Women's Association Celebrates Centennial

The Tulane University Women's Association celebrates its centennial this year. TUWA has brought together Tulane women for parties, lectures, book clubs, bridge, knitting groups and social and civic work for a hundred years, and through these activities lifelong friendships have been formed. And there's no stopping TUWA from continuing well into the future.

Elsie Martinez (right) and Barbara Knill attend a Tulane University Women's Association luncheon in 1976. Martinez and Knill have both served as president of TUWA, an organization that supports companionship and friendship among women affiliated with Tulane.

April Brayfield, associate professor of sociology, has been a member of the organization since her arrival at Tulane in 1992 and has twice served on its governing board.

"To me, TUWA is a community of smart, civic-minded women from a variety of backgrounds who enjoy lively conversation and doing good deeds for the university and New Orleans," says Brayfield, who adds that she especially treasures the camaraderie of two activity groups—the Evening Book Group (founded in 1986 by Margaret Kelly, wife of former Tulane president Eamon Kelly) and Crafty Ladies, the arts and crafts group that Brayfield founded with Marjorie Weiner and Gracibel Rickerfor.

A primary goal of TUWA is to welcome both women faculty and the wives of faculty to the university, and TUWA membership is open to all women faculty and staff, wives of faculty and staff and volunteers affiliated with Tulane.

This spring, members will have a special celebration at the annual luncheon on April 24. There will be a musical/dramatic presentation by the music department as well as reminiscences from older members.

Each member of TUWA has a fond and grateful memory of her association with the organization that has created many lasting friendships. All of us hope that the next hundred years will prove as rewarding and enjoyable for its future members.

Elsie Martinez is a 1948 graduate of Newcomb College and has been a member of the Tulane University Women's Association since 1955. She has been active in the TUWA loan closet and the Newcomers Committee, serving on the board and as TUWA president in 1976. Her husband was the late John L. Martinez, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering.