Gift to Case from Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association honors late philanthropist
Center for Women to be renamed
Case Western Reserve University has received a gift of $500,000 from the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association. The gift, along with previous gifts of $100,000, are to be put into a fund that will boost current and create additional programming at the university's Center for Women. The center now will be known formally as the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.
"We're pleased to donate this gift to Case Western Reserve University and to the Center for Women," said Dorothy Taylor Mitchell, immediate past president of the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association and a 1951 graduate of the college. "With a history that spans more than a century, and in keeping with the tradition of Mrs. Mather's philanthropic commitment to Cleveland and this university, it is our goal to enhance the center's mission to improve the educational, professional and social climate and to increase the opportunities for women at Case and in the community."
The College for Women of Western Reserve University was established in 1888, but was renamed Flora Stone Mather College in 1931 in recognition of Mrs. Mather's leadership and generosity in supporting the creation of the women's college. The Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association was established in 1894 as the Alumnae Association of the College for Women and now represents nearly 5,800 alumnae who attended the college until its merger with Adelbert and Cleveland colleges in 1972.
Case President Edward M. Hundert, M.D., said the university is a haven for the exchange of diverse ideas, information and resources and that the Center for Women will benefit greatly from the alumnae association's gift.
"The Center for Women is a primary source of empowerment and leadership for women and the entire community," Hundert said. "The generous gift from the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association augments our center's educational and research programs, which combine experiential learning with rigorous scholarship. I am grateful to the members of the association for their continuing support not only for the newly renamed Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, but to the university as a whole."
There were many incarnations of the Center for Women before it officially opened in October 2003, but the wheels were put in motion when the alumnae association sponsored a conference for women in 2000 and used the proceeds to help seed the initiative, said Dorothy Miller, center director.
"That event helped change the culture surrounding women's issues and demonstrated a need for the center," she said. "This new funding will help us develop the type of programming needed to steer college-age women toward successful career paths and increased leadership roles."
In addition to the new funding for the Center for Women, the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association has provided approximately $2.5 million in the past 30 years by way of scholarships, grants to academic departments and student groups. In addition, the association provides funding to eligible Flora Stone Mather alumnae aged 50 or older for career enhancement activities through its Senior Women in Their Most Productive Years (SWIMPY) award. The association also was instrumental in the establishment and founding of Case's Mather Gallery, the Flora Stone Mather Visiting Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences, and numerous scholarships for undergraduate women.
For the last three years, Flora Stone Mather Legacy Preservation Committee members Jeannine Love, Nancy Kurfess Johnson and Carol Lader worked with Case leadership to provide the resources that ultimately led to the gift and renaming of the Center for Women, added Mitchell, the alumnae association past president.
Daughter of Amasa Stone, the industrialist who played a pivotal role in bringing Western Reserve to Cleveland, Flora Stone, along with husband Samuel Mather, bestowed numerous gifts upon Western Reserve University that helped shape it into the university it is today.
"The role she, her family and the Cleveland community played in the creation and growth of the College for Women of Western Reserve is a testament to the dedication of alumni and friends of the university," said Mitchell. "A large part of our objective is to follow in Mrs. Mather's footsteps."
The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women will host a celebration of the renaming in conjunction with its second anniversary luncheon on November 3. For more information, visit http://www.case.edu/provost/centerforwomen.
About Case Western Reserve University
Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work. http://www.case.edu.