History and Timeline

The Beginning: 1898 – Early 1900s

In 1821, President James Monroe signs an Act of Congress establishing Columbian College. This later becomes Columbian University, which eventually opens a teaching hospital.

In early 1898, several prominent Washingtonian ladies form a group to provide financial assistance to the hospital and to help its patients. On October 7, 1898, the group becomes The Board of Lady Managers.

In 1902, The Board is asked by the hospital to raise funds to refurbish and equip the Medical School and a new building addition, as well as the hospital itself and a preparatory school building. Under its first president, Mrs. William H. Hoake, The Board raises more than the needed funds, allowing the addition of several new hospital wards and memorial rooms.

In 1904, Columbian University is renamed The George Washington University, and The Board of Lady Managers changes its name to The Women's Board.

Wartime Contributions: Mid 1900s

In 1948, the Women's Board is again asked to raise funds for hospital renovations during World War II. Through a major solicitation program approaching philanthropists, business and civic leaders, members of Congress, trustees and alumni, it raises one-sixth ($155,000) of the total $925,000 budget.

The 21st Century and Beyond

In July 1997, the hospital becomes a partnership between Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) and The George Washington University. Because of the hospital's new status as for-profit, The Women's Board can now make donations for charitable purposes only. Donations are now made to non-profit departments such as the Department of Volunteers, the Department of Social Work Services, and the Chapel.

In 2002, the new George Washington University Hospital opens to the public. On July 12, 2004, The Women's Board becomes officially incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the District of Columbia.

The Women's Board is proud of our history, contributions and volunteer efforts to strengthen our mission in supporting The George Washington University Hospital, University and surrounding community in the areas of education, healthcare advancement initiatives, patient advocacy, healthcare awareness promotion and medical research.