It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Cindy Hebert, president of AAUW Maine. In 2003, Cindy led the effort to change the the degree requirement. She was back again in 2005, an inspiration to all those working on the campaign. She lost her renewed battle with cancer in February, 2006.
Her passion for equity and her steadfast commitment to the ideals of the Association inspired all those who worked on this campaign. Our memories of Cindy in her blue "because equity is still an issue" T-shirt, covered with the green "AAUW For All Women" buttons will always be the consummate image of how our emotional commitment to change was tempered with a broader message that did succeed in getting us part way to her goal of an open membership.
The AAUW Maine board has not announced any specific fund in Cindy's name. Undesignated contributions to the Association she supported so passionately would be welcome.
Thank you Frieda Schurch
More sad news was the passing of Frieda Schurch in 2008. Frieda's impassioned comment during the 2005 debate on admitting those with associate degrees, changed the tenor of the conversation and paved the way for passing that change to the bylaws. She spoke from her seat, unable to get to the microphone, and her status as a 50-year member added weight to her comments. The summer 2008 LAF Update described her as: "She was a beloved and devoted member and supporter of AAUW, who worked tirelessly to forward the organization’s mission. She was instrumental in the vote that amended AAUW’s bylaws to allow graduates with an associate or equivalent degree to become members. Frieda was honored as a Founding Leader at the 2007 AAUW National Convention, and her legacy will continue on with the Freida Schurch American Fellowship, which provides annual stipends for worthy women scholars. She will be missed by all who knew her."
The new bylaws are online at www.aauw.org/member_center/branches_states/bylaws/index.cfm.
The Association Board approved a Q&A document to clarify the policies surrounding the change. You can find that at www.aauw.org.
Communications efforts have started to explain the change to members and the public. See the press release from AAUW Brevard (NC).
At the 1999 and 2003 Conventions, a bylaws change to the membership requirement of a baccalaureate or higher degree was debated and defeated. Changes to that requirement will come before the convention again in 2005. This site is from the point of view of those who favor change and will be supplying position papers, talking points and other strategies on why some members feel strongly that NOW IS THE TIME to OPEN UP the Association membership to those without baccalaureate degrees.