Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner
The Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner is held annually to celebrate the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, honor her legacy, and celebrate the achievement of contemporary women.
The Anthony Center for Women's Leadership presents its Lifetime Achievement Award and the women's scholarships and prizes annually at the Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner, held annually in early February. The University of Rochester Women's Club co-sponsors the dinner and administers the Susan B. Anthony scholarship and prize. More information on the awards can be found here.
The Susan B. Anthony Scholarship and Prize
Susan B. Anthony's friends and family first endowed a scholarship in her honor in 1900. The initial $1000 fund was enough to generate $50 a year to provide a full scholarship to a deserving woman student. In the 1920s, Lucy Anthony, Anthony's niece, made another donation to insure the fund would continue to meet the full cost of annual tuition and fees—$250.
Women students at the University have always felt a special bond to Anthony. They were honor guards at her funeral in 1906 and, in 1946, the women's Student Association voted to sponsor an annual Susan B. Anthony Day, scheduled to celebrate her February 15th birthday. A gala luncheon was held, awards were given and internationally renowned women were invited to speak to advance women's rights.
Since 1979, the UR Women's Club has sponsored the University's two Anthony awards. The Susan B. Anthony Scholarship is given to a woman in her junior year who has demonstrated leadership, academic excellence and commitment to her fellow students and community. A student's financial need is taken into account.
The Susan B. Anthony Prize is awarded to a graduating woman student who has shown exceptional leadership, academic excellence and involvement in student life.
The Fannie Bigelow Scholarship
Fannie Bigelow was a friend of Susan B. Anthony's and a fellow-worker in the causes of women's suffrage, education and independence. She fought on behalf of women prisoners in the Monroe County jail, worked at the Baden Street Settlement House and championed the creation of a Children's Court in New York State, now the Family Court. Bigelow was chair of the Women's Education Fund, the committee that raised the $50,000 required by the University trustees to underwrite women's admission to UR in 1900.
In 1947, Bigelow's sisters, nephews and grandniece endowed a fund at the University in her memory. The fund afforded silver trays to be given to an alumna and woman undergraduate. Presented on Susan B. Anthony Day, the student award would go to "an undergraduate upperclassman chosen on the basis of her individuality, her ability to form and express fearlessly, with conviction and sound judgment, her opinions on vital topics. She shall demonstrate that she participates in extra-curricular activities because she sincerely believes in their value to the college community beyond their purely social worth."
The silver trays became a single scholarship to an undergraduate at the recommendation of the Alumnae Traditions Committee in 1972.
The Jane R. Plitt Scholarship
Given in honor of a present day, dynamic Rochesterian, the Jane R. Plitt Scholarship helps recognize and foster the progressive activism of some of Rochester's most famous women. Jane Plitt led the local fight to make the Gannett newspapers' help wanted ads gender neutral. As the National Organization for Women's first executive director, she helped to open the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs to women. Plitt is a Visiting Scholar at the University. Her book, Martha Matilda Harper: How One Woman Changed the Face of Modern Business, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2000.
Ms. Plitt's sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Richard Kossoff, endowed the scholarship in 1999 to be awarded to a woman undergraduate who is a leader dedicated to constructive social change in her community.
The Dean Ruth A. Merrill Award
Established by the University of Rochester class of 1960 “City Girls,” is presented to an undergraduate woman who has grown up in the greater-Rochester region. The recipient of the award displays community-minded awareness through her participation in volunteer activities that impact and improve the Rochester community.
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