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In March 1910, the National Association of University had its beginning, and over the years our organization has affiliated itself with a vast range of other national organizations with like-minded professional women in the pursuit of goals much like the goals set forth by our founders.

mary church terrel
Mrs. Mary Church Terrell
Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, Dr. Sara Winifred Brown, Dr. Nancy Fairfax Brown, and Miss Mary E. Cromwell were founders of the College Alumnae Club, which was organized in 1910 in Washington, D.C.  Twenty university graduates joined, elected officers, and planned a program.  The new club desired to stimulate young women to attain professional excellence, to exert influence in various movements for the civic good, and to promote a close, personal, and intellectual fellowship among professional women.

In 1919 the Club invited the first group of university graduates, who lived outside of the District to organize.  Baltimore accepted the invitation.  Through the efforts of the College Alumnae Club, seven branches were organized in cities where college women desired the affiliation with the foundation group.
sara winifred brown
Dr. Sara Winifred Brown

Dr. Nancy Fairfax Brown
On April 6 - 7, 1923, representatives of the newly organized branches met in Washington, D.C. to consider the establishment of a national organization.  A temporary National Association of College Women was formed.  It was at the next conference on April 25 - 26, 1924 that the permanent organization was established, and in November of that year, the association was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.

On August 9, 1974, at the Biennial Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the association accepted its updated charter and became known as the National Association of University Women (NAUW).  NAUW from its inception is a service and educational organization.  In the beginning, the women of NAUW were proactive regarding the education of women, their living conditions on campuses, the need for a dean of women who would be an advocate for women students and the training of teachers.  As the years progressed, the organization raised its voice regarding major civic and national issues such as business opportunities for African-Americans, mental health and child welfare, and the improvement of interracial and international relations.
mary cromwell
Mrs. Mary Cromwell

The association has cooperated with national and local social economic programs and is affiliated with the National Council of Negro Women, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, United Negro College Fund, The National Coalition for Literacy, and the American Council on Education.