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

Virginia A. Swartz, Woman of the Year 1997

Virgina Americo Swartz graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a degree in Music Education, specializing in piano and voice. Since her arrival in Poughkeepsie fifty years ago, she has been active in her church, school and community. A member of the Junior League of Poughkeepsie, she was their 1969 Volunteer of the Year and is currently on the Board of Directors as Sustaining Representative. She was a charter member of the Community Mixed Chorus, and accompaniest and assistant director for nearly thirty-five Years.

Ginny directed many shows in the Arlington schools and taught ballroom dancing at the Poughkeepsie Tennis Club. A past director of the youth choirs of The First Congregatinal Church, she is a soloist and member of the senior choir and director of the church's bell choir.

She served in many capacities with the semi-professional Dutchess County Philharmonic and then served on the Central Board of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic from 1960-1982. She was president of the Dutchess County Council of the HVP for three terms. She has organized luncheon fundraisers, after-concert receptions, and the HVP A Kitchen Symphony cookbook. Ginny has also served on the Dutchess County Arts Council and is currently on the committee for the Young Artists Competion.

Ginny was class president of Oberlin College for five years and more recently has been fundraiser for three classes.


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