GFWC-NC History

Historic Highlights

A condensed history of GFWC-NC is available online or through Headquarters and is updated each Administration. More complete histories may be purchased from State Headquarters. The following are highlights from the organization’s history:

  • 1890 The GFWC was founded in New York City.
  • 1902 Seven clubs organized the NCFWC at Salem College in Winston-Salem on May 25-27. In October the first convention was held in Winston-Salem. Seventeen clubs were represented.
  • 1903 The North Carolina Federation, consisting of 20 clubs and 449 members, joined GFWC.
  • 1906 The Federation colors of blue and white and the emblem were adopted.
  • 1907 The first scholarship fund was begun, and the first clubhouse was established – in Raleigh.
  • 1910 The Clubwoman’s Hymn by Mrs. R.P. Cotten and Mrs. E.C. Duncan was adopted. Midyear meetings of the Board of Directors began. Competition in the Arts was begun as a Fine Arts evening at the annual convention.
  • 1911 The Endowment Fund was established, and the first districts were established.
  • 1913 The charter was issued by the state of North Carolina. The seal and motto, The Union of All for the Good of All, was adopted. The Board of Trustees was established.
  • 1926 Junior clubwomen were identified for the first time.
  • 1927 The State Headquarters was established in Raleigh, and an Executive Secretary was hired.
  • 1932 A motion to form a State Junior Department for those aged 16 through 25 was approved at the 30th Convention. Convention pages were utilized for the first time.
  • 1934 The state’s magazine name was changed to the NC Clubwoman. It was sent to subscribers only.
  • 1946 The position of Third Vice President/Director of Juniors was established.
  • 1951 A Headquarters building was purchased in Raleigh for $40,000. Two staff members were hired.
  • 1953 A one-year administration occurred in order to conform to GFWC. The first president from the Junior ranks was elected.
  • 1954 GFWC began the Community Improvement Program with $60,000 in prizes. The Woman’s Club of Raleigh was the first state winner. Membership peaked with over 18,000 members.
  • 1956 A permanent scholarship fund was established.
  • 1958 An ESO chapter was organized.
  • 1963 The charter was revised, and NCFWC was incorporated as a non-profit corporation. Sub-Juniors were accepted into the organization.
  • 1967 Arts Festivals were held in all sixteen districts.
  • 1973 The Arts Festival was held at Salem College in Winston-Salem.
  • 1977 The Federation celebrated its 75th anniversary. The Katie Rankin Art Fund Endowment was established, and Honorary Life Memberships were presented for the first time.
  • 1978 The term “Sub-Junior” was changed to “Juniorette.”
  • 1982 Juanita Bryant was installed as International President of GFWC, the first North Carolinian to hold this office. The first Juniorette Jamboree was held at Peace College in Raleigh.
  • 1984 A computer system was installed at Headquarters.
  • 1985 The Mary K. Paul Whitener Piano Scholarship was established.
  • 1986 The organization’s constitution and bylaws were combined.
  • 1989 The Artfest Program was established to recognize the art created by mentally and physically handicapped individuals.
  • 1990 The Centennial of GFWC was observed. The first federated collegiate club in the country was established at Meredith College in Raleigh.
  • 1998 The organization name was changed to GFWC of North Carolina, or GFWC-NC.
  • 1999 Districts were realigned and reduced in number to nine. The Junior age was changed to 45 so long as the club member held dual membership in a Junior and a General club.
  • 2000 The website was established.
  • 2002 The Lucy Bramlette Patterson Creative Writing Scholarship was established. The GFWC-NC Centennial was celebrated with a NC Historical Highway Marker placed near Salem College. A
    time capsule was created as well, and the State President’s Pin was retired and replaced.
  • 2010 Departments were changed to Community Service Programs. The GFWC-NC Greeson-Johnson Teaching Scholarship was developed and a golf tournament fundraiser “Links 4 Literacy”.
  • 2013 Dual membership was no longer required to remain a Junior member until age 45.
  • 2014-2016 Volunteering Today – The Key to Tomorrow, the theme of the 2014-2016 administration. The joint President’s Special Project and Director of Junior Clubs Project was “Unlocking A Brighter Tomorrow”.
  • 2016-2018 The President’s and Director of Junior Clubs’ Theme was “Focus on Federation…Building Our Legacy” to encourage clubs to target the Community Service Programs, GFWC Special Projects, and GFWC Advancement Areas.
  • 2018-2020 Celebrate Women and Thriving Children were the themes of the 2018-2020 administration. The GFWC-NC President’s Special Project “Healthy Women” recognized the need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others.
  • 2020-2022 The history of the 2020-2022 GFWC-NC Administration will always be paired with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a time that our members and clubs showed resilience. The GFWC-NC President and Director of Junior Clubs led the state with the theme “She Elevates the World.”