About AAUW.

AAUW Valparaiso Affiliate Contacts:

Cynthia Hesemann
LeeAnn Stephan


Sandy Holt


AAUW Mission

AAUW advances equity

for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

AAUW Mission Video

Click for YouTube Video


About AAUW

AAUW (The American Association of University Women)  was founded in 1881 and is the largest and oldest national organization for women.  AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.


Since that first meeting in 1881, AAUW has been a catalyst for change. Today, with more than 170,000 members and supporters, 1,000 affiliates, and 800 college and university partners, AAUW contributes to a more promising future and provides a powerful voice for women and girls.


Advocacy:  Equity is the legal right of all women and girls. AAUW frames and fosters factual, in-depth, objective dialogue among legislators and change makers that results in political, institutional and legal support for women’s equity in all areas of life and work.

Education:  AAUW generates significant resources for higher education, underwriting advanced education opportunities for women and girls to ensure women have access to and the opportunity for high performance in their profession of choice.

Philanthropy:  AAUW raises and distributes funds for fellowships, grants, advocacy, research, leadership development, and programs to help women break through educational and economic barriers.

Research:  In 1885, a group of AAUW members conducted a survey that debunked the popular theory that higher education was bad for women’s health. That first study established AAUW’s commitment to cutting-edge research relevant to the struggle for gender equity in school and in society.

Today, AAUW conducts groundbreaking research that draws national attention to issues of gender equity in education and the workplace; influences policy-makers as well as educators, parents, and students; and, most importantly, serves as a catalyst for action. Recent reports address topics such as the pay gap between men and women, economic security of older women, sexual harassment on college campuses, and gender equity in science and engineering education.

Membership:  AAUW membership consists of individual and college/university members. 

If you hold an associate’s or equivalent, bachelor’s, or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university, you can join AAUW as an individual (member-at-large) or as a member of one of AAUW’s 1,000 affiliates. Affiliate members also belong to the national organization.

If you are an undergraduate in a two-or four-year regionally accredited educational institution, you can join as a student affiliate or as a student-affiliate-at-large.

Qualified institutions are educational institutions that offer recognized associate, baccalaureate, or higher degrees and that have full regional accreditation (including two-year or community colleges) or appropriate professional association approval.

AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or class.

AAUW Valparaiso Affiliate was established in 1930 and has been active in the Porter County community ever since.  A fund-raiser that started as “sidewalk days” in the early 1970’s became a used book sale in 1975 and continued as an annual event through 2008. More recently, fund-raisers helped to support affiliate scholarships and contribute to university affiliate attendance at national AAUW programs.  Today, scholarships and other educational projects are supported by earnings from our affiliate’s fund in the Porter County Community Foundation.