For more than fifty years, AAUW Murfreesboro, the Fund's parent organization, has been awarding scholarships for women to attend Middle Tennessee State University.
In 1962, AAUW Murfreesboro established a fund to award scholarships to Rutherford County high school women students to attend what was then Middle Tennessee State College, and in 1965 the first scholarship was awarded to Linda Jo Meyers (Central High School, Murfreesboro) who received the scholarship each semester until her graduation in 1969.
Over the years, the scholarship qualifications changed from targeting high school students from Rutherford County to targeting non-traditional women students who have successfully completed at least one-year of college study.
In 1983 the scholarship was named in honor of Ruth McNabb Houston, AAUW Murfreesboro president, 1951-1953.
Since 1965, twenty-seven (27) undergraduate women have received scholarships, which over the years have increased from the original $100 award per semester in 1965 to $1000 per semester in 2017.
Fundraising for the scholarship has been an ongoing project for AAUW Murfreesboro members. In the beginning, members were assessed two dollars each to create the scholarship fund. In the 1970s, the branch held annual game nights to support the scholarship. In the 1980s, branch members sold hand woven baskets. By the mid-1990s the branch was holding an annual used book sale, which brought in about $2500 each year for the scholarship. Songs for Scholarships was the major scholarship fundraiser in 2016, and in 2017, the inaugural Equali-TEA event raised nearly $5000 in donations.
[My accomplishments since graduation] are as a result of my love of family, devotion to helping others and the AAUW influence in my life at the onset of my academic years. I have fulfilled a lifelong dream; I have been ... helping to improve others' lives just as the women of AAUW faithfully helped improve my life [through the Ruth Houston scholarship] at a time I needed it the most. Words escape me sufficient enough to express my deepest heartfelt appreciation to the women of AAUW who are the "difference" so many women need in their lives on their quest toward improving themselves and, in reality, the world in which they live.
1990's Ruth Houston Scholar
To continue AAUW Murfreesboro’s longstanding commitment to the education of women, in 2017, the branch expanded their scholarship program to award two scholarships each year: The Ruth Houston Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship and the Butler-Fouts Memorial Graduate Scholarship. The new graduate scholarship targets underrepresented women and is named in honor of Mattie Butler and Leola Fouts, who were active members of the branch well into their nineties.
Use the links below to learn more about these scholarships, including eligibility requirements and how you can apply.