Elkins AAUW presents Emily Opel Award

The Elkins Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) presented the Emily Opel Award of $500 to Kendra Collett of Elkins.

Collett, an English major with a minor in education, plans to continue her studies and teach, preferably in a middle school setting.

The Emily Opel Award is named for the Elkins’ Branch of AAUW’s first president in 1947, Miss Emily Wilmoth, who later became Mrs. Emily Opel. She taught in the Randolph County schools and served as an assistant superintendent for many years.

During her tenure as AAUW’s president, the group established a scholarship fund to recognize an outstanding and deserving Davis & Elkins student who was preparing to become a teacher.

In the beginning the scholarship’s funds were raised by selling United Nations Cookbooks, AAUW trivets, and other special objects, as well as holding book fairs, rummage sales and card parties.

The award recipient also receives a one-year free membership in AAUW. For 129 years, AAUW has advanced equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

In 2005, AAUW expanded membership to men and women who have completed an associate degree or the equivalent.

With more than 100,000 members nationally, AAUW was instrumental in the passing of the Family and Medical Act (1976) and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009).

One of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women, AAUW is providing more than $3.7 million in funding for more than 245 fellowships and grants to outstanding women and nonprofit organizations this academic year.

Those interested in membership or more information about the Elkins branch are encouraged to call Grace Sundelin at 304-636-3590.