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University Guild (Northwestern University)

 Organization

The University Guild was founded on June 3, 1892, at a meeting of 11 women in the home of Emma W. Rogers, wife of Northwestern University President Henry Wade Rogers (1890-1900). The Guild’s purposes, as stated in its Constitution, were: “To bring to the membership the intellectual resources of the University. To promote the interests of the University. To work for the collection and exhibition of objects of art. To advance the development and appreciation of the fine arts in the University and in Evanston.”

The Guild’s membership includes both women associated with the University and those from the Evanston community at large. Its first president was Cornelia Lunt (1892-1895); Mrs. Rogers served as the second president (1895-1901), thus establishing a tradition of alternating the office of president between town and gown.

Throughout its history, the Guild has devoted itself to two principal activities: sponsoring lectures, seminars, tours, recitals, exhibits, and other cultural programs; and building a collection of art objects (housed in Scott Hall as of 1985). The nucleus of this collection was formed from items exhibited at the 1893 Columbian Exposition and purchased by the Guild after the Exposition closed.

During its early years, members of the Guild were heavily involved in raising funds to construct a “Woman's Building” at Northwestern. In 1915, the Women’s Building Association was formed for this purpose by members of the Guild, the University Circle, and other women's organizations. The Guild assumed administration of the Association in 1922; its efforts eventually resulted in a contribution of $200,000 toward the construction of Scott Hall, dedicated in 1940.

The Guild was also instrumental in the appointment of the University’s first instructor of art, Stella Skinner, in 1908. About this time the Guild also began to sponsor scholarships for female art students. As of 1977, the Guild was sponsoring four $200 scholarships annually for women students (no longer restricted to art majors.)

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Records of the University Guild

 Collection
Identifier: 0/4/1
Abstract The University Guild was founded on June 3, 1892, at a meeting of 11 women in the home of Emma W. Rogers, wife of Northwestern University President Henry Wade Rogers (1890-1900). The Guild’s purposes, as stated in its Constitution, were: “To bring to the membership the intellectual resources of the University. To promote the interests of the University. To work for the collection and exhibition of objects of art. To advance the development and appreciation of the fine arts in the University and...
Dates: 1892-2004