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Supporting Women in Graduate Education

UMKC Women’s Council to Host Annual GAF Reception Thursday, March 1

Since its inception in 1967, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Women’s Council has lived the vision and mission of UMKC. Founding President Martha Jane Starr and several other forward-thinking women established this pioneering organization to actively support the education of women graduate students. To this day, the Women’s Council provides financial assistance and expanded opportunities to enhance and enable their educational experience and careers.

This year, through its Graduate Assistance Fund (GAF) program, the Council will provide assistance for 67 female students, representing nine academic units across campus, who are working to further their education. The students will receive scholarship awards totaling $78,212 to help them conduct required research, travel to professional conferences to present their work and engage in educational opportunities beyond the classroom.

The GAF is an innovative program uniquely supported by a grass roots donor pool. In 1971, the Women’s Council established the GAF to provide unprecedented support for women working toward post-baccalaureate degrees.

The Women’s Council will celebrate this year’s awardees during its annual GAF Reception on Thursday, March 1 at Grand St. Cafe. Each year, the GAF reception spotlights student recipients and honors the donors who either contribute to the GAF endowment or establish lasting gifts through named awards.

Several special guests are expected to join Thursday’s celebration, including UM System President Mun Choi and UMKC Chancellor-designate C. Mauli Agrawal. Other notable guests include, but are not limited to, 1976 GAF recipient Mary Sweat and past president of the Women’s Council Linda Hood-Talbott, who will present her second named award at the reception. Interim Chancellor and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer will give welcome remarks.

The UMKC Women’s Council is one of the most active and committed groups serving UMKC. More than 300 women and men are actively engaged with the Council’s ongoing efforts to reinforce women’s pursuit of higher education and life-long learning.


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