Western Organization for Women

History of the Organization

1960s
1967
Western Association of Women Students in existence.
1970s
1971
WOW established by and for faculty women. This was at the same time women faculty members were barred from membership in the faculty wive´s group (now 'University Women') unless the female faculty member both 1) had a husband and 2) he was a faculty member
WIU Committee on the Status of Women established by the president
1972-73
HEW complaints
Salary studies
Feminist Art Contest held
First Affirmative Action Director appointed
First Women´s Studies course developed
Women´s Rap Group created
Publishes bi-monthly newsletter; sponsors Macomb Women´s Conference
Women´s Resource Room created in Sherman 127; Women´s Center proposed
1974
Sponsorship of panels on rape
1975
Panel discussions of Title IX
1976
First WOW recognition awards for women
First Women´s Week programs
Feminist Forum student organization in existence
1977-78
Development of women´s curriculum
Women´s Awareness Society student organization formed
1979
Lois Mills first woman Faculty Lecturer
Sponsorship of women´s photography exhibit
1980s
1980
Job preparation panel for women students
1981
Panels for administrative development
1982
Susan B. Anthony Birthday Celebration with League of Women Voters
1986
Women´s Center established
WC Brown Bag lunches initiated
After 15 years of repeated requests to University Administration, sanitary disposal systems are installed in bathroom stalls across campus
1987
Women´s Studies Program offering an interdisciplinary minor established
1988
First annual Women´s Leadership Conference sponsored by Women´s Center
1990s
1992
Outstanding Alumna Award established
1995
Feminists and Friends (later renamed Feminist Action Alliance) student organization formed

The Women’s Advance (January 1995) takes place while Martha Klems was serving as interim director of the Women's Center. The conference was specifically designated an Advance in contrast to a Retreat. Led by Dr. Brenda Rodriguez, who had facilitated a workshop on race and racism during a Dealing with Difference Institute, it emphasized working together and focused on examining and redefining the purpose of both the Women’s Center and Women’s Studies.

1996
WOW´s 25th Anniversary celebration with "Herstory" Panel and Table Fair
2000s
2001
Women´s Studies Major approved by IBHE
2002
Women´s Center´s 15th Anniversary Celebration and commemoration of WOW´s 30th Anniversary
(Reception during Women´s History Month and at WOW Annual Spring Luncheon)
2005
Women’s Studies becomes a department at WIU.
2007
Administration proposal to take away Westerwinds name from all women's teams (who had better g.p.a.'s and W/L records) to put all marketing money into Leathernecks goes forward amidst protests from such celebrated Westerwinds as Dot Richardson and Kathy Veroni.
2008
The most progressive Family Leave benefit in WIU’s history, which WOW researched, authored, and lobbied for, is enacted.
2010
A joint effort of WOW and UPI leads to the first WIU benefit specifically related to elder-care. This benefit provides paid time off to allow a member of the bargaining unit to spend time with a family member who has received a terminal diagnosis.
2013
Funding allocation for Women's Center Office Support Staff cut by 2/3.

Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative moved to Waggoner hall. Defunded. Staff and students cut. Page & email info given to Center for the Study of Masculinities.

Request made to University Administration to grant Civil Service Employees 12 more days of sick leave to match what faculty and administrators receive. Issue brought up at BOT retreat but rejected for lack of any cases of civil service personnel being negatively affected by current sick leave.

Past Presidents

  • 2013-2014: Deb Allwardt and Meredith Hancks
  • 2012-2013: Caryn Morgan and Meredith Hancks
  • 2011-2012: Erin Taylor and Caryn Morgan
  • 2008-2010: Lora Ebert Wallace & Molly Homer
  • 2007-2008: Bill Thompson & Janna Deitz
  • 2006-2007: Cathy Null & Bill Thompson
  • 2005-2006: Molly Homer & Cathy Null
  • 2004-2005: Lori Baker-Sperry & Miriam Satern
  • 2003-2004: Maurine Magliocco & Lori Baker-Sperry
  • 2002-2003: Cathy Couza
  • 2001-2002: JoAnne Darlington
  • 2000-2001: Aimee Shouse
  • 1999-2000: Ginny Boynton
  • 1997-1999: Karen Harris
  • 1996-1997: Ruth Kelly
  • 1995-1996: Marian Swisher
  • 1994-1995: Phyllis Farley Rippey
  • 1993-1994: Virginia Diehl
  • 1992-1993: Carolyn Collins
  • 1991-1992: Maurine Magliocco
  • 1990-1991: Kathy Orban
  • 1989-1990: Janice Welsch
  • 1988-1989: Martha Klems
  • 1987-1988: Barbara Berg
  • 1986-1987: Mary Leach
  • 1985-1986: Jutta Helm
  • 1984-1985: Janice Welsch
  • 1983-1984: Nazareth Hattwick
  • 1982-1983: Bettye Thompson
  • 1981-1982: Shirley Myers
  • 1980-1981: Charlene Callison & Lynne Ruben
  • 1979-1980: Pat Karman
  • 1978-1979: Jo Ann Hummers
  • 1977-1978: Lois Mills
  • 1976-1977: Elizabeth Chapman
  • 1975-1976: Rosemary Aten
  • 1974-1975: June Frazier
  • 1973-1974: Clara Krug
  • 1972-1973: Karen Mann
  • 1971-1972: Mary Murnik