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September 9, 2002

Organization connects University women

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

The Emory University Woman’s Club (EUWC) has a unique distinction: It is perhaps the oldest continuous club at the University, making the seamless moves from campuses to generations.

Founded in 1919, EUWC—open to any woman affiliated with Emory—began with a simple yet resilient motto: to foster social interaction among the faculty and to provide service to the University.

Almost 84 years later, this motto is central to every club activity, from its monthly meetings to its various committees, said Cheryl Murphy, EUWC president. Members (which numbered 142 last school year) meet monthly at the Houston Mill House to hear speakers from Emory and beyond. This year, guests will include Emory and Oxford administrators, professors and award-winning author Melissa Fay Greene. Also on the slate is the club’s annual tradition of a presentation from its EUWC Memorial Graduate Research recipient.
Members can participate in special interest groups—ranging from a book club to a hospital art committee—as well as various club committees responsible for the maintenance of the organization.

“We are a community of women. We enjoy the [club’s] social and intellectual aspects, and we are intimately involved with the University through our efforts with the Houston Mill House and our scholarships,” Murphy said. “We are very devoted to Emory.”

One of the most visible illustrations of the club’s devotion to Emory was its role in the renovation and establishment of the Houston Mill House. Once a private home, the building’s renovation was placed under the EUWC’s supervision by the University Board of Trustees in 1977. Today, the Houston Mill House is the official EUWC meeting place, and members still support the house by sitting on its Board of Directors. Three years ago, the EUWC began hosting an annual benefit dinner for the Houston Mill House, adding to its financial support of the campus landmark.

The club’s success with fundraising isn’t limited to the Houston Mill House. Each year, the club has sponsored the EUWC Memorial Graduate Research Award, EUWC Rollins School of Public Health Scholarship (for graduate students) and the EUWC Arts Scholarship for undergraduate fine arts students. The Memorial Graduate award has been given since 1986 and the other two are recent additions, funded by profits from the EUWC cookbook sale in the late 1990s.

Just as the club’s civic contributions are visible on campus, so are its social ties, Murphy said. Murphy has long been connected to Emory—as a 1977 nursing school graduate, former Emory Hospital nurse and wife of a School of Medicine professor—but it’s her EUWC membership that has kept her involved on campus for the last 12 years.

“When I first became involved with the EUWC, what I really liked is that I got to meet other people from other areas on campus,” she said.

Such was the case with Kathryn King-Metters, EUWC vice president and membership chair. When her husband joined the Goizueta Business School faculty in 2001, King-Metters joined EUWC because, as a member of other university woman’s clubs, she said she knew EUWC would be a perfect outlet for campus involvement.

“I felt comfortable as soon as I started going to meetings, and started feeling welcomed and became involved,” King-Metters said. “It’s the kind of organization where you get to meet other people. When you are in a particular school, you don’t get to meet people outside the school you are in. That’s the beauty of the EUWC: people from all the different schools, departments and Oxford come together.”

EUWC continually accepts new members and invites all University women to its annual Fall Tea on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Lullwater House from 1–3 p.m (cars are allowed to drive through the park to the house). Annual club dues are $20, and the group meets monthly from 10 a.m.–noon at the Houston Mill House.

For information about the tea or the club, contact King-Metters at 404-874-0763 or