The First 100 Years


Prytanean, an honor society recognizing junior and senior women for leadership and scholarship, is founded by Agnes Frisius '01 and Adele Lewis '02. They are assisted by Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter, a physician and generous advisor to University women. 


Prtyaneans embark on their first project: raising funds to establish a hospital for students. They organize fundraising events, launching a tradition of annual Prytanean fetes which continue into the 1920s. 

The UC Board of Regents, with a $2,400 gift from Prytanean, allocates funds to equip a 20 bed infirmary.


The University infirmary and student health service opens. Prytanean continues to donate funds. Members institute the custom of visiting women students who are ill af the infirmary. 


The advancement of dormitories for women becomes a chief interest of Prytaneans, and funds are raised for this purpose. A Domestic Science course is offered at the University and is actively supported by Prytaneans. 


Prytanean establishes a Loan Fund, offering women student loans without interest, to be repaid after graduation. 

1910 - 1911

Prytanean raises funds for Senior Women's Hall.

1911 - 1912

Prytanean appeals to the Regents for Physical Education courses for women. 
The Prytanean Hymn is written by Rose Gardner '10. 

Prytanean provides financial and moral support to the "Partheneia," a spring festival in Faculty Glade organized entirely by women students. Up to 2,000 women participate; many in leadership roles are members of Prytanean. The Partheneia is held each year until 1931. 


Pryteanan advocates for gymnasium credit for women involved in campus sports. 


A Prytanean chapter is established on the UCLA campus. 


The Ernest V. Cowell Memorial Hospital replaces the University infirmary. Prytaneans are active in the statewide bond campaign for a University hospital building. 


The Prytanean Alumnae Association is organized to aid in the establishment of a cooperative dormitory for women. 


Mary Bennett Ritter Hall, a cooperative dormitory for women students, is opened and operated by Prytanean Alumnae of Prospect Street. The facility continues in operation until 1966. 


Prytanean Incorporated is formed to purchase the building that houses Ritter Hall. 


A Prytanean chapter is established on the Davis campus. 


Ritter Hall is sold. 


Proceeds from the sale of Ritter Hall are used to establish a trust. The income provides funding for student service project on campus and in the community. 


Prytanean Inc, and the Prytanean Alumnae Association merge to the Prytanean Alumane Inc. 


"The Prytaneans, an Oral History of the Prytanean Society, Its Members and their University, 1901-1920," is published. The first oral history completed entirely by volunteers, it is presented to the Bancroft Library. 


Prytanean Alumane Inc. provides an initial grant for a child care center on campus and acts as a trustee for non-governmental grants to this center. 


Prytanean Alumnae Inc. lobbies for a new Center for Continuing Education for women on campus and provides seed money. 


The Berkeley Citation is awarded to Prytanean Alumnae Inc. for distinguished achievement and notable services to the University. This is the highest honor the campus bestows. 


Prytanean celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a lecture in Zellerbach Hall by Prytanean Alumnae and movie critic Pauline Kael. 


The Twenties: Rembrances of a Decade, Volume II of the Prytanean Oral History, 1921-1930 is published and presented to the Bancroft Library.


Prytanean Alumnae Inc provides a grant to the new Department of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics to aid in the establishment of athletic scholarships for women. 


Prytanean Alumnae and students organize and host several campus conferences on leadership issues for women. 


A Prytanean chapter is founded at UC San Diego. 


Volume III of Oral History is published.


Prytanean Alumnae Inc raises $100,000 to establish the Prytanean Faculty Award. 


The Prytanean Faculty Award is inaugurated. This unrestricted award is given annually to a tenure track female faculty member to help her achieve tenure. The award has been given annually since inception; each recipient has received tenure at the appropriate time. 


The Tang Center, with a new Prytanean Room, replaces Cowell Hospital. The Prytanean Room is the result of a $50,000 fundraising campaign by Prytanean Alumnae. 


Prytanean celebrates its Centennial. 

During the past 100 years, the Prytanean Society has continued to initiate student members and honorary members on a semi-annual basis. More than 3,000 University women have joined the organization during this time. 

An Annual Meeting of the alumnae has been held each spring since 1939. 

The tradition of service to the University has continued without interruption for these past 100 years.