When Did the AAUW Bennington Branch Award Its First Scholarships?

by  Gudrun Hutchins

When did our branch start to support female college students graduating from local high schools?

Early Bennington Branch Records were burned in a house fire. However, the following information was reported to the President of AAUW of Vermont according to the AAUW Archives stored at the University of Vermont:

“In 1929 the first Bennington Branch Scholarship of $50 was awarded to a graduating senior girl. To collect this sum, the branch assessed each member $1 and took $25 from the branch treasury.”

This was three years after the founding of the Bennington Branch in 1926 with the mandatory 12 graduates from approved colleges. From the $1 assessment of each member to make up the $25 needed from members, one would estimate that three years after its founding the branch had 25 members.

Also reported to the State President:

“ In each year from 1931 to 1937, two AAUW scholarships for $100 each were awarded, one for a girl graduating from each area high school.” Additional information explains that these scholarships were awarded at the graduation ceremony by the president of the Bennington Branch.

What an impressive legacy! We do not know how the branch raised the $200 in the 1930’s. However, $100 was a substantial scholarship and was equivalent to approximately $2,000 in today’s money.


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