Woman of the Year

On November 12, 1975 the Poughkeepsie Branch held a dinner at the Vassar Alumni House to commemorate the International Women's Year and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of our branch. Eight women were honored for outstanding service to the residents of Dutchess County. Since that time, the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW has selected a local woman to honor as our Woman of the Year. These women exemplify the goals stated in AAUW's mission statement:

The American Association of University Women advances equity
for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

We invite you to nominate candidates for consideration of this honor using the form linked below to print, fill in and mail. Your nomination will be in consideration for two years from the date you submit the form to one of the Woman of the Year Committee Co-Chairs: Margaret Ouart, 26 Broad St, Fishkill, NY 12524 or Mary Lou Davis, 125 Andrews Rd, Lagrangeville, NY 12540

Woman of the year Nomination Form>>


2019  Hon. Joan S. Posner

2018  Dr. Pamela R. Edington

2017  Mariel Fiori

2016  Krista Jones

2015  Mary Lou Davis

2014  Maureen J. Taylor

2013  Patti Peck

2012  Judith A. Lombardi

2011  Ann K. Armater

2010  Elizabeth Harrel

2009  Carole J. Wolf

2008  Eileen M. Hayden

2007  Diane Pedevillano

2006  Clara Lou Gould

2005  Eleanor Charwat

2004  Gail Webster

2003  Klara B. Sauer

2002  Anna Buchholz

2001  Margaret R Calista

2000  Ruth Stafford Peale

1999  R. Patricia Poggi

1998  Ceal Sommer

1997  Virginia A. Swartz

1996  Mary Moody

1995  Geeta Desai

1994  Gail Burger

1993  Gloria Rutgers

1991  Trudie Evangelou

1990  Marion "Chad" Patterson

1988  Earline Patrice

1987  Joyce Ghee

1986  Mary Lou Heissenbuttel

1985  Trudy Grundon

1984  Mary Keeley

1983  Helen Marchese

1982  Marie Tarver

1981  Patricia Braatz

1980  Lucille Pattison

1979  Dr. Eleanor Peck

1978  Marian B. Morse

1975  Ann Buchholz

1975  Bernie Fitchett

1975  Bessie Payne

1975  Dorothy Haight

1975  Edna MacMahon

1975  Frances Drace

1975  Margaret Race

1975  Hilda Bohmer

Gail Burger, Woman of the Year 1994

Gail Burger is the Executive Director of Dutchess Interfaith Council. Her career is an outgrowth of her genuine concern for individuals and the community. Dutchess Interfaith Council consists of 95 congregations throughout the county. As director, Gail oversees a volunteer board of 25 members who coordinate a variety of community projects including the annual Crop Walk Against Hunger, the Winter Youth Gathering, Interfaith worship services and many other activities that celebrate diversity and unity. Gail's leadership abilities and sensitivity help facilitate the interaction of individuals who normally would not be working together to meet the needs of the community.

A Poughkeepsie native, Gail graduated from Vassar College in 1960. After teaching for four years, Gail spent several years at home raising a family. She and her husband, Emerson, have two children, Claire and Glen.

In 1978 Gail began a new career as Christian Education Director at the First Presbyterian Church in Poughkeepsie. It was during this time she resolved to pursue the goal of becoming an ordained minister. For five years, Gail commuted to Union Theological Seminary in New York City, often leaving home at 5:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. class. In 1988 she received her degree, Masters of Divinity, and was ordained in the Hughsonville Presbyterian Church where she served as pastor for four years before assuming her current position.


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Website comments are welcome and may be directed to Mary King. This page last updated on Dec 17, 2018