By Marcia Bankirer, PhD – CWCC Member
“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well,” said Jimmy Carter in his 1980 address declaring a National Women’s History Week.
An unknown author once said, “Put your future in good hands – your own.” We as women have done just that throughout history – demonstrating our will to bring about meaningful change in the world. That change often comes as a result of and in the form of education – it’s a change I see and experience each day as president of Argosy University, Denver.
Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” Knowledge is what higher education centers around, for both students and professors alike. For women faculty members there is a desire to impart the knowledge they’ve gained as practitioners in their fields and as educators. Their real world, hands-on work experience in their chosen profession brings a certain expertise that’s critical in helping women students relate to what they want to achieve. Female professors serve as mentors and confidants, advisors and friends. They help maintain the integrity of their profession, and are passionate about the role they play in its future.
Female students are part of a growing community that seem to be bound by one common thread – the desire to change things for the better. Whether it is in their personal lives, for their community, or in their workplace, they are dedicated to the premise that education is the best way to make change happen. They sacrifice family time, weekend time and personal time all for the sake of completing their education. They embrace the concept that you have to work to succeed.
Now, as always, access to higher education is critical for women – it is how we will continue to set a course towards making history. It gives us the ability to leverage the strength of our past with a conviction to effect change now and in the future.
Marcia Bankirer, PhD, serves as President of Argosy University, Denver. She has a 35+ year history in higher education administration, including 20 years at Colorado State University. As of the Fall 2010 census, Argosy University, Denver was comprised of 72% female population. “Being a member of the Colorado Women’s Chamber keeps us close to the needs of the community and our students,” says Bankirer.