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150 Years of Women at Northwestern

At Northwestern, we are committed to promoting an inclusive and equitable community at all levels of the University.”

Dear Faculty and Staff,

This fall marks 150 years since women could enroll as Northwestern undergraduate students. As we collectively mark this milestone — and celebrate the individuals who have shaped Northwestern — we have many opportunities to reflect upon the past and to recommit ourselves to improve the present and future.

It is no coincidence we are writing you on Women's Equality Day, a day that commemorates the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Less than 100 years ago, courageous women and men worked together as catalysts for change to carry the women’s suffrage movement forward. Several members of the Northwestern community were among the individuals leading the charge.

Similarly, the Northwestern community has been — and continues to be — filled with bold and brave individuals who lead the struggle to open doors, creating greater access and opportunity for all who follow. As we move forward together, there are many ways to be a part of the 150 Years of Women commemoration and help shape how our community continues to evolve.

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, vice provost for academics in the Office of the Provost, and Jeri Ward, vice president in the Office of Global Marketing and Communications, are co-chairing a committee to lead the overall vision and strategic objectives for this campus-wide initiative.

In the upcoming year, events and programming will be held across the University, including the Northwestern Alumni Medal awards, the One Book program featuring “Hidden Figures,” the University Library exhibition and MLK Day programming.

Smaller working groups have been created to set priorities, gather additional ideas and engage all members of our community to maximize the impact of this initiative. The success of the 150 program is dependent on strong collaboration and efforts across the University. We invite you to reach out to Lindsay or Jeri if you’d like to get involved.

At Northwestern, we are committed to promoting an inclusive and equitable community at all levels of the University. As we launch this program, it’s more important than ever to recognize the individuals who maintain the commitment of those who came before them to transform our community and our culture. We look forward to exploring these topics together throughout the upcoming year.

Look for more information about this commemoration once the academic year begins.