The Emory Women’s Center (EWC) will celebrate its 10th
anniversary with “Wine, Women & Song”—a gala
event honoring its past, present and future on Dec. 4 at Miller-Ward
Like the name implies, the event will be full of entertainment,
featuring the musical stylings of gospel trio D’Vine (member
Paula Saunders is an Emory Hospital employee) and pianist Tina Lu,
an Emory College senior. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., and
cost is $15 for faculty, staff and alumni; $5 for students; $20
for the public. Reservations will be accepted until Wednesday, Nov.
“We wanted to celebrate,” said Ali Crown, who has been
EWC director since the center’s inception. “We didn’t
see this as a time for a speaker, but a time for music.”
All women at Emory are invited to submit photographs of a woman
who has influenced their lives, and all photos will be complied
into a video presentation during the gala. Addition-ally, the event
will honor former President James Laney, under whose leadership
the EWC was established.
“We wanted to acknowledge [his] place in our history, which
is part of Emory’s history,” said Crown, an Emory College
alumna who has worked at the university since 1980. “We felt
it important to honor him for his vision to establish the EWC.”
Celebrating the center’s anniversary hasn’t been and
won’t be limited to the gala. In October, EWC hosted “Conver-sations
With Six Notable Emory Women,” a program featuring a cross-section
of faculty, staff and students discussing their experiences at Emory
and was moderated by anniversary celebration co-chairs Patti Owen-Smith,
Oxford psychology professor, and Paula Washington, ‘95G.
In the spring, there will be an exhibit at Woodruff Library’s
Schatten Gallery highlighting women’s lives at Emory through
photographs from Special Collections. In addition to commemorating
the EWC’s anniversary, the exhibits also will mark the 50th
anniversary of co-education at Emory.
While photographs and stories can document the EWC’s history
on campus, its wide array of programs and services continue to further
its mission of existing “for, through and because of all Emory
“Some of the women’s centers at other universities are
very student-focused,” said Jan Gleason, associate vice president
for public affairs and chair of the original EWC director
search committee. “This one was designed to serve all women
When searching for an EWC director, it was essential to find someone
who could build bridges connecting the faculty, staff and students.
“Ali figured out early on that to be successful at Emory,
it’s about making connections and collaborating with other
groups,” Gleason added.
Those connections and collaborations have paid off for the center
and have helped establish the programs that have become the EWC’s
hallmark. All programs and EWC-related activities are created and
managed by Crown and special program assistant Jenny Williams, along
with four student assistants, six student volunteers and 13 members
of the center’s advisory board.
The list of programs and resources originated or sponsored by EWC
is long and varied. They include: Healthy Women 2000, a monthly
lunchtime series focused on women’s health issues; Life 101,
a seminar series designed specifically to support college women;
a 3,000-volume library focused on women’s issues; massage
therapy; and a nursing nest for breast-feeding mothers.
The EWC isn’t a base for just its own programs, either. Groups
such as the National Black Herstory Task Force and the Emory Muslim
Women’s Literary Society meet for regular meetings at the
Throughout its time on campus, EWC has initiated several programs
that have become
“signature events,” including the Mary Lynn Morgan Annual
Lectureship on Women in the Health Professions, “Telling Our
Stories,” the Unsung Heroine Awards, Women Writers of Genre
Fiction lecture and the campus Women’s History Month celebrations.
“We started with a five-year plan put together by an advisory
group appointed by President Laney,” Crown said. “We
surpassed the goals of the first three years after a little more
than a year in terms of programs and constituents. We met the goals
of the first five at the end of three, but there is much more to
With 10 years behind it, EWC supporters are working toward meeting
the center’s goals for its next 10 years. Topping the list
is doubling the size of full time EWC staff and finding permanent
space. Since it first opened, EWC has been housed in a 1,600-square-foot
modular unit behind Dobbs Center, next to the Emory Computer Store.
EWC’s infrastructure has not kept up with growth of the overall
center in the last decade, Crown said. “We want to see that
fixed. As I said, our work is not over.”
Armed with a list of goals and aspirations, the future of the EWC
has much to hold.
“[EWC] has secured for women at Emory a locus of activity
and a haven for thought and respite,” said President Bill
Chace. “I am inspired by its past, but I am more interested
in opening up its future than in idolizing its achievements. For
such a place, the years that will really count are all in the future.”
To make a reservation for the gala or for more information about
EWC programs or resources, call 404-727-2000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.