In honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to turn the spotlight onto Kate Dunwoody.
For many the Dunwoody name is largely associated with Dunwoody College of Technology, as it should since it came to be through generous donations from both Kate and her husband, William. Much is known about William and his many business ventures in the late 1800s (including being a partner in a little milling company that later became General Mills).
Who Was Kate Dunwoody?
Less is known about Kate, but what we do know is that she was an incredible philanthropist and staunch supporter of women. In fact, the couple donated their Minneapolis home to provide housing for single working women. The Kate Dunwoody Hall operated for 84 years before it was eventually torn down.
I’ve thought a lot about that particular act of generosity. I wish I knew more about the women it helped. I wish I could hear the conversations that took place around the kitchen table or over coffee.
I imagine the support of women helping women at a time when women were very much second-class citizens. How grateful I am that there were women like Kate who understood their challenges and wanted to make a difference.
A Legacy to Be Proud Of
I also wish that Kate could know that her legacy continues to this day. Several years ago, I was asked to speak at the Kate Dunwoody Society Luncheon to share my story of being a woman in the construction industry. The luncheon raises scholarship dollars for women pursuing technical careers.
What I didn’t know, is that it would lead to ongoing involvement with the Kate Dunwoody Society, which was established to recognize and honor the vision and generosity of Kate, whose leadership opened doors for women. The Society is a network of people united to create equal opportunities for the women of Dunwoody… just like Kate herself did.
Get Involved in the Kate Dunwoody Society
There are lots of ways for men and women to become involved in KDS, including networking events with other professionals in technical fields; mentoring; and other activities held year-round. Contact me if you want to learn more!
And cheers to all you trailblazers out there. I am lucky in the work that I do as a business coach to work with so many of you. Y’all are f’ing amazing. ;)
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