The University Women’s Club of Toronto is a member-managed Women’s Club, which was founded in 1903 by twenty-two enterprising young women who were among the first to graduate from seven different universities. Their mission, which has not changed, was to provide opportunities for the growth and advancement of women through the pursuit of intellectual, cultural and social interests in a warm and nurturing environment.
Read about A Club for Women in UofT Magazine.
Left: Mabel Chown, UWC’s first President
After meeting in rented rooms during their first two decades, on November 1, 1929, the University Women’s Club purchased its own clubhouse at 162 St. George Street in Toronto and made the beautiful mansion their permanent home. Decade after decade saw members tackling community issues, rising up and speaking for women and children, pitching in where the need was most and all the time, making time for book groups, music appreciation, bridge playing and other interest groups.
In the early 30’s the University Women’s Club joined CFUW (Canadian Federation of University Women). CFUW, founded in 1919, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of nearly 10,000 women in 100 clubs across Canada http://www.fcfdu.org. CFUW is a member of GWI (Graduate Women International) http://www.graduatewomen.org. Both organizations support the education and improvement of the status of women throughout the world.
In 2010 the University Women’s Club of Toronto sold their clubhouse to the University of Toronto and joined forces with the U of T Faculty Club, Now all current and new University Women’s Club Members enjoy co-membership with the Faculty Club and carry on in the spirit of our founding members at our new location, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto.
Over the past 9 years I have received many notes and emails from many members thanking me for my service and my devotion. I have kept all of those and they still touch me deeply. When I first became President in 2002, the joy in that was that in 2003 we celebrated our 100th birthday and that was very very special. I want to thank all the Club members who have sat on the board with me for the past nine years. I owe you a debt I can never repay.
There are 2 women I must single out. Doris Geddes was President of the Grads when we were selling the house at 162 St. George and although I acted as the real estate agent none of it would have happened without all her work and input.
Margaret Mcgiverin, who is also stepping down today, has stayed on the board for the last 9 years to support and work with me. Marg, there is no way I could have done this without you and there is no way to repay you for all the sacrifices you made and the headaches you must have suffered. My indebtedness to you is never ending.
We have many new members now thanks to Susan Freeman who has done an amazing job as Director of Membership and it is time to move forward. The time has come for me to pass the torch. So, thank you for your loyalty, your support and your kindness. I love you all.