AWC (National) History


Professor Merle Thorpe was the teacher at The University of Washington in Seattle, who encouraged his seven female journalism students to join forces on the first women's edition of the college newspaper, the Pacific Daily Wave. Those seven students founded Theta Sigma Pi in 1909.

The mission of the Alpha chapter, as it was known, was to raise the standard of journalism, improve working conditions for women in the profession and inspire the individual to greater efforts. To symbolize its mission, the Alpha chapter adopted an official insignia, which was a reproduction of the matrix, a Magazine for Women Journalists, on a linotype machine. The matrix was chosen for its broader meaning as "a place where something takes form or develops."

In 1972 Theta Sigma Pi changed their name to Women in Communications. In 1996, the name was once again changed to the The Association for Women in Communications, and they accepted men for the first time. Today there are more than 90 students and 60 professional chapters across the nation.