Several familiar faces will return to Franklin & Marshall this week to help the College community wish a "happy birthday" to the Alice Drum Women's Center.
The Women's Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a special event Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. in the atrium of Steinman College Center. The event will feature remarks from the center's namesake, Vice President of the College Emerita Alice Drum, and an alumni panel of former student leaders. It will also include door prizes, music and an oversized birthday card. The event is free and open to all members of the F&M community.
"I hope this celebration provides an inspiring look back and an empowering look forward," said Beth Graybill, the center's director and adjunct assistant professor of women's and gender studies at F&M. "We'll celebrate the accomplishments of the past and look forward with enthusiasm to greater gender equity in the future."
Former Women's Center student leaders Jennifer Matthews '94, Melissa Stein '99 and Chelsea Barrows '11 will speak on the alumni panel. Graybill and Alison Kibler, associate professor of American studies and chair of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, will offer brief remarks, as will Elizabeth Murray '12, who researched the history of the center this summer.
Established in 1992, the Women's Center encourages dialogue on women's and gender issues and promotes equality and mutual respect on the F&M campus. It was a centerpiece of the College's celebration of 40 years of coeducation at F&M in 2009, hosting several events to help the College mark the historic occasion.
The Women's Center hosts three subgroups: VOX, the Planned Parenthood student organization that promotes safe sex and healthy women's sexuality; SAVE (Sexual Assault Violence Education), a student group dedicated to educating women and men about sexual assault and dating and domestic violence at F&M and nationally; and IWOC (International Women's Outreach Committee), a student-run organization that raises awareness on campus about various international women's issues.
The core of the Women's Center remains the Friday lunchtime discussions, which have been drawing F&M students, faculty members and professional staff since the center's inception, Graybill said. The student-run discussions center on a variety of women's and social issues.
Read more about the Alice Drum Women's Center and its founding in a recent story in Franklin & Marshall Magazine.