The Arizona Business and Professional Women's Foundation was founded in 1989, by the Arizona BPW Federation to support the financial needs of women seeking educational opportunities to improve their job opportunities.
The first meeting of the new Foundation Board of Trustees was held on October 14, 1989 in Casa Grande. Hank Barnes, past state president, was the first Director and trustees were Muriel Lothrop, Nancy Guy, Dean Simmons, Beryl Burk, Phyllis Childress, Lynda Crowell, Nancy Oliver, and Kay Williams. Clara Page and Sandra Rogers were on the Board representing BPW/Arizona. Its mission became promoting the advancement of Arizona's working women through SCHOLARSHIPS, EDUCATION, AND RESEARCH. The foundation supports this goal through tax-deductible contributions and ongoing fund raising projects.
The first Foundation Scholarship was established in 1990 in honor of past National President, Dr. Dorine Chancellor. Members of the Arizona BPW Federation provided initial funding for this scholarship. This was a pilot project at five community colleges: Cochise, Eastern Arizona, Mohave, Northland Pioneer, and Rio Salado. The scholarship was further developed to provide an opportunity for BPW units and individuals to sponsor additional community colleges.
In 1991, Trustees Muriel Lothrop and Hank Barnes conceived the idea of publishing a book with the dual purpose of recording and preserving the history members of the Arizona Federation of Business and Professional Women and their contributions to the culture and public service in the communities where they lived and worked. Proceeds from the sale of these books still provides scholarships to working women in Arizona. There are three volumes in this series of books called Women Who Made a Difference.
Through the spring of 2007, the AZBPW Foundation has awarded $104,000 in scholarships. In 2004, the Foundation raised the yearly scholarship awards from $500 to $1000 each to be in line with rising tuition costs and to meet our mission of making a difference for working women.