U.S. House Sponsors Establish National Women’s Colleges & Universities Day

Posted By Anastasia Baran - 04/16/2024

April 17, Los Angeles| Women’s College Coalition (WCC) representatives marked U.S. House Resolution 1091 creating and honoring National Women’s Colleges & Universities Day, to be celebrated on March 5 annually, with House Appropriations Committee Chair Emerita Kay Granger (TX-12), Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), and Representative Becca Balint (VT-AL) last month. The House co-sponsors recognize the long-time role that the nation's women's colleges and universities play in advancing postsecondary diversity and inclusion for underserved populations while creating unique educational opportunities to empower women.

Representative Granger shared, “it is a point of pride for me to co-sponsor this resolution with my colleague. America’s women’s colleges and universities serve an important role in educating our nation’s future leaders, a diverse array of women who will carry on the legacy of their institutions for many years to come.”

“As the product not only of a women’s college, but also an all-girl’s high school, I am a firm believer in the power of our nation’s women’s colleges and universities. There are no limits to what graduates of these institutions can go on to achieve,” said Representative DeLauro, an alumna of Marymount College and The Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall.

American women’s colleges were founded more than 250 years ago in the face of deep-seated discrimination against educating women. These institutions cast open the doors to access and opportunity for women’s education, changing the face of this nation and the world for the better, and the 30 remaining women’s Colleges and universities in the U.S. continue that trailblazing tradition of serving women, especially those from underserved communities. From uniquely preparing women to lead a global society and closing the gap in male-dominated fields, to being epicenters of inclusive excellence and creating a community that promotes lifelong learning and connection beyond graduation – women’s colleges have more relevance today than ever before.

Women’s colleges have a deep legacy of educating the under-served. Today, 40% of women’s college students are Pell grant recipients and 93% receive financial aid. One third of women’s colleges and universities are federally-designated Minority Serving Institutions, some with multiple designations, and fifty percent of students identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.

“We are deeply grateful for the support of Representatives Granger and DeLauro, long-time champions of women’s advancement and empowerment. America’s Women’s Colleges are fortunate that they are willing to shed light on the great work that our institutions do to educate the 42,000 women we serve annually,” said Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson, Board Chair of the Women’s College Coalition and president of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles.

Women’s colleges and universities are recognized for the sector’s transformational impact in advancing women throughout history and for their invaluable contribution to the American higher education landscape and to the Nation’s workforce.

Despite an indisputable track record of producing strong women leaders across industries, women’s colleges and universities have historically lacked resources. Many women’s colleges were explicitly founded with the goal of affordability for lower- and middle-income women—a bold innovation for the time—but that instantly created funding disparity. Beyond being underfunded, the sector was deeply shaken by the pandemic, as evidenced by the closure of several women’s colleges during this period. In a timely move, these valuable and unique institutions are finally receiving national attention and support for the parity they have created.

“National Women’s Colleges & Universities Day can best be celebrated or observed by sharing stories of success of women’s college alumnae, donating to a women’s college that is important to you, and encouraging our federal representatives to support women’s colleges and universities,” said McElaney-Johnson.


Contact Information:
Anastasia Baran
Communications & Project Manager, WCC
424.901.9183 (cell)