To commemorate their 100th anniversary, the Faculty Women’s Club at the University of Michigan distributed 100 knitted hats and scarves to University community members in front of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library for free on Thursday morning. The club was founded in 1921 and is holding part of a year-long celebration of their centennial anniversary.
Initially, the club’s goal was to unite faculty women at the University with “common interests, and to foster friendships.” FWC President Robin Richstone said that within the last two years, the club has expanded to include members of all genders. In addition, it has opened membership to staff and all employees within the last year. According to the website, FWC now can be thought of as a “Friendly, Welcoming Community.”
LSA sophomore Yitzi Zolty was very happy with his choice of a black and blue hat. Zolty said he was not aware of the club before today, and he said that the event made him realize the importance of their centennial celebration.
“100 years is a pretty long time to be around, and considering that women only got their right to vote around that time, it is pretty amazing to think about,” Zolty said.
Richstone said the goal of the event was to engage with the wider University community and increase their presence on campus so that more students, faculty and staff are aware of the club. The group offers a sponsored membership, where a student can be sponsored by a faculty and staff member of the club to join. Richstone said the FWC includes specific interest groups on topics such as knitting, gardening, gourmet cookies, movies and books that new members can join.
“To celebrate (our centennial anniversary), we decided to give gifts back to the community,” Richstone said. “We want everyone to know we are here so that they can come and join our club. So many people are eligible and don’t even know.”
According to Richstone, the event has been in the process of being planned for a year and a half, but had to be modified due to the pandemic. The group decided that knitted hats and scarves would be appropriate, given the start of colder weather.
LSA sophomore Maya Levy is from Arizona and is still in the process of looking for warm clothes. She said she was happy to receive a free scarf from the FWC.
“I think it’s great that resources like these are being offered to students,” Levy said. “I am very surprised that (the scarf) is free and I’m excited to wear it.”
LSA junior Aadya Agrawal said she also wasn’t expecting to get a free scarf but said she will be using it on a daily basis given the cold weather.
“It’s great to know that these kinds of communities exist,” Agrawal said. “A knitting club sounds like so much fun, and honestly (the scarf is) so pretty I would have paid for it.”
Daily Staff Reporter Varsha Vedapudi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.