, a network of women and men who have a bachelor's or higher degree, was formed in Dallas in October 1926. The national organization of AAUW was organized in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1881 to open graduate education to women. Ten local community groups had formed before the state organized in 1926 with Jessie Daniel Ames as its first president. Assisted by national committees and a national headquarters staff of professionally trained educators, committees of the Texas division worked with local branches in the state in a program for practical educational work. Early goals included improvement of rural schools and extension of the Sheppard-Towns Act. The founders believed that education was the key to achieving equity for women of all ages, races, creeds, and nationalities.

AAUW March
AAUW March on Washington, D.C. in support of the ERA, or Equal Rights Amendment, 1971. Courtesy of the American Association of University Women. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

In 1994 Texas had 5,000 members in seventy branches. AAUW has examined the fundamental issues of the times-educational, social, economic, and political-and has taken action, often far ahead of popular opinion. The association spoke out early for racial integration and against McCarthyism, supported Margaret Sanger and Roe v. Wade, and lobbied to remedy injustices from child labor to modern pay inequities. Its vision is equity and education for women and girls. In 1991, AAUW launched the Initiative for Educational Equity, a long-term, comprehensive effort to eliminate systematic gender bias in American schools and set the stage for concrete solutions; and Hostile Hallways: The AAUW Survey on Sexual Harassment in America's Schools, the first scientific national survey on sexual harassment in American public schools.

AAUW Members
AAUW members watch as President Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act, 1963. Courtesy of the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

AAUW turns credible research into grassroots action to make tomorrow's classrooms more equitable by organizing community meetings, mentoring girls, conducting math-science institutes, and working with educators to develop new approaches. The philanthropic arm of AAUW is its Educational Foundation, which was formed in 1886. AAUW members raise millions of dollars each year to support the foundation. In 1993, $2.75 million was awarded to women through national and international fellowships, grants, and awards. The foundation has helped more than 6,000 women reach their personal and professional goals. Named endowments for Texans include those for Ida Green, Jessie Daniel Ames, and Charlotte Wyatt. AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund was formed in 1981 to provide funding and a support system for women seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination in higher education. LAF helps students, faculty, and administrators challenge discriminatory practices involving sexual harassment, denial of tenure or promotion, and aid for women's athletics programs. The AAUW's international connection is the International Federation of University Women, which provides a worldwide forum where university women from fifty-nine nations interact on international issues. The federation is committed to improve the status of women and girls.


AAUW Journal, January 1911. AAUW Outlook, January-February 1989. American Association of University Women, Bulletin of the Texas Division, May 1930, September 1936.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Betty Anderson, "AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN," accessed July 13, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kaa01.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on August 7, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...