Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Old Dominion University Faculty Wives Club Records


Scope and Contents

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Old Dominion University Faculty Wives Club Records, 1964-1986 | Special Collections and University Archives

By Sonia Yaco

Collection Overview

Title: Old Dominion University Faculty Wives Club Records, 1964-1986

ID: 36/RG 36-7A

Primary Creator: Old Dominion University. Faculty Wives Club

Extent: 2.4 Linear Feet. More info below.

Subjects: Old Dominion University, Old Dominion University--Faculty, Old Dominion University--Faculty spouses

Languages: English


This collection contains handbooks, flyers and scrapbooks of the Faculty Wives Club and Women's Association, a social and service club for wives of ODU faculty and staff. Material dates from 1964 to 1986.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Within this collection there are a variety of materials that include handbooks, monthly newsletters, and scrapbooks. Included in the scrapbooks are additional handbooks and Furbelows publications, song books, event programs, invitations, minutes, and obituaries, along with various newspaper articles relevant to either the club or a member of the club. Within the scrapbooks there are photos and very few examples of correspondence, generally letters of thanks or personal invitations. Additionally there is a folder of flyers and mailers for various social engagements of the club.

Collection Historical Note

Founded in 1950 by Virginia Rice Webb, the Faculty Wives Club served as a source of socialization for the original sixteen to twenty members. Meetings were held on Friday evenings because it was the only night the women knew they could depend on their husbands to take care of the children. Each woman would bring a dime in order to purchase refreshments.

As the membership of the club grew, it quickly adapted to the needs of its members, developing interest groups such as bowling and bridge clubs, holding social events, as well as creating bylaws and handbooks as a way to govern this newly developing organization. As a young organization, the Faculty Wives Club aimed to serve the interests ODU community acting as a connector between the University and the surrounding cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Town and Gown is one of the most prominent Norfolk organizations to work with the Faculty Wives Club. As a matter of fact, the Town and Gown organization developed out of the Faculty Wives Club. During the 1960s, the club began publishing a monthly newsletter, entitled Furbelows. This name, also used as the name of the club, means a showy piece of ornamentation or a loose flowing part of a garment. While the collection does not give specific details as to why the name was chosen for the title of their newsletter, one could assume word play came into account. The idea of describing themselves as an ornate group of educated women socializing together seems fitting.

The Faculty Wives club was a service organization in addition to a social club. One of their philanthropic activities was the Recording Service for Center for the visually impaired located in Perry Library. The objective of this project was to provide tape recordings of books for the blind or visually impaired students attending the University.

By 1979, numbers and the direction of the club began to change, thus turning the Faculty Wives Club into the new ODU Women’s Association. It was at this point in time that the group began to incorporate interest groups around women’s awareness. It was also at this time that the Women’s Association opened their membership to include female faculty members. Previous stipulations limited membership to wives of faculty and staff.  In 1990, the organization became the ODU Faculty Wives and Friends, and in 1998 a comma was added after the word Faculty to include members who teach at the university. The organization changed its name in the fall of 2015 to the Old Dominion University Monarch Community Alliance.

Subject/Index Terms

Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University--Faculty
Old Dominion University--Faculty spouses

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 Hollinger Document Case and 1 Oversized Box

Access Restrictions: Open to researchers without restrictions.

Use Restrictions: Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Acquisition Source: Unknown

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Old Dominion University Faculty Wives Club Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2 Oversize],

Box 1
Folder 1: Faculty Wives Club Handbooks, 1964-1967, 1971-1973, 1976-1977
Folder 2: Faculty Wives Club Bulletin (Furbelows), 1964-1978
Folder 3: Faculty Wives Club Membership List, 1974
Folder 4: Women’s Association Handbooks, 1980-1981, 1984-1986
Folder 5: Women’s Association Furbelows, 1979-1982, 1985
Folder 6: Faculty Wives Club Mailers/Social Events/Announcements, 1974-1981
Folder 7: Faculty Wives Club Service Projects, undated
Box 2 Oversize
Item 1: Scrapbook, 1965-1970
Item 2: Scrapbook, 1970-1973
Item 3: Scrapbook, 1974-1975
Item 4: Scrapbook, 1975-1976

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