Penn State's Commission for Women turns 30, plans events to celebrate

December 08, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s Commission for Women is spending the 2011-12 academic year celebrating its 30th anniversary, continuing its work of advocating for women at Penn State.

Plans are under way to hold events in honor of the commission’s momentous anniversary, including a birthday party and display of a commemorative anniversary poster. The celebration began recently with a panel discussion organized by a group of students from the College of Communications on challenges students may face in the workplace after graduating.

“As we mark 30 years of the Commission for Women, it’s a time to look back and to celebrate our accomplishments and all of the women and men who were a part of our history and who worked tirelessly to make Penn State better for our women faculty, staff, technical service, administrators and students,” said Commission for Women Chairwoman Christy Long. “It’s also an opportunity to look forward and focus our energy on the work that we still need to do.”

The commission serves as an advisory group to the President of the University on the status of women at Penn State, advocates for women's concerns and recommends solutions. Since 1981, the commission has identified areas of concern for the women employees and students of Penn State. It is a forum for exchanging ideas that can translate into improved practices to support women at Penn State. Its membership represents every employment category: faculty, exempt and nonexempt staff, technical service and administrative, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. The President appoints the members of the commission as an advisory group to recommend policies and programs to enhance the University's working and learning environments.

The commission’s data-driven approach has been an important part of its success. In the 1980s, the commission began a comprehensive study to assess the status of women at Penn State. Then, and now, data has helped facilitate changes to University policies and procedures. In spring 2012, the commission will be releasing its latest update to the Report on the Status of Women at Penn State.

Any Penn State student, faculty or employee can get involved in the commission's activities as an affiliate member. To learn more, visit or find the commission on Facebook.

Last Updated January 10, 2015