Read more about the work of each committee below and utilize the button at the bottom of the page to join a committee.

Business Committee and Bear Necessities Shop

The Bear Necessities shop is a unique campus store, offering WUSTL insignia apparel and gifts (souvenirs, coffee mugs, bears) as well as greeting cards, health and beauty aids, dorm/school/computer supplies, and more. Customized freshly baked birthday cakes can be ordered by friends or family. It is a great place for students to do their shopping without leaving the campus. The shop is located in Umrath House on the South 40. The business committee is responsible for the oversight of this not-for-profit store, which funds scholarships and student projects.

Bear Necessities
Kelly Bogda, manager

South 40 on Danforth Campus

Education Committee

WSWU sponsors the Women’s Society lecture series with educational lectures offered annually by distinguished Washington University professors on current topics of interest to members and guests. The education committee selects the faculty speakers for these lectures and also recommends speakers for the chancellor’s lecture.

In the spring, the Women’s Society invites a woman of national recognition to the university to speak at the memorial lecture established in 1988 in honor of Adele Chomeau Starbird, dean of women at the university from 1931 to 1959. This event takes place along with the Annual Meeting of the Women’s Society.

Funding Committee

The funding committee reviews proposals and recommends funding for university community projects. One or two committee members volunteer to serve as liaison(s) for each approved project and are able to encourage greater WSWU involvement with the project and the students. In addition, university representatives of approved projects are invited to board meetings and lectures to increase awareness of the project’s activities.

Membership Committee

The membership committee enlists new WSWU members who will ably support or actively participate in its activities. The committee is always interested in suggestions for potential new members and for increasing diversity in the organization.

Composing a Life Committee

This committee plans the Ida H. Early Composing a Life panel event for undergraduate and graduate women focused on life after graduation. The panel features women from various fields who share their personal stories and advice on how to successfully combine careers, families, and community activities.

Leadership Award Committee

The Women’s Society recognizes up to two graduating senior women annually with the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award. Awardees contribute significantly to the Washington University community and show exceptional potential for future leadership. The leadership award committee oversees the selection process.

Harriet Switzer (back row, center) with 2022 Leadership Award winners at the Women’s Society Annual Board Meeting

Marketing Committee

The marketing and communications committee identifies communication channels within and outside the university community to feature WSWU’s mission and programs. It also plans to develop interactive communications, marketing, and sales strategies.

Scholarship Committee

The scholarship committee provides ongoing oversight of the Elizabeth Gray Danforth scholars. Each year, the Women’s Society sponsors a two-year, full-tuition Washington University scholarship for an outstanding transfer student from the St. Louis Community College District.