The University Dames was founded in 1927 by Mrs. Alfred Hume, whose husband was then Chancellor of the University. The organization is composed of women whose partners are in the employ of the University or who are themselves faculty or staff of the University. The Dames’ primary purpose throughout the years has been the social affiliation of all University women, with special emphasis on making new members of the University community feel welcome. Historically, members have rendered various services, such as acting as hostesses at special occasions of the University, assisting in purchasing silver service for use by Dames for its official meetings, or by an organization once called the “Associated Women Students” at their official functions, and for use in the Chancellor’s residence when needed.
Presently, the University Dames operates primarily as a social organization. The membership at large meets 4 or 5 times during the school year, gathering to enjoy a meal or refreshments, and to socialize, share information, and conduct organization business. At the Holiday Luncheon, we announce the recipient of the UM Dames Book Scholarship, awarded each year to one of the University Scholars to defray costs of their course materials.
Members also join smaller “Interest Groups,” some of which meet monthly. Especially popular in recent years have been the Sewing Group, Play Group (for Moms with little ones), Lunch Group, Recipe Group and the daily Walking Group.
The annual dues are decided by vote at the beginning of each year and are presently $25.00. This money has been used for general expenses and to support the Book Scholarship.