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University of Florida Agricultural Women's Club Records

 Collection
Identifier: MS Coll 150

Scope and Content

The University of Florida Agricultural Women's Club Records date from 1940 to 2020 and contain scrapbooks, yearbooks, official board meeting minutes and treasury reports, event flyers, and histories. The records have been arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.

Dates

  • 1940 - 2020

Creator

Access

The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Agricultural Women's Club was founded at the University of Florida in 1908 by Effie Afton Stone Rolfs, the wife of Peter H. Rolfs, the Director of UF's Agricultural Experiment Station. The club was originally called the "Extension Club" which consisted of 35-40 members, wives of the faculty in that unit who met weekly to socialize and sew. It is the first women's club and oldest social club at the University of Florida.

In 1942-1945 the name was formally changed to the "Agricultural Experiment Station, Agricultural Extension Service, College of Agriculture and State Plant Board Club" to reflect the addition of new units on campus.

In 1945 the club was renamed the "Agricultural Women's Organization" as the wives of the College of Agriculture faculty and administrative staffs were invited to join.

In 1947, members voted to change the name one last time, and the "Agricultural Women's Club" became the official name for the organization. In addition to social activities, service and outreach became an increasingly important focus during the 1940s.

The club continued to grow in members and activities. In 1989 the Executive Board voted to inaugurate a scholarship program that would present a $500 scholarship to a female graduate student in Agriculture. The first Agricultural Women's Club Scholarship was awarded in 1990. Two scholarships were granted the following year and four more in 1992. In April 1998, Dr. E. T. York gave a $10,000 gift to establish the Vam Cardwell York Scholarship in honor of his wife, a long-time club member. The first annual Vam York Scholarship was awarded in 1999.

In 2008 the club marked its 100th anniversary with an April celebration at the President's House. The program included the awarding of four scholarships, presentation of an Agricultural Women's Club "Woman of Distinction" award, and the announcement of over $13,000 in donations made to a Centennial Endowed Scholarship Fund established by the board in the fall of 2007.

By 2013-2015, due to declining membership, the organization became semi-active, no longer collecting dues or soliciting new members. At the November 2015 meeting, the board voted to establish an endowment fund with the University of Florida Foundation which would support two scholarships in perpetuity.

The Agricultural Women's Club leaves a legacy of over $113,000 in scholarship monies donated by members over thirty years. $61,100 funded 112 scholarships to female and male UF students. The remaining donations went to the endowment, which was valued at $52,412 in 2020.

After establishing the scholarship endowment, the Agricultural Women's Club board ceased to meet and at a February 2020 luncheon, final plans for dissolution were made to donate the club's historical records to the University of Florida's Smathers Library Special Collections.

Sources:

"History and addendum for dissolution, 2016-2020", University of Florida Agricultural Women's Club Records, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Extent

3.02 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Scrapbooks, yearbooks, minutes, and other records documenting the University of Florida Agricultural Women's Club.

Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the University of Florida Agricultural Women's Club, March 2020.
Title
A Guide to the University of Florida Agricultural Women's Club Records
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid created by Matt Kruse
Date
March 2021
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

Contact:
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America
352-273-2755