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AAUW Celebrates 55 Years Of Service To Women, Girls
AAUW Officers
Incoming AAUW officers for the Oakdale-Riverbank-Escalon Branch are, from left: Pam Wright, Gail Marganelli, Sharon Hawley-Crum, Clydora Hippler, Bonnie Fogarty. Not pictured, Jane Griffith. Photo Contributed

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Oakdale-Riverbank-Escalon Branch fittingly met at the home of Barbara Marquis in May to celebrate its 55th anniversary. Both Marquis and her late mother, Margaret Garat, were charter members of the organization. Garat, who had been a member of the Modesto Branch, felt Oakdale needed its own branch. She reached out to 41 other local women who held college degrees including her daughter, Barbara, and they chartered the Oakdale Branch in April, 1962.

Ms. Garat was president of the branch from 1962 to 1964. In 1989 the branch added Riverbank to its name to include members residing there, and when the Escalon Branch disbanded in 1995 the remaining members joined the Oakdale-Riverbank Branch. In 2006, the branch’s official title became the Oakdale-Riverbank-Escalon (ORE) Branch.

At the May meeting Co-President Gail Marganelli shared a Certificate of Honor presented to the Branch from the national Association for the exceptional work it has done to advance equity for women and girls these past 55 years. The meeting was also the occasion to recognize and meet some outstanding young women who are this year’s recipients of branch scholarships or awards.

Sixth grader, Molly Terpstra of Oakdale was presented the Science Fair Award for her project entitled: “Fresh Veggies, How Clean are They?” and Anna-Hawksworth-Lutzow, also of Oakdale, received the branch’s four-year scholarship. An Oakdale High School graduate on May 26, she will be attending UC, Santa Cruz.

Gateway Charter Academy graduate Olivia Lopez of Escalon received the two-year scholarship and is headed to Sacramento City College to further her education. Two of the branch’s Tech Trek alums, Evelyn Garcia and Alexis Hamby, talked about their experience attending the one week math-science camp last summer at CSU, Fresno and the tour of Stanford University this past January led by Rachelle Pabalan, an ORE Tech Trek alum herself who is now matriculating at Stanford.

One of the highlights of the tour, they said, was meeting three students from the Society of Women Engineers, who shared their stories about getting accepted to Stanford and what classes were like.

Looking forward, branch member Elaine Kidd installed officers for the 2017 – 2018 year who will start their terms on July 1. They include: Sharon Hawley-Crum, President; Jane Griffith, VP, Program; Clydora Hippler, VP, Membership; Bonnie Fogarty, Treasurer; Pam Wright and Gail Marganelli, Co-Recording Secretary; and Pam Wright, Public Policy Director.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Since 1881, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day – educational, social, economic and political. Graduates holding an associates or higher degree from an institution of the AAUW list of qualified institutions and persons holding an honorary degree are eligible for membership in AAUW. For further information about AAUW, log on to Information about AAUW, ORE Branch is at