Leader Stories

We’re asking AAUW and Community leaders to tell us about the women who have made a difference in our community through their service in AAUW. Please visit us again to learn about these great leaders as we add stories to this page.

Mary Gafford
Mary Gafford is past AAUW Las Vegas President and honoree of the Sarah Winnemucca Award, a state-level honor bestowed by the American Association of University Women. A 30-year teacher, Mary was recognized for her efforts to effectively implement the AAUW vision of educational equity in the community. She received her Master’s degree in English/History from University of Texas and has authored an English book. She is involved in Daughters of the American Revolution, SNWHP NEA, Nevada Women’s History Project and many other organizations and events.

Ruth Johnson
One of the many talents that Ruth has developed and shares with others is music. Here’s a link to an article about her: Ruth Johnson

Florence McClure
Known by many as Hurricane Florence, she was co-founder of the Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas and helped change the judiciary system of Nevada concerning rape victims’ rights. The Women’s Correctional facility in Southern Nevada is named after Florence and AAUW members and friends established and funded a national scholarship in her name and honor. Here is a clip of a longer DVD that is available through Women of Diversity or the Las Vegas/Clark County Library System: Hurricane Florence

Catherine Schafer
Jean Stone

Cherie Thomas
A former branch President of the AAUW Las Vegas, Cherie was active in our branch for many years. In addition to serving as president for 2 terms, she was active in Book Club, served on the Scholarship Committee, played in the Bridge Marathon, headed the calling committee, worked tirelessly on fund raisers, and was a warm friend to all. She retired after a teaching career in the Clark County School System. Cherie passed away in 2015, survived by her husband, Bob, two children and three grandchildren.