On This Day in IUPUI History: September 11, 1971

September 11, 1971 

On this day, Mary C. Manning, regional director of the Women's Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor, delivered the keynote speech at a symposium held in the Lecture Hall. The theme of the symposium was "Opportunities and Responsibilities for Women in Higher Education." Ms. Manning's topic was "Women: An Academic Resource." The IUPUI Women's Club sponsored her appearance, which coincided with the dedication of the three IUPUI campus buildings, Cavanaugh Hall, Lecture Hall, and University Library, the previous day.

1971 was the year when the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was reintroduced in Congress as a way to establish women's equality and rights under the law. Women's rights were hotly debated in the halls of power, as well as on university and college campuses throughout the country. IUPUI was no different. Indeed, Women played a key role in bringing public higher education to Indianapolis in the late-nineteenth century and leading the IU-Indianapolis Extension program for many years in the twentieth century. It was entirely fitting and proper that women assert equality and their rights under the law.

The IUPUI Women's Club was established as the Women's University Club of Indiana University-Indianapolis in 1968, before the merger of IU and Purdue programs in Indianapolis. Its purpose was to "act as a channel of communication amont the Indianapolis divisions and with the Bloomington Campus." Membership was open to all full- and part-time faculty and staff, as well as retired persons.

Women have held important roles at IUPUI through the years, despite the efforts of some men around the campus who were less than enlightened about gender equality and evinced hostility toward women and women's rights.  Women were discouraged from pursuing higher education, university degrees, and careers in some professional schools. Nonetheless, women persevered against such hostility to advance their careers and assume leadership across the campus.

Today, the Office for Women, created in 1997, works to create a campus climate where women can reach their full potential and succeed.

Continuing Studies Center for Women, 1317 W. Michriver Road, 1979 UA24-003700

To learn more about IUPUI's fascinating history, contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.edu.  

Updated Sep 11, 2018 by Editor Name Missing