Business and Professional Women's Club of Carbondale, Ill. (1927-2010) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (later known as the Business and Professional Women/USA or BPW/USA) was formed in 1919. The Illinois Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs was charted in the same year. The Business and Professional Women's Club of Carbondale (later renamed the Carbondale Business and Professional Women's Club of Carbondale, Ill.) was organized with forty-five members on May 23, 1927 with the help of the Mount Vernon (Ill.) club. It was affiliated with both the Illinois and national BPW federations. The Illinois federation was divided into districts; the Carbondale club belonged to District XII and then District XVI. In about 2005 the Illinois federation was reorganized into regions, with the Carbondale club in Region V. The Illinois federation, and with it the Carbondale Club, separated from the national organization in 2009. The Carbondale Club disbanded in 2010.
The Carbondale BPW Club was governed by an executive board consisting of president, vice president, treasurer, correspondence secretary, recording secretary, and parliamentarian. The club also had standing committees, which varied through its existence, but usually included a membership committee, an education committee, a program committee and a legislative committee. The club held monthly general membership dinner meetings and, for most of its existence, monthly executive board meetings. General meetings often included entertainment or educational programs. Beside serving as a support group for professional women, the club also undertook various service tasks in the wider community. One of its early undertakings was the restoration and maintainance of Woodlawn Cementery in Carbondale. The club also sponsored scholarships for women attending Southern Illinois University. It put on various entertainments for the community, including plays and fashion shows, which also served as fundraisers. For many years it organized activities for National Business and Professional Women's Week.