On Feb. 18, 1913, a group of 13 female journalists and activists met for lunch at the Tea Room in L. S. Ayres Department Store in downtown Indianapolis to found the Woman’s Press Club of Indianapolis.
They were writers, editors, publishers and activists who saw the need for an organization to represent women’s interests in the corridors of the State Legislature and the columns of newspapers.
A month later, they were joined by 15 more women from throughout Indiana to become founding members of one of the oldest continuous journalistic organizations in the state.
That organization turned 100 this year. To mark the occasion, a group of current member, past members and officers and friends of the organization will gather for a 100th anniversary Awards Gala on Saturday at Hollyhock Hill Restaurant in Indianapolis. The occasion begins with a cocktail reception at 11 a.m., lunch at noon with the program to follow.
No longer an organization only for female or print journalists, Woman’s (yes, that’s how they spelled it in 1913) Press Club of Indiana, or WPCI, includes professional communicators in all media from the entire state. Its mission remains the same as it was in 1913: to foster professional standards and advance the causes of communicators throughout the state.
A founding affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, WPCI sponsors a communications contest for professional communicators with winning entries going on to compete nationally in the NFPW contest. It sponsors annual high school journalism and prison writing contests and offers scholarships to college students and mature writers planning careers in journalism.
On April 27, WPCI received a special citation from the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in recognition of its 100th anniversary. On April 10, it received the Indiana Journalism Award from the Ball State University Department of Journalism.
Woman’s Press Club of Indiana has counted among its members some of the most distinguished women in Indiana journalism, including seven who are members of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. Two members have been inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Hall of Fame.
WPCI’s current president is Elizabeth Granger, award-winning travel writer and adviser to the student newspaper at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis. The president elect, who will be installed May 18, is Tara Puckey, a military wife, mother of two, reporter, blogger and 2012 graduate of the Department of Journalism at IUPUI. She currently works as student chapter coordinator in the national office of the Society of Professional Journalists.
More information can be found at www.wpcindiana.org.