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Book Chapter

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Women and Philanthropy in Education



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Through most of the twentieth century in the United States, science was commonly assumed to belong to men's intellectual sphere and workplace. Narrow assumptions about proper gender roles discouraged many women from pursuing scientific studies, while many science programs discouraged women's applications or flady denied women access. For those women who chose to persist, moving ahead in the scientific profession required fighting persistent employment discrimination and institutional obstacles within academia, government, and business. In the face of such structural barriers, the force of "creative philanthropy" helped generate a few meaningful opportunities, as Margaret Rossiter has detailed. Endowments specifically established for hiring female scholars brought women into new slots on the faculties of both Harvard and the University of Michigan during the post-World War II period, Rossiter explains. Radcliffe dean Bernice Brown Cronkhite took one step toward remedying universities' usually miserable treatment of female graduate students by raising funds to open a dormitory and living center for those women in Cambridge in 1957. Meanwhile, ever since the late 1800s, the American Association of University Women had awarded fellowships to female students. By the late 1960s, generous donations from members enabled the AAUW to increase both the number and the size of its fellowships; in cases where departments proved reluctant to support female graduate students, AAUW assistance was especially valuable.


This is a book chapter from Women and Philanthropy in Education (2005): 320, ISBN:978-0253344663. Posted with permission.

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Indiana University Press



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