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May 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the first bachelor’s degrees awarded to women at UW-Madison. In 2018 and 2019, the campus is celebrating the contributions of women at UW-Madison and the achievements of our alumnae. This also offers us a time to reflect on ways that the UW can advance as a place for women to learn, grow, and thrive.

Events and initiatives across campus are commemorating this anniversary and celebrating lives marked by scholarly achievement and public legacy, as well as extraordinary lives devoted to family and community. These include:

  • The Chancellor’s In Her Honor giving program (more information attached),
  • UW Women at 150 series profiling women such as Lorraine Hansberry, Grace Wahba, and Signe Cooper,
  • Articles in On Wisconsin and other media outlets, and
  • Speakers and other events across campus.

Several library staff members were asked to take part in the planning committee, convened by UW Madison’s 4W Initiative (4W: Women and Wellbeing in Wisconsin and the World).

Mabel Watson Raimey

To kick off the libraries’ involvement in the 150th and in honoring women at the UW more broadly, this group has decided to honor the first African American woman to be awarded a degree at UW-Madison, Mabel Watson Raimey. Raimey studied English and 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the receipt of her bachelor’s degree. We have featured Ms. Raimey on Wisconsin Women Making History and her story will appear in the spring issue of Libraries magazine.

The planning group for the libraries is meeting this semester to coordinate our continued support of the 150th anniversary with campus and to discuss opportunities to honor the extensive legacies of women at UW-Madison and throughout the UW System.

We welcome your feedback or suggestions!