Year of the Woman kick-off celebrations


Many attended the reception and video screening for the WOW kick-off event.


Women of Westminster year-long celebration kicks off with reception and video screening.

A year of events celebrating the 35th anniversary of first women to attend Westminster College began with a reception in the atrium of the Coulter Science Center on Friday, Oct. 10. The event featured class photos and yearbooks from those first years and a screening in the lecture hall of a video created by Steven Sakayroun, ’16, documenting the first year in the history of the Women of Westminster, known as WOWs. Dr. Kasi Lacey narrated the video, reading a script written by Dr. Cinnamon Brown, professor of history and coordinator of Westminster’s women and gender studies minor.

“Just realizing the history and reflecting was really powerful on how far we’ve come and thinking about how far we need to go,” Dr. Lacey said about working on the video.

According to Dr. Brown, when the first women came to campus there were only two female bathrooms on the entire campus. Marquess Hall eventually became the first dormitory remodeled with restroom and shower facilities for women. More campus-wide changes would follow, including revamped menu options in the dining hall.

“I heard a story from an old WOW who said that when women saw what there was to eat at the dining hall they said, ‘We want more salad! We want more healthy choices,'” said Dr. Brown.

Tripti Giri, ’15, said she appreciates the important contributions made by women to the college, and she says she hopes to see other WOW firsts recognized throughout the year, like the first female soccer team.

“What is definitely obvious is that women have impacted the way that Westminster has grown,” Giri said. “I think it is a good thing to celebrate.”

A WOW breakfast was held on Oct. 17 in the Panettiere room with Dean Perry along with women from the faculty staff, students and the board of trustees. The WOW video was shown and the participants shared stories about gender issues they have faced while at Westminster.


Women from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students gathered in the Panettiere Room for the WOW Breakfast to celebrate the Year of the Woman at Westminster.

In November, more events will be planned with the theme, “Thank a WOW.” Student organizations are encouraged to contribute with activities aimed at thanking female faculty, students, friends, and family. Next semester, in March, Dr. Lacey and Dr. Brown will work together with the Remley Women’s Center to present the Women’s Leadership Conference. Look for more events to be announced as the academic year goes on.

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