A Daily Camera story on July 13, 1987, was headlined, “Service clubs admitting women.”
The story said that Boulder service clubs were dropping bans against women members in the wake of two United States Supreme Court decisions that call such bans discriminatory.
Then-president Lynn Kuykendall said Boulder Rotary was “planning to move ahead” and the club would probably start admitting women in about two months.
Earlier in the 1980s Rotarians Peter Dietze and Bruce Ekstrand had suggested that the board of directors consider asking Rotary International to allow clubs a local option on the question of female members. Several votes by the club were inconclusive. But after the Supreme Court ruling in 1987, the club revised its constitution and bylaws to affirm it would not discriminate on the basis of sex.
On Nov. 20, 1987, Carol Riggs and Alice Seigal were initiated as members, followed by Carol Grever Gray, Mimi Schrader, Virginia Patterson, Lee Carlin, Risa Palm, Enid Ablowitz, Janneli Dart, and Jere Mock. In 1988 those pioneering 10 women presented a program for the club, emceed by Virginia Patterson. They were asked why they joined. A few responses:
- Carol Grever: “It made sense to me to extend … special friendships, and to serve the community at the same time.”
- Jere Mock: “I always associated Rotarians with the type of people that make things happen.”
- Carol Riggs Husted: “I couldn’t believe there were organizations that depended on business people that wouldn’t let women in. Now it’s my turn.”
- Virginia Patterson: “We know we’ll never be one of the guys, but gosh, it’s nice to be part of the gang.”