FOR THE WOMEN GRADUATES
April 25, 1896, marked the establishment of a club exclusively for the women graduates. The first twelve women to graduate from the undergraduate program gathered together and created the W.U. Alumnae Association. Lillie Rose Ernst served in many leadership roles, including vice-president and president.
The group's goal was "to promote school spirit and social activities." They also established a fund to assist victims of a deadly 1896 tornado (also known as the St. Louis Cyclone). In 1909, they began helping students struggling financially who would have left their studies otherwise.
The Alumnae (women alums) provided many services for the University, including donating the University's first flag. It was presented at the June 15, 1905 Commencement ceremony, the first held on the new campus (today known as the Danforth Campus). The women of the University continued this tradition, presenting a new silk flag for display every decade through World War II.