Branch Awards

Florence and Bill SchneiderFLORENCE SCHNEIDER

Florence Schneider is a legendary member of the Ashland Branch who was a generous citizen of the Ashland community. Florence and her husband, Bill, had a dynamic impact on SOU, OSF, and other community programs. Perhaps the most visible signs today are the Schneider Museum of Art and the Schneider Children’s Center.

As a strong proponent and lifetime member of AAUW, Florence received our Outstanding Member Award in 1988 and 1989. In 1990 she was an Educational Foundation Named Grant honoree. In the Ashland Branch, Florence is most remembered as an active recruiter and mentor for new members, especially younger women. As one of her recruits, Joan Thorndike said, “Florence . . . forced us to keep learning, she pushed each of us beyond what seemed comfortable, she acted as an unbeatable role model, she expected us to question, and she expected us to show up and contribute.” Many of our members have stories of the impact this energetic woman had on their lives, a woman who passionately believed that AAUW should be an important part of every educated woman’s life.

The Florence Schneider Award

In honor of Florence Schneider, the Ashland Branch established the Award in 2000 after Florence’s death in December 1999. The Florence Schneider Award is given to a member in recognition of leadership and outstanding long service to the Branch and the community. Each year a committee of past recipients selects, from nominations by the membership, a member who best exemplifies the following values drawn from the life of this remarkable woman:

  • Longstanding service to and loyal member of AAUW
  • Commitment to AAUW’s goals of lifelong education, equity for women and girls, and positive societal change
  • Serving as a strong mentor for strong women
  • Sharing personal talents in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.
2000 Norma Curtis, Betty Lou Dunlop
2001 Helen Seiber
2002 Treva Tumbleson
2003 Laura Patton
2004 Bettie Henry
2005 Claire Carroll
2006 Jan Waitt
2007 Eleanore Perkins
2008 Jean Conger
2009 Suzanne Duncan
2010 Diana Quirk
2011 Nancy McLaughlin
2012 Pat Brewer
2013 Sherri Morgan
2014 Carryl Breon
2015 Elaine Sweet
2016 Bessie Azari
2017 Mimi Pippel
2018 Chris Donchin
2019 Sandy Theis



Named-Grant Honorees are named in recognition of meritorious service to the Branch. The EF raises funds to give women postgraduate opportunities that benefit the state and world communities.

The Named-Grant Honorees since 1990 are:

1990 Florence Schneider
1991 Norma Curtis
1992 Jackie Carrau, Helen Seiber
1993 All Members
1994 Sara Walker, Jan Waitt, Laura Patton, Claire Carroll
1995 Norma Curtis, Gayle Titus
1996 Carrie Prechtel
1997 Bettie Henry, Martha McIntyre
1998 Joanne Soued, Ann Stein, Melinda Biskup, Ionemary Meyer (in memoriam)
1999 Barbara Berry, Diana Quirk, Jody Sorenson, State Pres. Alice Bartelt
2000 Ruth Farwell (in memoriam), Ed Perkins, Helen Seiber, Jan Waitt, Marian Watt, Janet Williams
2001 John Adams, Jean Conger, Mary Ferrari
2002 Kathy Griffin, Mary Jo Owens, Eleanore Perkins
2003 Suzanne Duncan, Suzanne Witucki
2004 Pat Brewer, Joyce Jarvis
2005 Mary Catherine Davalos, Susan Rust, Margaret Scarborough, Judith Spelman, Vivian Stubblefield
2006 Carryl Breon, Elizabeth Murphy, Diane Novak, Kay Johnson, June Poe
2007 Cheryl Goldman, Annette Lewis, Carol Lee Rogers
2008 Maureen Battistella, Ginny Dugan
2009 Sherri Morgan, Rae Otto, Charlotte Abernathy
2010 Elaine Sweet
2011 Bessie Azari; Sandra Coyner; Sherri Morgan and Jan Waitt
2012 Chris Donchin, Karen Hueston, Helen Rosen, Mimi Pippel, Rosemary Adalian
2013 Joan Enloe
2014 Mimi Pippel, Karen Spence, Elaine Sweet
2015 Sunny Anderson, Gretchen King, Linda Lipkind
2016 Priscilla Arnold, Regina Ayars, Wanda Chin, Sandra Coyner, Christine Fernlund, Nancy Kramarenko, Alice Mallory
2017 Phylllis Fernlund, Carol Ryan, Kori Calvert, Pat Brewer, Elaine Hamlin, Saundra Theis
2018 Tricia Acheatel, Priscilla Arnold, Jean Conger, Margaret Humphrey, Katharine Lang, Annette Lewis, Marty Lemky, Peggy Moore, Sylvia Whitman, Kate Wolf-Pizor
2019 Bessie Azari and Paula Wiiken



In 2009
The Women of History award was initiated in 2009 to honor long-time women members who have made substantial contributions to the branch.
2009 Doris Mannion

In 2013
The Presidents’ Recognition Award was presented to Bessie Azari in 2013 for her willingness to mentor, support, encourage and inspire two new presidents.

Advocacy for Women: Gretchen King, in 2013, for her book sales project to support Dunn House and WIN.

Social Networking: Liz Murphy for her efforts to connect women with information and community

Community Involvement: Chris Donchin for her successful implementation of $$$ 4 Scholars.

In 2014
Kathy Brandon and Sunny Anderson each received the Past President’s pin in recognition of their dedicated leadership of our Branch in 2012–2013.

In 2015
Bessie Azari and Sandra Coyner were each given a Past President’s pin for leading our Branch for two years. Sandra served on the Leadership Team 2009–2011, and Bessie served 2010–2012.