6 Ways Higher Education is Celebrating Women’s History Month

Higher education institutions are celebrating Women’s History Month with diverse and innovative programs and events that recognize accomplishments by women in every area of life and look at and look at barriers women continue to face – and discuss ways to overcome obstacles.

In 1987, the U.S. established every March as Women’s History Month, when the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum all join to commemorate and encourage the study and celebration of the important role women have played throughout American history.

Here are some of the ways colleges and universities are honoring Women’s History Month in March 2023.

Creating a successful program to celebrate Women’s History Month involves input and planning from students and staff. Stony Brook University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs put together a full program to celebrate Women’s History Month. The school’s Women’s History Month Committee, open to all members of the University community, meets weekly or virtually to plan the calendar of activities in advance. Included in the 2023 plans was an opening program with faculty, staff and alumni panelists discussing the roles of women in healthcare as practitioners and patients.    

While some schools offer a small assortment of events, others created a full schedule of diverse talks, events and how-to instruction. At Xavier University, The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, along with assorted offices, departments and student organizations, developed a very full and diverse set of programs and events this month, under the 2023 theme, Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories. Events include a workshop on bullet journaling, a career panel on women in business and a lecture on reproductive rights.

Women’s History Month events at some institutions are themed around art. At Stockton University, many of the activities focus on women in the arts and feature a theatrical production, a gallery exhibition and hands-on painting and block printing sessions.  

Some colleges and universities sponsor a special event in conjunction with their Women’s History Month celebration. University of the Pacific, for instance, is holding its Women’s Empowerment Conference. The event brings together women, non-binary and transgender alumni, parents, students and friends for a day of programs and activities designed to inspire and empower them to create positive changes.

For some institutions, Women’s History Month presents an opportunity to recognize outstanding women on their own campuses. Several schools, including Long Beach City College, are holding competitions to find extraordinary women on their campuses. For its LBCC Inspiring Women Award, Long Beach City College asked its female students and colleagues to nominate inspiring women on campus. Nominees will be evaluated according to how well they fit into this year’s theme, Celebrating Women Who Tell Their Stories & Elevating the Women of LBCC and how well the nominee meets a range of criteria, including service and involvement, personal achievement and core values.     


At some colleges and universities, Women’s History Month not only offers a full range of activities, but incorporate some of their own area’s rich history. Emory University’s events include career workshops, poetry readings and an awards ceremony, in addition to outdoor activities and hikes. Noteworthy is a Harriet Tubman Hike at dusk that takes participants through Civil War-era sites and gives hikers a sense of how she risked her life while maneuvering through nature.