U-M CEW+
GETTING STARTED

Over 50 Years of Service

1964: Center Opens on Campus

The Center for Continuing Education of Women opened its doors in a two-room space in the Michigan League. The Center’s original mission: direct service to women who wished to return to an uncompleted education; advocacy in working with the administration and faculty, and research evaluating the Center’s services and outcomes.

1965: Jean Campbell appointed director

1966: CEW hosts first conference

Entitled "Opportunities for Women through Education," the conference and its model were a huge success. The event was attended by 240 women and more than 350 had to be turned away.

1967: Center moves to Thompson St.

The Center moves from a rented space in the Michigan League to a small house on Thompson St., which tripled its space.

1969: Scholarship Program Established

Center staff had identified the inability to obtain financial aid as a crucial barrier for returning female students, and in 1969 officially established a scholarship program for returning women. The program grew into one of the Center's signature features, expanding to award more than 50 scholarships per year.

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1970: Center brings evening classes to the University

One of the most dramatic institutional changes spearheaded by the Center was the introduction of evening class for credit at the University. The program was organized and supported by the Center and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts until 1996, when the University finally began to offer evening classes throughout the institution.

1972: Arrow Program for Undergraduate Students

This innovative program helped students create visions for their future and connect with mentors through panels, discussions, and activities. Its success led to its adpotion by and integration into the UM Orientation Office's university-wide actitives.

1976: Black Women in Transition Conferences

Between 1976 and 1981 CEW offered four specialized conferences entitled "Black Women in Transition". These conferences worked to address concerns, raise awareness, and propose solutions about the concerns of black women in the community.

1977: Ford Foundation Grant

The Ford Foundation awarded a $100,000 development grant to the Center to fund a study on the transition from education to employment as well as to use as seed money for the Center to support outside researchers studying women's lives.

1977: Administrative Internship Program

The Center offered an Administrative Internship Program from 1977-1999, which helped women prepare to return to the labor force or enter for the first time.

1980: Women in Science Program

The Women in Science Program (WIS) was created to recruit women into and help the University understand why women were underrepresented in the sciences. In the early 1990s, WIS would evolve into Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

1983: Visiting Scholars Program

The Visiting Scholar Program in Adult Development was established to allow a 1-year appointment of a social scientist working on the extensive data collected by Center researchers. Paula Pietromonaco and Janet Landman were the first Visiting Scholars, inaugurating a program that was later broadened to simply 'Visiting Scholars Program', and continued for over thirty years until 2017.

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1983: Professional Development for Wives of Foreign Students

This program was another example of Center staff identifying a concern unique to women students and sought to address it. The program was geared to women with higher education and professional experience in their own countries the opportunity to continue their professional development during their overseas career gap. The program concluded in 1987.

1985: Mary Malcomson Raphael Fellowship Established

This fellowship is awarded to women graduate students in a humanities or social science field in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts held in the highest esteem by their faculty. These fellowships are provided through an endowment established by the late Margaret Earhart Smith in recognition of her friend Mary Malcomson Raphael.

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1986: Dr. Vivian Rogers appointed director

1987: Community College Transfer Student Program

Center begins collaborating with Washtenaw Community College to prioritize support for transfer students. This work would grow into Communty College Transfer Student Program.

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1988: Carol Hollenshead appointed director

1989: Center for the Continuing Education of Women renamed CEW

Director Carol Hollenshead officially changed the Center's name from the Center for the Continuing Education of Women to the Center for the Education of Women (CEW)

1989: CEW Director named chair of PACWI

President's Advisory Council on Women's Issues (PACWI) was created to help women achieve full and equal participation in all aspects of life and leadership at the University. PACWI promoted the development of new policies, practices, and procedures designed to enhance gender and racial equity. Until 2015.

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1990: Development Advisory Committee is Created

Committee's purpose was to enhance the Center's outreach and name recognition in the community and nationally. In 1992, it was renamed the Leadership Council.

1990: Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship Established

Margaret Dow Towsley was instrumental in funding and perpetuating the CEW Scholarship Program. She provided $25,000 annually for the program and in 1990 her daughters approved a $1 million endowment from the Margaret and Harry Towsley Foundation that ensured the scholarship's continuation.

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1992: Women at the University of Michigan

PACWI, CEW, the President's Office, and Office of Budget and Planning created "Women at The University of Michigan", a statistical portrait using gender and race analyses. It was a stark representation of the lack of progress when it came to women in the faculty pipeline.

