As we prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first women to receive bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, I can think of no better time to encourage my fellow alumni, both men and women, to share stories about women who have enriched their lives.
To this end, I have established the In Her Honor Fund as a meaningful way to celebrate women and, at the same time, support UW-Madison!
For my part, I intend to honor two very different women who impacted my life in very different ways.
“Greatness” can mean a large public life of professional accomplishment and global leadership. When I think of the word in that sense, the life of Golda Meir comes to mind. Golda spent much of her youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she trained to be a teacher at what is now the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She went on to be elected Prime Minister of Israel and a role model for all women. Her accomplishments spoke to me, particularly as a young Jewish woman. She made me proud and conveyed the message that a woman could do anything.
On a quieter side, “greatness” can mean impacting lives with care and kindness in family and community. Miss Klovstad, my second grade teacher at Winslow Elementary School in Racine, demonstrated this kind of greatness. She touched me in ways that changed my life. She paid special attention to me, providing extra challenges by giving me books like The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, as well as advanced math work. Her belief in me gave me confidence in myself and initiated a lifelong love of school.
These women exemplified greatness and I’m proud to establish them as the first honorees in the In Her Honor Fund. I hope you will join me in honoring a special woman in your life too. On, Wisconsin!
Participation in In Her Honor is a two-step process. First, please make your gift and designation here. Then, please share a story about your honoree here (optional). These stories will be archived and you will hear from the In Her Honor program when they are ready to be shared with the UW-Madison community. In Her Honor designations received prior to May 17th, 2019, will be celebrated on an inaugural “Honor Roll” placed in the Memorial Union on or before June 30th. All gifts will be used at the discretion of the Chancellor for campus programs that promote gender equity, make life better for women, and make the world better for all. For more information, click here.
Doris Feldman Weisberg, Ph.D.