York Branch AAUW History

The York Branch of American Association of University Women was chartered in 1972. With the help of Mary Purcell, vice president of Pennsylvania State AAUW, Marilyn (Witmer) Jennerjohn organized the new branch. In an article in the York newspapers, she invited York area women with a baccalaureate degree or higher to become charter members of the York Branch. Twenty-nine women responded and elected Martha Gorman the first president. Initially, the group met at the York Country Day School. Subsequent meeting places included Buechel Lounge of York College, Luther Memorial Church, and the York Art Association. Currently meetings are held at York Alliance Church on Rathton Road.

AAUW’s Mission has guided its members through a variety of successful projects, programs and events. In 1984, a small group of women researched and wrote about women leaders in York, which culminated in the publication of Legacies: Remembrances of York County Women. One program resulted in the beginnings of “Community Education” in schools throughout York County. Other accomplishments include:

  • Hosting the 1988 PA State Convention at York College and the 2001 PA Convention at the Heritage Hills Hotel (Resort)
  • Voter’s Guide (2000-2006) published in the York Daily Record
  • Write-Read-Write program where members gift 3rd grade pen pals with books
  • “Read Across America,” a day when members read to the children in local schools.

Community Links programs have included Crispus Attucks Association and Access York. Undergraduate and Graduate scholarship money was earned and awarded to local students.

Successful fundraisers:

  • Wine Tasting Auctions
  • Publication of two cookbooks
    (A.A.U.W. Cookbook and All in a Basket)
  • Spring Market Faire Kitchen Tour since 1981
  • Holiday House Tour
  • House and Garden Tour
  • Trunks to Treasures
  • Pecan Sales
  • Member Book Sales

Interest groups play a role in promoting a strong active membership. Over the years they have included:

  • Great Decisions (International Relations)
  • Evening Gourmet
  • Lunchtime Gourmet
  • Potpourri
  • Cultural Interests
  • Femmes De Jour
  • Mothers of Young Children
  • Recent Grads
  • Book Discussion Groups
  • Philosophers Group
  • Investors Group
  • Bridge
  • Game Night
  • Walking Group
  • Lunch-A- Month