GEM Fund

What is the GEM Fund?

“GEM” stands for “Gaining Educational Momentum” and pertains to our branch’s unique philanthropic arm and endowment, whose sole purpose is to raise  funds to support undergraduate scholarships for local women whose educations have been interrupted or delayed.  Founded by AAUW Asheville in 2002, GEM has, to date, awarded 58 scholarships, allowing women to attend college who, otherwise, might not be able to afford their dreams of an education.

Founded in 2002, the GEM Fund: AAUW-Asheville Scholarship Endowment, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that awards undergraduate scholarships at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (AB Tech) and the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNC-A) to local women who are older than 23, sometimes considerably older. Often, they are single mothers or are from minority groups. GEM is the acronym for Gaining Educational Momentum, which the awards help recipients to do.

GEM is funded by several types of tax-deductible donations, including donations of cash, stocks, or real property. A popular type of contribution is the tribute gift. Contributions may be designated for the endowment fund or for current scholarships. No branch dues are used for scholarships.

In addition to accepting current donations, GEM now accepts gifts through The Beatrice Rice Wells Legacy Society, which was set up in 2010 for those who wish to donate to GEM through their estate plans. The Legacy Society was established with three charter members and now has a membership of six.

For this 2013-14 academic year, GEM is awarding two UNC-A scholarships of $2,000 each and 10 AB Tech scholarships of $1,000 each.

GEM sincerely appreciates the support of those who have helped GEM grow, slowly but steadily, and welcomes new friends, both AAUW members and nonmembers. The annual fundraiser will be held on Sunday June 1, 2014, so save the day and stay tuned for details. Remember, diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend; an education is.

For more information, please contact Pat Argue ( or 828‑891-5421) or Jill Preyer for the Wells Society ( or 828‑505‑2633).