Our History

  • 2010—Digitize and Diversify is the focus: our goal is to attract a diverse membership and collaborate with other organizations to create a more equitable world.
  • Every year, we hold a fundraiser to raise money for AAUW national organization’s fund which provides 3-4 million dollars in annual scholarships that are given to women worldwide. Speakers have included Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Margaret Maron, and Nancy MacClean.
  • 2017, we supported Women x Worth, in their second year of providing help to and encouraging women of color on the UNC-CH campus.
  • 2016, we supported Women of Worth, a project designed to offer encouragement and support to women of color who are pursuing higher education at UNC-CH. Our grant, together with a grant from AAUW NC and others provided a copy of Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes to every participant.
  • 2015, we supported Project Dinah, a multi-part effort aimed at preventing interpersonal violence and educating the campus community about interpersonal violence including Alliance Against Violence and a benefit concert for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
  • 2013 & 2014 –sponsored NCCU’s Elect Her—a workshop to help collegiate women campaign for campus leadership positions
  • 1990’s & 2000’s—Education Equity in the Schools is the Focus: began an Emerging Leaders Internship Program for Student Affiliates
  • Branch President Doris Bernlohr presents an honorary AAUW membership to the first female president of the UNC system.
  • For 3 years sponsored SPARC STEM programs for girls in the Durham and Chatham County Schools.
  • 1980’s—Networking Decade: Formed Chapel Hill Council of Women’s Organizations, sponsored with 18 other organizations the Women’s Leader’s Conference on Common Security-Building Structures for Peace
  • The 1970’s—Health Issues were at the forefront and our chapter worked with the UNC School of Public Health in various areas to improve the health of women in our state.
  • 1978, celebrated the 400th anniversary of the first woman to earn a PhD—Elena Lucrezia Comaro Piscipio at the University of Padua
  • Brochures were designed and distributed to foreign students on campus to assist their transition to the United States.
  • Member Mary Scroggs served 16 years on the CH-Carrboro Board of Education. A local elementary school is named after her. Mary Scroggs was a leader in establishing the AAUW Juvenile Literature Award which has been administered by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association for more than 60 years. 
  • The 1950’s—was dubbed the Education Decade & the 1960’s –The Arts Decade
  • Provided Art Kits for both schools and public libraries
  • Began a Creative Writing Competition Project in the high schools
  • Gave equipment and financial assistance to the Chapel Hill Public Library.
  • Helped to start the Chapel Hill Children’s Library
  • 1940’s—The War Effort
  • WWII—sent school supplies to Korea, clothing to Poland, books and magazines to Belgium.
  • 1920’s and 1930’s—Advocating for Women’s Higher Education at UNC-CH
  • In 1928, the seeds of the Schwenning Scholarship were sown. Entirely supported by the Chapel Hill Branch, it has grown from being a loan of $100 per year (the student was given 2 years after finishing her studies at UNC-CH to repay the loan at the rate of 4% per annum) to a scholarship of $1,500. The scholarship is for a female graduate student at UNC-CH and is administered by the UNC Financial Aid. Office. In 1950, it was renamed the Carrie Heath Schwenning Award after the sudden death of a member.
  • This action reinforces the dedicated support of women’s education at UNC-CH
  • The first task was to provide a physical education instructor for the women students and ask an architect to design a room for physical exercise in the basement of the new Woman’s Building.
  • March 15, 1923 –Mrs. Harry Woodburn Chase invites 16 women to discuss forming a chapter of AAUW.
  • The 16 women elect Miss Louise Venable, later wife of UNC Botany professor, W.C. Coker