About US

American Association of University Women, Arlington Branch

1952 to 2016


The Fifties

Branch presidents:  Marjorie Andrasko, Mary Lou Goldner, LaFon Thompson, Lillie Couch

In 1952, Arlington (Arl) Branch founded w/ 22 charter members. Began observer corps for City Recreational Board meetings & a study/action group to create Arl Teen Center to prevent delinquency. Supported state legislators to raise teacher pay & to allow women to serve as jurors. Two $75 scholarships given to graduates of Arl State College (later the University of Texas at Arlington – UTA). With new Supreme Court ruling, had branch program on Integration in Our Community & How It Can Be Achieved. Sent cases of beef, books & clothing to Arl’s sister city, Koenigshaun, Germany, Supported payment of poll taxes. First $500 Named Gift given to the Educational Foundation (EF) in honor of M. L. Goldner. Made 1st payment toward assessment of $420 for purchase of AAUW Hdqtrs bldg. in Washington DC. (Assessment was paid in full in ’61.) Donated 52 books to Arl Public Library. Local scholarships discontinued w/ larger contributions made to EF instead. Status of Women committee presented skit in costume examining a Century of Legislative Programs for Women in the USA.

The Sixties

Branch presidents: Margaret Lee Wiley, Lila Houston, Mary Swisher Smith, Delma Haywood, Grace Baugh

Supported City Council expansion of library system by sponsoring essay contest to junior & senior high schools. Participated in AAUW –TX survey resulting in book, Texas Project Re-Entry. Copies placed in local libraries. Conducted survey examining needs for day care. Using AAUW data, several organizations created Arl Day Care Center. Calendars & fruitcakes sales raised funds for EF. Tables & chairs donated to Arl Boys Club. Sponsored Jr. Great Books program to encourage reading at Jr. High level. Members donated to Coretta Scott King Fund. First evening literature study group established.


The Seventies

Branch presidents:  Gwen Wheeler, June Lucas, Barbara Gaugl, Carolyn Chapman, Ann Smith

Named one of three outstanding community service organizations in city by Arl Citizen Journal. In 1973, joined the national program, Reading Is FUNdamental (RIF) after study/action group, Crisis in Public Education, chaired by Sheri Schember Quick and Kappie Sattler. In 2005, we became oldest, continuous RIF groups in the Texas & one of the oldest in U.S.


Supported AAUW -TX Legislative study of solid waste problem. After study led by Katherine Martin, 3 other local organizations joined branch efforts in establishing Arl Volunteer Center to coordinate needs & volunteers for 60 non-profit groups. Branch observer corps attended city council, school board, and planning & zoning mtgs. Texana & Americana books given to public library in memory of past president, G. Wheeler. Co-sponsored Candidates Forum w/ League of Women Voters. Worked w/ UTA’s Department of Women’s Studies to present Women’s Fair and seminars on assertiveness, legalities & job readiness.


Branch banner for International Year of the Child (IYC), created by Judy Anderson, went to the Smithsonian Institution after display at AAUW -TX Amarillo Convention & IYC Conference in Ft. Worth. A study/action group lead by Mary Ann Hargrove & K. Sattler sparked establishment of Gifted & Talented Institute in Ft. Worth & the Gifted & Talented Program in Arl public schools. J. Lucas organized North Texas Interbranch Council (NTIBC). Frances Woods, International Fellow from Australia, became branch friend.


The Eighties

Branch Presidents:  Eleanor Ford, Vivian Seidle, Sharon Noyce, Diane Feldman, Monica White

Branch celebrated 30th birthday w/ luncheon & group photo. First Career Guidance Fair held March ’87, w/ Elaine Herring, chair. Creative Writing group, led by Jane Bates, had articles published in the Citizen Journal. Texana gift wrap designed by Cynthia Griffin was a new idea for EF $. All sold at National Convention-Houston. Public Policy committee w/ Joan Haan, chair, founded City of Arlington Recycling Coalition. Held workshop, Beyond Atari: The Home Computer. Started new study group, Investing by Degrees. Nettie Ma, International Fellow from China, became branch’s friend. M. White helped Nettie research, purchase, and transport a harp from Austin to Denton. Everyone enjoyed her music.


Held 1st Book Fair (BFair) Nov. 1983 at the TX National Guard Armory. Idea impetus from Book Collectors Study Group. By 2003, BFair netted over $209,000 distributed to EF ($97,000), RIF ($53,000), and local organizations and projects ($59,000). Collectors’ Corner catalog of better books began as a single page & grew to 18 pages by time Ann Bastable, 1st editor, relocated.


The Nineties

Branch Presidents:  Marsha Abeson, Deborah Gunn, Sheri Quick, Elaine Herring, Barbara Prabhu, Sher Dunaway, Barbara Duehn

Bylaw revision struck 2-year presidency and inserted 1-year presidency w/ addition of 1-year pres-elect. BFair chair elevated to vice president w/ Nancy Bennett as the 1st and Ann Brooks as the 2nd. Career Guidance Fair evolved into Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) in Science & Math, M. Abeson, chair. In 1997, EYH attended by 320 teenage girls w/ 50 adult leaders.


