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 Webster, Woman of the Year 2004

"Passionate about helping people.” “Uses her wonderful sense of humor in handling difficult situations.” “A calm, tireless leader.” “Dedicated to giving something back to her community.” “An articulate advocate for those who have difficulty speaking for themselves.”

These are just some of the phrases that have been used to describe Gail Webster, our honoree for AAUW Woman of the Year. She has served since 1991 as the Executive Director of Hudson River Housing (HRH), a non-profit organization that has done a great deal to provide a continuum of housing opportunities for area residents.

When she became the director, HRH had a staff of three and focused on running a successful homeless shelter, Gannett House. Under her direction, the staff has grown to 100 and the organization oversees eleven projects including a teen shelter, family shelters, transitional housing, rental or home ownership projects, and numerous educational programs. They have obtained grants from various organizations, including Housing and Urban Development and the Dyson Foundation, and have poured millions of dollars into community revitalization projects. The organization understands that job skills, along with knowledge about home ownership, are keys to success. Their goal is to make their guests self sufficient, and they have relied on many community experts to help residents obtain jobs, learn to maintain a home or apartment, and develop money management skills.

Ms. Webster fulfills the AAUW mission of promoting lifelong education and creating positive societal change. She works in a quiet, unassuming manner and has been very effective in making our community a better place. We are proud to honor her this year!


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