Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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    SIU Women’s Club offers friendship, networking and scholarship opportunities


    Dating back to 1937, the Southern Illinois University Women’s Club organized social, educational, and cultural informal social events for all the women in the SUI community.

    The SIU’s Women’s Club became a formally recognized organization in 1948 and it continues to grow. 

    Today, it has nearly 200 members. 


    Nancy Mundschenk, the president-elect said, “So over that time, we can talk about membership, we’ve continued to grow, evolve, and respond to our membership in a couple of ways.”

    The mission statement goes as follows: “This shall be a social organization, the purpose of which shall be to afford its members opportunities to broaden their acquaintances, to further friendships, and serve Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the women of Southern Illinois in any way the group may deem advisable.”

    Membership Director Olga Weidner said, “There was more a feeling that people at the club needed to be formalized to become more known in the community because at first people thought that the qualifications to join were different. But you know, it included everyone, women of any age, either be a 4E student or a grader or had an affiliation with a student or anyone at Southern Illinois University,”

    Organizing events and building a community requires the effort of many people. The board members are an important part of this process. They each have the skills and knowledge that they bring to the table. They work hard to plan and coordinate activities, promote the event, and connect with attendees to ensure success.

    The Board of Directors for this year are: 

    President Deb Barnett

    President-Elect Nancy Mundschenk


    Secretary Courtney Douglas-Ledbetter

    Treasurer June Gibbs

    Program Director Gena Albert

    Communications Director Stacy Morgan

    Historical Director Tamara Workman

    Technological Director Vanessa Sneed

    Interest Group Director April Teske

    Membership Director Olga Weidner

    Scholarship Director Deb Sarvela

    Past President Amelia Ketzle


    The board members understand the importance of education and are committed to supporting their members through financial assistance.

    “Yes, we have um, monthly meetings. So we’re doing this once a month. And everyone gets to go to the president, vice secretary and treasurer. So it’s a typical kind of thing, how much money do we have? How are our communication strategies? What are we doing on membership?” Mundschenk said. 

    The Women’s Club offers two $2,000 scholarships to female undergraduate students: The Dorothy Morris Traditional Student Scholarship and The Joyce Guyon Non-Traditional Scholarship.

    Mundschenk said, “We plan a program that brings our focus to scholarships to be sure to get as many scholarships as we can. It’s going to depend on the generosity of our members whether we’re going to receive scholarships a year. We honor recipients of our scholarships. We’ll pay attention to that again.”

    The first scholarship was named in honor of Dorothy Morris, who made a profound impact on the Southern Illinois University community. This scholarship is specifically designed for female students who are traditionally pursuing their undergraduate degrees. 

    The second scholarship is the Joyce Guyon Non-Traditional Scholarship, which is available to female undergraduate students who are returning to school after a break in their education or who are pursuing their degree in a non-traditional manner. This scholarship is named in honor of Joyce Guyon, who was a strong advocate for women’s education and empowerment. 

    Weidner said, “Later on when Joyce Guyon passed away, we felt that she had taught all these years. She had been a first lady for years. And we felt it was important to name a non-traditional scholarship.” 

    Those are not the only scholarships available however.

     “For the past several years, we’ve been giving three scholarships. This year, we’re giving four. So that’s something we haven’t touched at all and it’s a donation. So these women are supporting them out there.” Mundschenk said.

    Women’s Club also provides over 20 different interest groups to its members.

    These include for this year: 

    • Adventure Gals
    • Antiques and Collectibles
    • Book Discussion – Afternoon
    • Breakfast Group
    • Bridge – Afternoon
    • Bridge – Couples
    • Chinese Dongxi
    • Community Service and Volunteerism
    • Cuisine of the World
    • Culinary Cruisers
    • Cultural Events of Southern Illinois
    • Euchre & More
    • Evening at the Cinema
    • Gentle Toning, Stretching, and Yoga (GTSY)
    • Knitting and Stitching
    • Meet ‘n Eat
    • Opera Group
    • Scrabble
    • SIU Athletics Group
    • Suitcase Sisters
    • Welcoming Newcomers Dinner Group


    “Well, first of all, the most important thing is that we engage the membership to participate in events. We try to find out what interests them in programs. And when they come, we value their participation, so it makes a difference. We give their opinions as to what they would like to see in those programs,” Weidner said.

    The fall tea has been a signature event of the SIU Women’s Club for many years. In recent times, it has evolved into the Afternoon Tea, which is held at the Stone Center. This event is highly anticipated by the members, as it gives them a chance to dress up, enjoy some tea, indulge in snacks and socialize with other members. 

    “It used to be The High Tea, the president’s wife, and it was at the Stone Center, and it was tea. We still have the tea set, and we put it on the table, and we have the scrapbook of previous events, and everything,” Mundschenk said. “But for our teas, we still graciously accept the support of the president’s office and Mrs. Maloney, so that’s great so that our members can go for free. But, yes, I think it’s a more dynamic and interactive kind of event now. I was glad that we had it outside, that we all met under the tent,”

    The club has its next event on April 25, celebrating and recognizing the scholarship recipients  at its Spring Business Meeting from 4:30-7 p.m. at the University Museum Sharp Gallery.




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