Global Friends Program

The Office for International Students & Scholars (OISS) at Washington University recently announced a new Global Friends Program.  Many of you are familiar with and have participated in other international opportunities: Be Our Guest, Host Family, and Speak English.  Global Friends combines the best from these programs to create a new cultural exchange which matches WashU international students and scholars with members of the St. Louis community.  Through Global Friends students and volunteers can develop connections that transcend borders.

Students and host volunteers meet about once a month throughout the academic year and do activities that interest them. Students can learn about St. Louis and U.S. cultures, practice conversational English, and hear St. Louisans’ perspectives on topics of interest.

Volunteers can pursue their interests in other cultures, hear first-hand accounts of life in a student’s home country, and rediscover St. Louis through the eyes of an international student. Learn more on the OISS website:



Business Committee & Bear Necessities Shop

The Bear Necessities shop is a unique campus store, offering WUSTL insignia apparel and gifts (souvenirs, coffee mugs, bears) as well as greeting cards, health and beauty aids, dorm/school/computer supplies, and more. Customized freshly baked birthday cakes can be ordered by friends or family. It is a great place for students to do their shopping without leaving the campus. The shop is located in Umrath House on the South 40. The business committee is responsible for the oversight of this not-for-profit store, which funds scholarships and student projects.

Education Committee

WSWU sponsors the Women’s Society lecture series with five lectures offered annually by distinguished Washington University professors on current topics of interest to members and guests. The education committee selects the faculty speakers for these lectures and also recommends speakers for the chancellor’s lecture.

In the spring, the Women’s Society invites a woman of national recognition to the university to speak at the memorial lecture established in 1988 in honor of Adele Chomeau Starbird, dean of women at the university from 1931 to 1959. This event is co-sponsored with the university as one of the Assembly Series lectures. The Assembly Series director works with the WSWU education committee in selecting and obtaining a speaker.

Funding Committee

The funding committee reviews proposals and recommends funding for university community projects. One or two committee members volunteer to serve as liaison(s) for each approved project and are able to encourage greater WSWU involvement with the project and the students. In addition, university representatives of approved projects are invited to board meetings and lectures to increase awareness of the project’s activities.

Membership Committee

The membership committee enlists new WSWU members who will ably support or actively participate in its activities. The committee is always interested in suggestions for potential new members and for increasing diversity in the organization.

Composing a Life Committee

The Composing a Life committee plans the Ida H. Early Composing a Life panel event for undergraduate and graduate women focused on life after graduation. The panel features women from various fields who share their personal stories and advice on how to successfully combine careers, families, and community activities.

Leadership Award Committee

Annually, the Women’s Society recognizes one or more graduating senior women with the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award. The awardees are women who have contributed significantly to the Washington University community and who have exceptional potential for future leadership. The leadership award committee oversees the selection process.

Marketing Committee

The marketing and communications committee identifies communication channels within and outside the university community to feature WSWU’s mission and programs. It also plans to develop interactive communications, marketing and sales strategies.

Scholarship Committee

The scholarship committee provides ongoing oversight to the selection process of the Elizabeth Gray Danforth scholars. Each year, the Women’s Society sponsors a two-year full-tuition Washington University scholarship for an outstanding transfer student from the St. Louis Community College District.