Western Organization for Women

History of the Organization

Western Association of Women Students in existence.
WOW established by and for faculty women. This was at the same time women faculty members were barred from membership in the faculty wive´s group (now 'University Women') unless the female faculty member both 1) had a husband and 2) he was a faculty member
WIU Committee on the Status of Women established by the president
HEW complaints
Salary studies
Feminist Art Contest held
First Affirmative Action Director appointed
First Women´s Studies course developed
Women´s Rap Group created
Publishes bi-monthly newsletter; sponsors Macomb Women´s Conference
Women´s Resource Room created in Sherman 127; Women´s Center proposed
Sponsorship of panels on rape
Panel discussions of Title IX
First WOW recognition awards for women
First Women´s Week programs
Feminist Forum student organization in existence
Development of women´s curriculum
Women´s Awareness Society student organization formed
Lois Mills first woman Faculty Lecturer
Sponsorship of women´s photography exhibit
Job preparation panel for women students
Panels for administrative development
Susan B. Anthony Birthday Celebration with League of Women Voters
Women´s Center established
WC Brown Bag lunches initiated
After 15 years of repeated requests to University Administration, sanitary disposal systems are installed in bathroom stalls across campus
Women´s Studies Program offering an interdisciplinary minor established
First annual Women´s Leadership Conference sponsored by Women´s Center
Outstanding Alumna Award established
Feminists and Friends (later renamed Feminist Action Alliance) student organization formed

The Women’s Advance (January 1995) takes place while Martha Klems was serving as interim director of the Women's Center. The conference was specifically designated an Advance in contrast to a Retreat. Led by Dr. Brenda Rodriguez, who had facilitated a workshop on race and racism during a Dealing with Difference Institute, it emphasized working together and focused on examining and redefining the purpose of both the Women’s Center and Women’s Studies.

WOW´s 25th Anniversary celebration with "Herstory" Panel and Table Fair
Women´s Studies Major approved by IBHE
Women´s Center´s 15th Anniversary Celebration and commemoration of WOW´s 30th Anniversary
(Reception during Women´s History Month and at WOW Annual Spring Luncheon)
Women’s Studies becomes a department at WIU.
Administration proposal to take away Westerwinds name from all women's teams (who had better g.p.a.'s and W/L records) to put all marketing money into Leathernecks goes forward amidst protests from such celebrated Westerwinds as Dot Richardson and Kathy Veroni.
The most progressive Family Leave benefit in WIU’s history, which WOW researched, authored, and lobbied for, is enacted.
A joint effort of WOW and UPI leads to the first WIU benefit specifically related to elder-care. This benefit provides paid time off to allow a member of the bargaining unit to spend time with a family member who has received a terminal diagnosis.

Request made to University Administration to grant Civil Service Employees 12 more days of sick leave to match what faculty and administrators receive. Issue brought up at BOT retreat but rejected for lack of any cases of civil service personnel being negatively affected by current sick leave.

Past Presidents

  • 2016-2017: Lora Ebert Wallace & Erin Taylor
  • 2014-2015: Heather McMeekan & Holly Stovall
  • 2013-2014: Deb Allwardt & Meredith Hancks
  • 2012-2013: Caryn Morgan & Meredith Hancks
  • 2011-2012: Erin Taylor & Caryn Morgan
  • 2010-2011: Erin Taylor & Krista Bowers Sharpe
  • 2008-2010: Lora Ebert Wallace & Molly Homer
  • 2007-2008: Bill Thompson & Janna Deitz
  • 2006-2007: Cathy Null & Bill Thompson
  • 2005-2006: Molly Homer & Cathy Null
  • 2004-2005: Lori Baker-Sperry & Miriam Satern
  • 2003-2004: Maurine Magliocco & Lori Baker-Sperry
  • 2002-2003: Cathy Couza
  • 2001-2002: JoAnne Darlington
  • 2000-2001: Aimee Shouse
  • 1999-2000: Ginny Boynton
  • 1997-1999: Karen Harris
  • 1996-1997: Ruth Kelly
  • 1995-1996: Marian Swisher
  • 1994-1995: Phyllis Farley Rippey
  • 1993-1994: Virginia Diehl
  • 1992-1993: Carolyn Collins
  • 1991-1992: Maurine Magliocco
  • 1990-1991: Kathy Orban
  • 1989-1990: Janice Welsch
  • 1988-1989: Martha Klems
  • 1987-1988: Barbara Berg
  • 1986-1987: Mary Leach
  • 1985-1986: Jutta Helm
  • 1984-1985: Janice Welsch
  • 1983-1984: Nazareth Hattwick
  • 1982-1983: Bettye Thompson
  • 1981-1982: Shirley Myers
  • 1980-1981: Charlene Callison & Lynne Ruben
  • 1979-1980: Pat Karman
  • 1978-1979: Jo Ann Hummers
  • 1977-1978: Lois Mills
  • 1976-1977: Elizabeth Chapman
  • 1975-1976: Rosemary Aten
  • 1974-1975: June Frazier
  • 1973-1974: Clara Krug
  • 1972-1973: Karen Mann
  • 1971-1972: Mary Murnik