Southern Illinois University Carbondale. University Women's Club | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The University Women's Club consists of Southern Illinois University women faculty and staff, wives of faculty, and daughters of faculty. The Women's Club was officially organized on April 20, 1948. However, the unofficial "Women's Club" began in 1937. Faculty teas were held by the University in an attempt to let everyone become acquainted with each other. Five of the wives, Hulda Dallman, Ellen Davis, Alicia Schneider, Beryl Bowden, and Mildred Gellerman, decided to become closer through their own sewing club. They invited all of the wives to join. In 1940, the five women who founded the sewing club decided to separate from the new members. The original five women were still a sewing club and the newer members were called the "Newcomers Club". In 1941, Mrs. Pulliam called a new meeting to have others vote for a faculty wives' club but the war inhibited the growth of the club. The sewing club and Newcomers club still met during the war and helped to keep the group together until the faculty addressed the need for a women's club after the war.
The Women's Club began when letters were sent out encouraging women to join. The official by-laws for the group were written and the purpose was that "This shall be a social organization the purpose of which shall be to afford its members an opportunity to broaden their acquaintance, to further friendship and to serve the University in any way the group may deem advisable". The group decided to sponsor an event with the University and name it "Women's Day". The event was a huge success for the club and was continued until 1962. As the group grew, it was decided that the Newcomers Club would become a subsidary organization inside of the Women's Club. The Vice President of the Women's Club would ultimately serve as the head of the Newcomers.
Throughout the years, the Women's Club has grown significantly. Interest groups were formed to serve all the different women in the group. A scholarship fund was set up and is still awarded to this day. The group also continues to sponsor annual teas and coffees, luncheons, and trips to various locations. Several events, such as the Chinese New Year Luncheon, are meant to bring culture to the group in fun and exciting ways.