2021 Scholarship Allocation Letter to Members

Dear AAUW Ann Arbor Friends,

On December 8, 2021 our branch held a festive winter celebration event via Zoom, highlighting many of our recent branch achievements.  For those unable to attend, I’m excited to share with you the outcome of our fundraising activities to support scholarships this year—and also to celebrate our newest Named Gift Honoree!

As everyone knows, because of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, we sadly had to cancel our book sale fundraiser the past two years but we DO have great hope that we will be able to resume that activity in 2022.

The great news is—the response to our alternative fundraisers was outstanding!  Our suggestion to celebrate a member’s birthday with a $29 donation is ongoing.  Members sponsored tribute pages which were published in our Member Directory. Recent books were donated—and then bought by other members, and other Special Books continue to bring in online sale proceeds during the year—all of which were welcome additions to our scholarship fund.  And most importantly, YOU were extraordinarily generous once again with your monetary donations!!

The results of this year’s scholarship funding were shared at the winter celebration Zoom event.  For those who missed it, here once again are the details of this year’s scholarship awards:

AAUW Funds committee scholarship recommendations and board approval of those allocations are as follows:

Those scholarship checks were mailed to the recipients in early December.  Here’s a message I received back from Alicia Marting, Director of Development at CEW+:

Hi Polly,

WOW—just wow!  What an effort by everyone to still send $5000 for the scholarship even without the book sale.  How wonderful the AAUW and CEW+ partnership is.  This New Year and always, I am thankful.    —Alicia

How about that!  And I know that all our scholars are equally thankful to AAUW Ann Arbor for being so dedicated in our financial support for their education—these awards can change their lives in many ways—and you have had a part in that!

As I mentioned at the winter celebration, you are encouraged to read pages 20-21 in our brand-new orange Directory, which all members received and which is also available in the members-only section on our branch website.  Those pages provide an excellent description of each of the funds we support.

On a national level, AAUW Ann Arbor has supported many fellowships and grants over the years.  During a number of our in-person winter and spring luncheons I described both past successfully completed Ann Arbor Branch Endowment funds—and then Fund 4349 which was the 2nd International AAUW Ann Arbor Branch Endowment Fund.  We worked so very hard to complete that fund—and then how terrific it was, indeed, when we did reach the $200,000 completion several years ago both through our Annual Used Book Sale Fundraisers, through a member bequest, and finally through your added individual generosity.  Already, Fund 4349 has provided substantial financial support to three recipients, the latest in 2021-22 is a Gynecologist and fertility specialist who continues her research in male infertility at the Cleveland Clinic.

At Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University, our AAUW Ann Arbor Endowment Funds support 2-3 students each year.  This year our AAUW Mary Markley Fund at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is supporting 3 students studying Biology, Health & Society, Psychology and Public Policy.  At CEW+ at the University of Michigan, our AAUW Ann Arbor Branch Used Book Sale Endowment is supporting a student studying at the Ford School of Public Policy.  Also, at CEW+, the AAUW Mary Elizabeth Bittman Endowment is supporting three students two of whom are studying Psychology and the third studies Cognitive Science.

As I share information today, not quite yet, but very soon indeed, if you were unable to connect to our Zoom winter celebration on December 8, you may see—or relive that wonderful event in the Members-only section on our branch website.  Check back if it is not yet posted, as it will be there very shortly.

At that celebration we also celebrated our newest Named Gift Honoree.  I presented that award to Mary Mostaghim and you may hear that presentation in the winter celebration posting on the website as—and learn some fun facts about Mary that I’m sure you did not know before!  I recommended and our board approved a change in our previous criteria for honoring our members such that members may be recognized more than one time as long as they have not been celebrated within the past five years.  Mary was originally our Eleanor Roosevelt Honoree way back in 2003-04 and most assuredly was long overdue in being recognized again for her very many and dedicated contributions to our branch!

At our winter and spring celebrations we have traditionally passed around red & green bags to ask for donations for various funds and programs.  This year, instead of doing that, we would like to encourage you to consider a donation online to AAUW’s Greatest Needs Fund.  Our Named Gift Honorees are celebrated in recognition of our support to our national AAUW organization and the Greatest Needs Fund allows AAUW the flexibility to respond rapidly to new and emerging challenges facing women and girls and to utilize your gift where it is needed most.  Ann Arbor Branch has been steadfast in its support of AAUW’s mission of gender equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.  Online donation is easily done by going to the AAUW.org website and clicking on the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner.  This year the national AAUW board is once again matching your donations through December 31.  So please do consider going online to add your support!

Thanks once again to everyone for your continuing generosity and support for AAUW.  Here’s wishing a happy, enjoyable, peaceful and safe holiday season to all!

Polly Pan

Ann Arbor AAUW Funds Director