West Virginia University is celebrating the contributions, perspectives, experiences and roles of women both in and outside the classroom at WVU over the past 125 years.

The 125 Years of women campaign will officially kick-off tomorrow (April 5) with the raising of the Centenary Time Capsule at 3 p.m. at Woodburn Circle. A reception will follow until 6 p.m. in E. Moore Hall.

The Centenary Time Capsule was buried in 1991 in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of WVU’s first woman graduate, Harriet Lyon. New artifacts representing the current era of women in in each time period will be added until the bicentennial celebration in 2091. The capsule will be raised every 25 years until that time.

Center for Women’s and Gender Studies Director Jennifer Orlikoff said the event is a testament to the legacy of women at WVU – and will aim to inspire WVU’s current generation of women to lead the way into the future of women’s empowerment and equality.

“This event is important to all of us at the university and beyond because it allows us the opportunity to acknowledge the legacy of women who have come before us and paved the way for all of us to strive for excellence through equity,” Orlikoff said. “Not only is this a good opportunity to reflect on the path that has led us to where we are today, but it also prompts us to consider whether we have achieved our goals of equity.”

Four students will have the honor of lifting the capsule from the ground: Julie Merow, Student Government Association president; Amanda Hill, WVU women’s soccer team member; Lanay Montgomery, WVU women’s basketball team member; and Zhoe Lesher, president of Tri Iota Honorary.

The event – and the larger 125 Years of Women at WVU celebration – strives to bring equity to the opportunities and acknowledgement women receive.

“As university president, I want to see each person on our campus reach his or her full potential,” said WVU President Gordon Gee. “If we are to become a truly eminent public research university, we must all commit to improving the culture so that all students, faculty and staff have what they need to succeed.”

Gee, along with Secretary of State and first female Mountaineer Natalie Tennant, Provost Joyce McConnell and new Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gregory Dunaway will provide comments at tomorrow’s capsule raising.

The capsule will be re-buried with new items during Mountaineer Week in November. There will be an opportunity for the WVU and greater West Virginia communities to make suggestions for items of significance to women in 2016 to be included in the capsule.

For more details and future events, refer to the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies website.



CONTACT: Jennifer Orlikoff, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
304.293.2063, Jennifer.Orlikoff@mail.wvu.edu

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