Commission for Women - Historic Timeline
1974: The Commission for Women (CFW) was established in the spring of 1974, led by a
group of 12 volunteers seeking to improve the conditions for women on campus. At
the first meeting held on November 11, 1974, Mary Tobin was elected the first CFW
1977: The Commission for Women began publishing “Nexus,” an informational newsletter
chronicling organizational goals, activities, events and highlighting women’s political,
economic, and social concerns both on campus and in our community.
1979: The first Susan B. Anthony Award was presented to honor an individual whose life and
deeds exemplified the dedicated efforts, fortitude, political agitations and involvement
of Susan B. Anthony. The recipient of this inaugural award was Betty Kaufman.
Throughout the 1980’s: The Commission For Women focused on increasing salary equity
and eliminating discriminatory policies while increasing leadership and career
development opportunities through a wide range of academic and professional
1981: The Commission For Women organized and held the first “Women’s Festival” on the
UM-Dearborn campus. Generally held in the spring, these day-long events drew
attention to women’s issues by creating a space for community organizations,
leaders, speakers, faculty, staff, and students to come together to network and share
1982: The CFW established a merit scholarship program for women students on campus
with an emphasis on providing scholarships for “returning” women students.
1990: The CFW established and presented the first “Competitive Professional Development
Grants” for women faculty and staff. The grants were funded to encourage the
professional development of women on campus in an effort to ensure women had
equal opportunities in pursuing their professional and academic goals.
Mid 1990’s: The popular Commission For Women’s “Brown Bag Lunch Series” was
established and flourished, addressing women’s economic issues, sexual
harassment, violence against women, women’s health concerns, work/life balance
concerns, and other relevant topics of interest.
1998: The Commission for Women co-sponsored the first “Women on the Move: College is
an Option” workshop. The workshop provided women experiencing socioeconomic
challenges with information about returning to or beginning college as a pathway to
Early 2000’s: The Commission For Women began holding professional clothing drives
twice a year. Professional attire for women is collected during the week-long drive
and given to local social service agencies.
2004: The Susan B. Anthony Community Award was established by the Commission For
Women to recognize individuals who advance the cause of women’s equality in the
state of Michigan. The inaugural award was presented to Gail Bagale.
2009: In March 2009, the Commission for Women hosted the best-attended Susan B.
Anthony award dinner with PBS senior correspondent, Gwen Ifill as keynote speaker.
In November 2009, the Commission for Women celebrated its 35th anniversary and
received a Special Tribute from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and the 95th