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

Mary Lou Davis, Woman of the Year 2015

2015 Mary Lou Davis

What a wonderful opportunity for us all to thank a modest, dedicated woman who has done so much for AAUW and the greater Hudson Valley community. The volunteer work listed below is only a partial list of all that Mary Lou has accomplished.

A nineteen year member of the Poughkeepsie Branch, Mary Lou Davis has served on the AAUW-New York State board in recent years, as president (2012-2014), secretary/bylaws chair (2010-2011), nominating committee chair (2008-2010 and 2015-2016), assistant nominating chair (2007-2008 and 2013-2014), district director (2005-2008 and 2014-2016), coordinator for District IV (2004-2005), and state convention director (2008-2011).

In addition to serving as president of the Poughkeepsie Branch in 2002-2004, Mary Lou has also chaired the branch's membership, nominating, and Woman of the Year committees. She helped present "Let's Read Math" for local elementary teachers, participated in the Live Your Dream 7th grade girls' conference and planned a math night reunion for middle school girls.

In 1988-1994, Mary Lou served as a member of the Arlington School Board, vice-president (1993-1994). She was the Dutchess County School Board program chairman (1988-1993).

At Spackenkill she was the advisor to Mathematics Team (1979-2000); president of the Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan and Orange Math League (1984-1998); coach for the DUSO Math Team at state math competition and coach for the Upper New York Math Team at the Atlantic Region Math competition. Mary Lou was central treasurer for Spackenkill High School (1995-2000), advisor of Spackenkill school paper (1994-2000), class advisor for senior class at Spackenkill (1970-1972), vice-president of the Spackenkill District PTA (1998-1999), and in the early 90's was chairman of Spackenkill Math Committee to re-evaluate the mathematics curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12.

In 1991, Mary Lou received a Vision award from IBN-Semiconductor Research Corporation (Competitiveness Foundation Education Alliance) and in 1984 she was selected to be a part of the IBM Computer Program for math and science teachers. She is listed in Who's Who Among Teachers, Who's Who in Education, Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in the World.

After retiring from her teaching position in 2000, Mary Lou became active with professional organizations including the Dutchess County Retired Teachers Association (treasurer 2013-present), NYSUT regional council (board member), the Spackenkill Retired Teachers (president, 2000-2004 and 2008-2012, vice president 2013-2015), and the Southeastern Division of New York State Retired Teachers Association (budget director). She was awarded a NYSUT community service award in 2012 and a PTA Honorary Life Member Award and Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award in 2000.

Mary Lou is currently on the board of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, where she served as treasurer, assistant treasurer, chair of the 403 (b) Ad Hoc Committee and chair of the Kitchen Ad Hoc Committee. She will be co-chairing the Open Your Heart event this coming year and is First Vice President for 2015-2016. She is also involved in a variety of community organizations including the Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church (past trustee, treasurer and auditing chairman), Habitat for Humanity (public relations), the Junior League of Poughkeepsie, and Mid-Hudson Alumnae Panhellenic (past president 2007-2011 and current treasurer). She volunteers at both the Second Hand Rose thrift store and Vassar College’s art museum.

Please join us in honoring this very special Woman of the Year, Mary Lou Davis.


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