Penn State Behrend’s rich history of influential women begins with Mary Behrend, who in 1948 donated her Glenhill home to the University in memory of her late husband, Ernst, founder of Hammermill Paper Company.
And, fittingly, the first student at the Behrend campus was a woman—Dorothy Holmstrom, an engineering major, who was at the front of the line to enroll in the initial class of 146 students.
Recognizing that legacy and the growing importance of engaging women in leadership roles, Penn State Behrend formed the Women’s Engagement Council in 2020.
The Council’s mission is to:
- Encourage women to become involved in the life of the college.
- Be a primary source of expertise for college initiatives.
- Serve as a resource to improve educational opportunities for Behrend students.
- Enhance the personal and professional goals of its members.
- Encourage a broader group of individuals to connect to Behrend.
- Showcase Behrend’s accomplishments, particularly those related to women’s achievements.
The Council’s directors are committed to supporting and lifting women around them and advancing programs related to women, Penn State Behrend, and the greater Erie community.
Learn more about members of the board of directors.
Membership on the Women’s Engagement Council is free and open to all, regardless of gender. Benefits to membership include:
- Personal and professional visibility
- Networking connections
- Development of leadership skills
- Opportunities for increased involvement at Behrend, such as serving on boards, speaking to classes, and engaging various audiences
To join the Women’s Engagement Council, contact Felicia Presley at [email protected].
Another woman doing what you’re doing is not your competition. She’s your sister. Support her. Encourage her. Believe in her.