The Pennsylvania Association of Deans of Women was formed on February 25, 1931. The purpose of this organization was to work for the progress of women in employment in the state of Pennsylvania. The executive committee of this association consisted of three people: one chosen from the universities and colleges, one from the normal schools (now the state universities), and one from the high schools. Each year at the association’s annual meeting pertinent topics would be addressed, i.e., those having to do with women’s rights and effective changes in all areas of education. In later years, the association expanded its name to the Pennsylvania Association for Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors. At the 1984 annual conference, they prepared resolutions addressing the Civil Rights Act of 1984 (Senate Bill 3568).

Contained in this collection are president’s notebooks, 1922-1938; minutes and reports, 1929, 1936-1970; bulletins, 1938-1950, 1964-1970; handbooks, 1929-1958, 1969; newsletters, 1971-1972; programs of annual meetings, 1939-1966; golden anniversary program, 1970; membership and registration lists, 1938-1949. These records indicate that the organization included African American women as early as 1938-1939, i.e., Helen V. Barton, head of guidance at Coatesville High School; Bertha Turner, dean of girls at William Penn High School, Harrisburg; and Harriet Young, acting dean of women, Cheyney State Teachers College.

Mildred Wheatley, an African American, was president of the association in 1973 and served as president of the executive board in 1977-78; she was executive associate dean of students at East Stroudsburg University. Several other African American women are listed as members and officers. They are Delain Allen, Dorothy R. Griffin, Carol F. Hollis, and Marie Vernon Patricia Dixon.

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