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Mission

Welcome!

I’m glad to have you visit our site and learn more about the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVA!

Through the opportunities we offer for student leadership development and empowerment-based counseling, the Women’s Center contributes to the full flourishing of UVA’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as the Charlottesville community. We develop strong women leaders and those who work beside them to bring social justice, especially gender and racial justice, to our world.

Thousands of students petitioned the University to establish a Women’s Center in 1987. Two years later, the Women’s Center opened with Sharon Davie serving as director from 1989 through 2015. As we approach our 30th anniversary, we hold true to the founding vision for the center, which included fostering leadership, engaged scholarship, safety, and well-being. Today, we offer a number of services and opportunities to the UVA community, ranging from academic internships to counseling services, from materials to help you navigate difficult moments to public talks to inspire you.

In 2014, Maxine Platzer Lynn (Curry ’51) pledged an endowment to the Women’s Center to support its meaningful impact on the University. She describes her time at UVA as giving her “a great sense of community and of the importance of giving back.” She intends that her gift give today’s students the same opportunities by enabling the Women’s Center to continue its mentoring and outreach to all students, irrespective of gender.

We at the Women’s Center are all stewards of something larger than any one of us:  a sustained commitment to the well-being of all UVA students in all stages of their lives that supporters of the Women’s Center have fostered over the decades. Throughout its history, students’ voices have had a significant impact on the growth and development of the Women’s Center. We count our work with students among the most meaningful work we do. I am proud to say that in their time with us, our students develop their skills and passions, and they leave us prepared to put them to use in service of the public good.

I encourage you to explore our website and attend our events to discover the rich array of resources that make up the Women’s Center.

Abby Palko, 
Director

Our Mission

To serve students and the University as a whole by:

  • Fostering the respect, safety, and dignity of women and girls
  • Developing leadership and compassion through academic community engagement
  • Building powerful partnerships for social change
  • Working for gender justice on Grounds and across the globe, and celebrating those who join us

Diversity Statement

A diverse University of Virginia community provides every member respect and a safe place for understanding our differences as well as our likenesses. Fostering the safety, dignity, and respect of women and girls is central to the mission of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center. We believe that an environment that welcomes and supports people of different backgrounds, beliefs, ages, identities, ethnicities and worldviews best accomplishes these goals. At the Women’s Center, we actively engage in discussions about social change and bias, challenging our assumptions and exchanging ideas. We invite others to join us in these discussions at our events, in our classes, and by social media.