Held 2-day retreat for branch. Arl Indep.School District provided workroom for RIF. Co-sponsored 1st Sister-to-Sister summit in TX w/ Arl Youth Services. 17 members ushered at 10th annual Van Cliburn Internatl. Piano Competition. Student-affiliate branch established at UTA. BF workroom moved to Arl Charities building. Branch underwent & overcame serious controversy over membership in Tarrant County Choice Network. Sponsored Ed. Equity Roundtable w/ Jacque Lambiase & M. Abeson, co-chairs. Internet Liaison, Gwen Mataisz, created branch website updating it monthly & linking it to AAUW-TX & National Association websites. Auctions led by Edith Gavey provided funds for branch operations. $600 was raised by the 3rd sale & members enjoyed bidding on the castoffs of their friends. 45th anniversary celebrated w/ 20-minute video about the history of the branch. General meetings included speakers Dora Dougherty, World War II original Fly-Girl, and Etta Hulme, syndicated editorial cartoonist who demonstrated her skill by sketching & distributing signed copies of her art. Branch membership grew 16.4% from 128 to 149.


A New Century & AAUW – Arlington Branch Marches On

Branch Presidents:  Eleanor Ford, Mickey Legg, Kay Armstrong & Barbara Price (co-presidents), Peggy Brandt Brown, Ann Brooks, Susan Miller, Mary Ann Huslig & Sheri Quick (co-presidents)

Ford serves for 2nd term (1st 1980-82). Lost TX National Guard Armory as a BFair sale site after 9/11/01 terrorist attacks & relocated BFair to church across the street. Began using table sponsors for various BFair categories. Pamphlet edited by B. Prabhu recording 50 years of branch history distributed to all at 50th anniversary celebration. Experimented w/ co-presidents for 1st time in 2003-2005. Member Beth Wright appointed Dean of College of Liberal Arts, UTA. Installed long time branch member, P. Brandt Brown, as branch president days after successful defense of her Ph.D. dissertation.  Ann Brooks and Susan Miller each served 2 terms.


AAUW – Arlington by the Numbers


  • 2 $35,000 Research & Project Grants completed (one in the name of the branch & the other in honor of charter member, Mary Swisher Smith) for a total of $70,000.
  • 96 Named Gift honorees.
  • 4 proclamations by mayors of Arlington recognizing AAUW – Arlington.
  • 2 sisters, Dr. Autrey Nell Wiley (AAUW Fellow) & Dr. Margaret Lee Wiley (AAUW-TX Pres.), were roommates & branch members in their retirement until their deaths.
  • 9 AAUW-TX presidents were Travel Visitors (Pace, Pool, Solomon, Church, Johnson, Ramirez, Schmelzle, Cushman, and Newman).
  • 3 members in non-traditional jobs for the new century presented branch program in 2004 (Brenda Tindel, Kay Hawkins, & Julie Amendola).
  • 4,700+ new RIF books distributed to 3rd graders in Arlington Chapter One schools in ’98 & 5,200 free books at 14 schools in ’99. Thousands of new books have been distributed in the branch’s 32 years of involvement with RIF.
  • 4 long time leaders of RIF (K. Sattler, S. Quick, Betty Jeanne Pettit & Janice Preiss).
  • 2 AAUW -TX Outstanding Women of the Year (M. Swisher Smith & K. Martin).
  • 3 Project Renew recipients (Barb von der Heydt, Susan Mariani, & Suzanne Sweek).
  • 2 National grants (Special Project Grant in ’84 & Community Action Grant in ’91).
  • 3 members served on AAUW-TX board (C. Chapman, D. Feldman, & V. Seidle).
  • 23 Arlington Branch Outstanding Persons of the Year (since 1982) including local women, 2 men, & the following members: Thelma Swindell, Ann Hamilton, Kay Taebel, Diana Smith, D. Feldman, M. Abeson, Charlene Duffie, Barbara Medford & Nancy Stankosky.
  • 2 delegates to IFUW Conferences (Josephine Parker,’52, & Joan McCrea, ‘70’s).
  • 1 delegate to AAUW – UN Conference in NYC (Mary Porter, ‘70’s).
  • 2 published authors (Mary Penson & Nancy Madison).
  • 1 professional fine artist (Alice Jackson).
  • 36 women students at UTA received branch scholarships under guidance by Kathryn Head, long term College/University Representative.
  • 2 literature groups that have been reading & meeting & sharing for years.
  • 1 new interest group started in 2004 (Women’s Biographies, B. Prabhu, chair).
  • 23rd BFair catalog of better books printed in 2005.
  • 3 editors of BFair catalog (A. Bastable, B. Medford & N. Bennett).
  • 7 dedicated BFair catalog researchers (Gail Curry, Beverly Elbert, D. Feldman, Connie Nolen, Ellen Pacilio, Sharon Schoech, V. Seidle, & N. Stankosky).
  • Lots of leadership from other members: Lorraine Levine (Legislation), Linda Pempsell & Beverly Fogelman (Women’s Issues), Gyde Martin (Literature I & II.) Margret Clark, June Sexton, Loretta Sisson, & Elizabeth Baker (BFair) and sorry for any omissions.
  • Numerous voting delegates to both state & national conferences throughout branch’s history. Many also attended Legislative Days in Austin.








Prepared 2005 by Vivian Seidle, Branch Historian, and P. Brandt Brown