Center for the Education of Women (University of Michigan) Records

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Center for the Education of Women (University of Michigan) records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Center for the Education of Women (University of Michigan) records collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Minutes, correspondence, audiovisual materials, and other records documenting the founding, public programs, research projects, day-to-day administrative activities, and individual staff members of the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women.

Designed to serve the needs of women students as well as women returning to school or work, CEW (then known as the Center for the Continuing Education of Women) was founded with a three part mission of service, advocacy, and research. CEW maintains that mission today, serving University students, staff and faculty, community members, women and men, facing educational, employment or other life issues.

Over the years, CEW has served as a model for other centers, has worked on behalf of women on this campus, in the state of Michigan, and nationally, and has conducted research informing us about women's lives - their work, their education, their family demands, and their aspirations.1

In August 1962, Louise Gilbert Cain prepared "A Memo and Suggestion on the Continuing Education of Women." Mrs. Cain, who worked in the University Extension Service, had become increasing aware of the problems faced by women students when they attempted to re-enter the university. The university responded to Louise Cain's memo by appointing her Special Assistant to Roger W. Heynes, the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Mrs. Cain prepared "Recommendations for a Center for the Continuing Education of Women" in June 1963. An advisory committee of deans was constituted and by May of the following year a proposal for a center had been written.

The Center for the Continuing Education of Women (CEW) began operations on September 1, 1964. It was initially funded by a $15,000 appropriation from President Harlan Hatcher. The second year's operating budget was doubled with the addition of funds from the Alumnae Council.

Louise Cain was appointed director (on leave) of CEW for 1964/65; Jean Campbell was acting director and Helen Hornbeck Tanner was assistant director. Jean Campbell became director in September 1965 and continued in that position until 1985. Subsequent directors have been: Vivian Rogers, 1985-1987; Patricia Wulp, acting director, 1987-1988; and Carol S. Hollenshead, 1988 to the present. After Helen Hornbeck Tanner left CEW in 1967, the Assistant Director position was upgraded to that of Associate Director. CEW Associate Directors have been Patricia Wulp, 1968-1994, and Susan Kaufmann, 1994 to the present.

Throughout the 1960s the center expanded its services to women. The center began publication of a newsletter in the Fall of 1968 and the first conference/workshop "Women in Action" was held in 1969. CEW also began the publication of a paperback series related to women and continuing education.

The center, which reports to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, provides educational and vocational guidance to women whose education has been interrupted. The information collected on each counselee or "participant" is coded and the data is used to provide demographic, educational and work experience information on the participant. The data is also used to design CEW programs, to evaluate the center's performance, and to contribute to the basic knowledge about women in today's society. The center organizes discussions, workshops and conferences focusing on women's experiences in higher education and on women's experiences in general. The center's library, a collection of vocational materials and pamphlets of interest to women, provides an additional resource. The center's scholarship program, begun in 1970, the centennial year of women at the University of Michigan, awards merit scholarships. The center also gives emergency grants.

Since its inception the center has become the focus of activities by and for women at the university, lending its support and expertise to the affirmative action movement, the Commission for Women, the development of the Women's Studies Program, and WISE, Women in Science and Engineering. The center's staff has served on university and community committees concerned with women's issues and has brought the perspective of women's needs to university committees. Staff members have worked for changes in university rules and procedures, scheduling and curricula through their membership on such committees as the LS&A Admissions Committee, the Commission on Graduate Requirements, the International Women's Year University of Michigan Committee, the LS&A Commission on Graduation Requirements, and the Committee on the Status of Women in Graduate Education.

The center has also developed programs to benefit special groups of women such as the Arrow Program for undergraduate women, the Evening Program courses (originally designed for student wives), and various programs for international women. In addition, several task forces, such as the Compensation Program and Dependent Care Task Forces, have been developed over the years to address varying needs in the community. More detailed information about the center's history and it's current events and programs can be found on its website at

Note to the researcher: The name of the center was changed in 1989 from the Center for the Continuing Education of Women to the Center for the Education of Women.


1 From the introduction to the history of CEW on the Center's website at; a more detailed history of CEW is available in pdf form at

Please note:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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