Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ethel Percy Andrus

Today's Awesome Woman is: Ethel Percy Andrus (September 21, 1884 San Francisco, California – July 13, 1967) was a long-time educator and the first woman high school principal in California, but is better known as the founder of AARP in 1958. Andrus founded a separate organization, the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) in 1947.

She realized that retired teachers were living on incredibly small pensions, often without any health insurance. She approached more than 30 companies to offer health insurance to retired teachers, before she found someone willing to take a chance on NRTA members in 1956. The organization then expanded its membership to all retirees and became AARP in 1958.

Today, the NRTA is still a division of AARP, and serves as its educator community. AARP continues to follow Andrus’ guiding principles: Collective voice, collective purchasing power, and the collective ability to do good and give back through service. AARP continues to follow the motto she created, “To serve, not to be served.” According to its mission statement, it is "a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over ... dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age," which "provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members."

More info at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/NRTA/andrus_bio.pdf

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