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Alumnae Council: Spirit of 1917 Annual Campaign

University of Michigan Alumnae Council’s Spirit of 1917 Annual Campaign

Since its formation in 1917, the University of Michigan Alumnae Council (UMAC) has made significant financial contributions to the University community. From 1961 to 2020 this fundraising effort was named the “Birthday Greeting.” In 2021, honoring the women who formed the Alumnae Council, UMAC renamed its fundraising campaign, “The Spirit of 1917 Annual Campaign.” The focus remains the same: supporting programs that positively advance the interests of women in the University of Michigan community.

Over the years, UMAC fundraising efforts have resulted in the building of the Michigan League at a time when women were not welcome at the Michigan Union; establishing affordable cooperative housing for women with the creation of Henderson House; spear-heading the financing of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW) to support non-traditional students; and helping fund the building of the Education Center at Camp Michigania.

In addition, UMAC continues to fund student scholarships; health and wellness programs; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives; and arts and culture projects on all three University campuses.

Follow this link for a full list of UMAC beneficiaries from the combined Birthday Greeting and Spirit of 1917 annual fundraising campaigns.

2021-22 Spirit of 1917 Annual Campaign Beneficiary

From the beginning in 1917, the women who created the Alumnae Council recognized the importance of affordable housing for women. After many years of significant fundraising, in 1945 the Council, with the help of the University, purchased the home at 1330 Hill Street. Henderson House is named after the very first leader of the Alumnae Council, Mary Bartron Henderson.

Henderson 1

Henderson House is a unique cooperative community that provides affordable housing for 28 undergraduate and graduate women. It offers residents an opportunity to grow and thrive among a diverse group of women, providing a sense of belonging and camaraderie. As residents of Henderson House, young women learn the value of collaborating as a cohesive team while developing effective leadership skills which serve them well in both their personal and professional lives for years to come.

Providing an affordable, safe, clean, and welcoming space in a home-like environment for female students has been a cornerstone for Henderson House and it is vital that this continues. To do this, Henderson House is in need of critical facility upgrades including overhauling the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, as well as completing bathroom modernizations. That’s why again this year, UMAC has selected Henderson House’s Capital Projects Fund as its featured program to support through The Spirit of 1917 Annual Campaign.

Please consider investing $104 ($1 for each year the Alumnae Council has existed) to support Henderson House through the 2021 Spirit of 1917 Annual Campaign. Your support at this or any level will enable our efforts to ensure that Henderson House remains a vibrant part of the University community.

Make your gift to The Spirt of 1917 Annual Campaign today.

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