College Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

February 28, 2019

By Kerrin Norton '19

This month, the college will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women across the nation equal voting rights. The series of events planned throughout the month of March are sponsored by the Gregory J. Grappone Humanities Institute in partnership with the state of New Hampshire.

“The 19th amendment was (at least) a 72-year accomplishment that included several generations of women and men working to change some of society’s most basic institutions. But it also wasn’t the end of the work for full equality for all people in this country,” said politics professor and committee member Jennifer Lucas. “So it is a chance for us to stop and reflect on the work of the past, but also to help us look forward to what is yet unfinished.”

As Executive Director of the Humanities Institute and English professor, Gary Bouchard jumped at the chance to collaborate and sponsor the celebration. “When I saw the approaching anniversary of women’s suffrage, I realized how a celebration and interrogation of these historic events could be a great manifestation of the Grappone Institute mission,” said Bouchard, “After all, women’s exclusion from voting and holding office in most of this country was clearly a questioning and derogation of their very humanity. Understanding this history and understanding how it changed and where it has taken us is the work of the humanities.”

The 100th anniversary celebration began in January with a panel on race and the women’s history movement. With remarks by professors Loretta Brady (psychology) and Jennifer Thorn (English), the panel explored the influence of race in shaping the women’s suffrage movement and featured a reading by New African Americans board member Victoria Adewumi.

On March 20, the college will welcome History of Women’s Suffrage Movement speaker, Dr. Lisa Tetrault, history professor and author of “The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898.”

The anniversary will also introduce the Declaration of Sentiments Project, where excerpts from the Declaration, which was signed in 1848 in Seneca Falls by participants in the first woman's rights convention organized by women, will be posted on campus and on social media. The excerpts are meant to encourage viewers’ write-in responses, and the committee hopes that this project, which will be ongoing throughout the spring semester, will give community members time to reflect on the continued relevancy of the Declaration. Those interested in participating or following along may learn more at or #NHwomen100.

The committee for the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment Celebration includes professors Kelly Demers of the education department, Jennifer Thorn, Beth Salerno of the history department, and Jennifer Lucas.

Throughout the month of March, the college will also honor Women’s History Month with an assortment of programs, activities, and discussions hosted by the Father Jonathan DeFelice Intercultural Center, Geisel Library, and various co-sponsors.

Upcoming Events

March 1, 2019 - March 29, 2019
Book Display for Women's History Month
Lower Level of the Geisel Library
Focus is on the power of women voices in music and TV.

March 14, 3:30 p.m.
Soaring to New Heights: Women’s Tea Party
President’s Dining Room
You are invited to come join us in the President's Dining Room for our annual high tea event! You will have the chance to sit with industry leaders from different professional backgrounds, and gain insight into how they navigated their respective fields and overcame challenges. This event also provides the perfect chance to connect with other like-minded ambitious women at Saint Anselm College, all while sipping over specialty teas and sampling delicious snacks!
Please RSVP for this event »

March 20, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
History of Women’s Suffrage Movement Speaker
Dr. Lisa Tetrault, professor of history and author of “The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898” will speak on the struggles among suffragists to claim the past and future of the movement.

March 28, 6 p.m.
A Celebration of Audre Lorde
LLC Classroom
Film: "The Edge of Each Other's Battles: The Vision of Audrey Lorde"
The much loved and inspiring Audre Lorde, author of 15 books of poetry and prose, was an internationally influential catalyst for social justice within and among social movements including Black Liberation, Women's Liberation and Gay and Lesbian Liberation. The film includes speeches, reminiscences and footage from the conference, "I Am Yours Sisters: Forging Global Connections Across Difference," which brought 1200 activists, youth, men and women together in 1990 and used Lorde's work to address trans cultural understandings of race, gender, sexuality and class.

April 4, 2019
Women’s Suffrage Centenary Student Event
A wrap-up event will feature student work, discussion of the Declaration of Sentiments Project, and presentation of student work broadly related to women’s pursuit of civil rights and the vote. Faculty ideas for student participation are welcome, including posters or presentations of relevant research or projects. Student participation is also welcome as planning continues.

Declaration of Sentiments Project
Ongoing throughout the spring semester
This project will involve posting (physically on campus and via social media) excerpts from the Declaration of Sentiments, signed in 1848 in Seneca Falls by participants in the first women’s rights convention to be organized by women. Brief excerpts from this document will appear in venues around campus in formats that encourage viewers’ write-in responses, in light of current events/culture. Topics in the Declaration include sexual double standards, divorce, unequal pay, and other matters perhaps not associated with suffrage. A copy of the Declaration of Sentiments is available online.