The American Association of University Women-Napa County branch was chartered in 1929. In 2009, the branch celebrated its 80th anniversary in grand style with a luncheon at Silverado Country Club followed by a fashion show highlighting accomplishments and vintage fashions from each decade since the founding of the organization. Some branch highlights include:
• 1920s — Introduction of the Well-Bay Clinic, founded by member Dr. Ethel Priest.
• 1930s — Initiated the first nursery school in Napa.
• 1940s — Members contributed to the war effort, stepping in to fill the void left by the men at war with the motto, “We can do it!” Thanks to AAUW’s support, a full-time county health officer position was initiated.
• 1950s — Former branch president Elizabeth King Robinson became the first appointed Napa City Attorney. Member Jessamyn West, author of “Friendly Persuasion,” was the keynote speaker at the state convention.
• 1960s — The branch started holding ninth-grade girls forums, and college exploration teas for 11th-grade girls.
• 1970s — Saw the design of the popular Past Presidents Pin by member Gladys Johnson. Sales of the pin, worn by past AAUW presidents all over the country, have grown to approximately $100,000, with proceeds going to scholarship programs. The Volunteer Center of Napa County was created by a member, and several members served on the Napa County Commission on the Status of Women.
• 1980s — Members adopted a monthly involvement in the Table, which feeds the hungry at First Presbyterian Church. The Napa County Branch Scholarship Foundation was formed to award scholarships to local high school girls.
• 1990s — The branch participated in the Napa City-County Library grand re-opening. The Mary Lyons scholarship program selected its first recipient. The Napa County Branch Scholarship Foundation sent the first Tech Trek girls science and technology camp at Stanford University, and Napa County branch strongly supported Title IX and the opening up of sports programs for women.
• 2000s — Co-sponsored programs with Sonoma County branches for International Women’s Day and NARAL, and co-sponsored an exchange student from Tasmania with Napa Valley College. The Tech Trek program continues with 6-8 girls receiving scholarships to attend camp this year at UC Davis and Sonoma State University. The Adopt-a-Road program was instituted. An anti-bullying project was initiated with Napa schools, with concentration on cyber-bullying. Sallyann Berendsen, chair of the anti-bullying committee, attended the AAUW National Convention in New Orleans in 2013 as a speaker in a breakout session. College/University Partnership established with Napa Valley College and student AAUW Club was formed.
AAUW Napa County looks forward to serving the community for many more years!