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The First 25 Years (1973-1998)

Drs. Patricia Bruce, Marilyn Crawford, Lee Morrison and Rosie Rummel were teachers, scholars, administrators, leaders, activists and most importantly women who made a difference.

These four women opened the doors of opportunity for thousands of women at JMU, in Virginia, the United States and the world. The Madison Caucus for Gender Equality honors the legacies of these women with our continued activity on and off the campus.

  • The first "unofficial" meeting was held on September 20, 1973 at the Harrisonburg Electric Commission. 

  • The first official meeting of the "Faculty Women of Madison College" was held October 15, 1973 on campus. Dr. Rose Rummel was elected President with 38 members. 

  • The major concern of this group was that the administration was not making effective use of the abilities of faculty women and administrators, as well as gender based salary inequality. 

  • November 17-21, 1975: First Women's Week (sponsored by the Caucus). 

  • November 21, 1975: First Dominion Lecture (sponsored by the Caucus). 

  • 1975: Caucus began work on establishment of a Center for Women. Dues increased to $5 and organization was renamed to "The Madison College Faculty Women's Caucus. 

  • 1978: Struggle with salary inequities continues. Work on male/female commencement speakers. 

  • 1979: Letter to President Carrier commending his efforts to hire more women faculty. 

  • 1980: Due to Caucus efforts, university budget contained allocation for "equity" monies for women. 

  • 1980: The "Women's Resource Network" was established. 

  • 1982: Administration agreed to put women on all search committees. 

  • 1983: Awards established for Outstanding Research in women's issues and service to Caucus. 

  • March 15, 1984: Breeze headline: "Administrator Says Women Less Qualified": quote from John Mundy, Affirmative Action Officer. Caucus responds through meeting with President Carrier, letter of apology sent to Women's Caucus, Mundy replaced with Elizabeth Ihle. 

  • 1989; Caucus instrumental in beginning Minor in Women's Studies. Establishment of Bruce-Crawford-Morrison-RummelScholarship Fund (largest single scholarship fund on campus). Caucus motivation for President's "think tank" on women's issues at JMU, out of which came the Women's Issues Committee. Women put on University Commissions and Committees at University level. 

  • 1990: establishment of Professional Development Fund.

  • 1993: Caucus continues work on improving status of faculty women at JMU. 

  • 1994: Under the leadership of Elizabeth Ihle, the Caucus motivated the JMU administration to conduct gender equity study, revealing that a number of women on campus were not being paid at the same level as their male peers. The administration put in place a review of salaries that lead to significant salary adjustments being made. As a result, female faculty members who were underpaid received salary increases. 

  • 1995: Salary increases received except for women in administration. 

  • 1997-98: Caucus fights for more female administrators and coaches in Athletics. 

  • 1998: Caucus celebrates 25 years of actively working for women at JMU.