The Mary Catherine Buswell Award

The Mary Catherine Buswell Award, established in 1978, honors a faculty or staff member or citizen who has provided outstanding service to women at WVU.  Award recipients are chosen for excellence in their field as it relates to the advancement of WVU women, community and civic activities that serve and advance women, or significant pioneering activities that improve the status of women.

The award winner will receive $500 (in the form of a reimbursement) for the purchase of supplies, books or travel that is related to his/her professional development or any other use that is commensurate with WVU policies. The award recipient is recognized during Honors Weekend.

Click here to submit a Nomination Application


 Participants are chosen for excellence in their field as it relates to:

1.  Service to and advancement of WVU women (with particular attention to the relationship to excellence in one’s chosen field). 
2.  Outstanding achievements, awards, and other types of recognition (this could include community and civic involvement that has served and has advanced women).

The following attachements are required:

  1. a current job description for the nominiee
  2. a resume (limited to 3 pages)
  3. at least 2 (two) letters of recommendation
  4. and other supplementary information. 

The entire dossier, including the (listed below), must not exceed 17 pages. 

The deadline for receipt of nominations and applications is February 15, 2012. Questions should be directed to :

Ed Cole, President
Council for Women's Concerns

Previous Buswell Award Winners

Who was Mary Catherine Buswell?

Mary Catherine was a strong advocate for equal rights for women. She was an active member of AAUW, one of the oldest organizations which works to pursue the interests of women. She belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary for women teachers, and in her late years she joined the National Organization for Women.

She was not an activist nor a radical, but she promoted rights for women reservedly in her dignified way--a manner which, no doubt, was inherited from those ten aunts with whom she had grown up.

What Mary Catherine did for women at West Virginia University was not the kind of thing that made headlines, but rather it was the personal interest and advice that she gave to many women. She encouraged the female student whose family refused her financial help because they thought a college education for women was a waste of time and money. She read the poetry written by a secretary with only a high school education, made suggestions, and urged her to go on writing. She helped a female colleague plan strategy to fight a case of obvious discrimination. Several times, she outlined a procedure for other women to follow in approaching the head of the Department for promotion. She was frank but tactful and always sincere.

No tribute to her could have been more appropriate than the one in recognition of her dedication to a cause for which she held such deep concern.

Printed with permission from "A Tribute to Mary Catherine Buswell"
presented by Jean Benson, April 30, 1986.

Special Events

placeholderMary Catherine Buswell Award
Recognizing outstanding service to women at West Virginia University.

placeholderMom's Turn To Learn Initiative
An educational fair for non-traditional students.