1994: Michigan Agenda for Women

University President Jim Duderstadt worked with CEW to develop and implement the “Michigan Agenda for Women: Leadership for a New Century.” The goal of the Agenda was to promote “the success of women of diverse backgrounds.”

1995: Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP)

The Women of Color in the Academy Project was established in collaboration with the Women's Studies Department and grew to become a national model for encouraging recruitment and retention of women of color faculty.

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1996: Irma M. Wyman Scholarship Established

This scholarship provides support for women students in engineering, computer science, and related fields. Irma was a 1949 graduate of the College of Engineering at the University, one of two women in her class. Having benefited during her education from both the financial and psychological support of a Regents Scholarship, she established the Irma M. Wyman Scholarship to provide a similar boost to others.

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1998: Junior Women's Faculty Network

Funding from the Alcoa Foundation supported the creation of the Junior Women Faculty Network (JWFN). JWFN provided networking and professional support activities, incorporating the Center’s existing programs on topics such as achieving tenure and publishing research directed at junior women faculty.

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2000: WOCAP receives national recognition

WOCAP developed a video entitled "Through My Lens" that presented the argument for diversity in academic institutions. The video was used across the country to assist other institutions in identifying the elements of successful programs. In 2000, the project was honored by the American Council on Education’s Division of Access and Equity Programs of the Office of Women in Higher Education.

2001: New Millennium Leaders Series

CEW assumed management and sponsorship of the staff leadership program called the New Millennium Leaders Series. In 2005, it was renamed the Advanced Leadership Series.

2002: Women of Color Task Force (WCTF) becomes part of the Center

In 2002, WCTF became an administrative unit of the Center. The staff-led group had been active since 1979 acting as a clearinghouse for University staff concerns; and since 1983 has organized an annual professional development conference that continues to be the largest of its kind on campus.

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2005: Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist Program

The Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist (VSA) Program was created to annually host a social justice activist whose work affects women and recognizes gender equity issues. The program is made possible by a generous gift from UM alumna Twink Frey and her husband James McKay.

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2008: Crossing Boundaries conference encourages collaborations

Presented by CEW, the conference emphasized the importance of successful, equitable joint projects and focused on collaboration with community partners in Detroit and other Michigan neighborhoods. A group of more than 100 community agency staff and community activists, University faculty, researchers, staff and students attended.

2009: Dr. Gloria Thomas appointed director

2010: Advanced Leadership Program

The Center-sponsored Advanced Leadership Series became the Advanced Leadership Program, a yearlong program that - by 2012 - had been completed by more than 300 university staff and created a strong network of women leaders from all three University of Michigan campuses. The ALP welcomed its final cohort in 2016.

2011: CEW recognized for collaborative Abuse Hurts campaign

CEW, the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, and Human Resources created “Abuse Hurts,” a groundbreaking, collaborative campaign to prevent and address domestic and sexual violence within the University community. UM Department of Public Safety gave Abuse Hurts its 2011 Director’s Award; in addition the College and University Personnel Association-Human Resources Midwest Region presented Abuse Hurts with its 2011 Excellence in Human Resources Management Practices Award.

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2012: Carol Hollenshead Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity & Social Justice

In honor of her twenty-year tenure, CEW created the Carol Hollenshead Award. Awardees are faculty and staff whose sustained efforts have resulted in greater equity in regard to gender, race, class, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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2013: Beth Halloran Scholarship Established

The Beth Halloran Scholarship is awarded annually to students whose academic careers have been interrupted, and/or who are the primary parent responsible for minor dependents. As former Development Director for the Center, Beth's energy, intelligence, and integrity generated fundraising success, and nourished lasting relationships with donors.

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2013: Michigan Partners Project (MPP)

The Ford Foundation provided over $330,000 in grant funding for CEW to manage MPP - a state-wide initiative to advance economic security among Michigan low-income women.

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2013: Career Development Passport Pilot

In 2013, WCTF along with representatives from University Human Resources, the U-M Health System Human Resources Office and VOICES of the Staff Career Development Team, collaborated to create the Career Development Passport Pilot, a 12-month staff development initiative.

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2014: The Center celebrates 50 Years of Service

Explore more of CEW's groundbreaking history in "A Matter of Fairness" by Jean E. Miller.

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2016: Tiffany Marra appointed director