“Austin Doherty was a warm and inspiring teacher who changed individuals and institutions to advance women’s place in the world.”Mary Jean Collins ’63 Alverno College
Sister Austin had a deep concern for social justice and the inequalities facing women in society. Member, School Sisters of St. Francis. She attended the organizing conference for the National Organization for Women (NOW) held in Washington D.C., October 29-30, 1966, and was elected to NOW’s first board. Helped establish the first Milwaukee chapter of NOW in 1967. Worked to end the sex-segregated employment ads at the Milwaukee Journal, 1973, and for WI ratification of the ERA. Helped establish the Alverno College Research Center on Women (RCW) in 1970. As co-director of RCW, Doherty organized many feminist conferences, seminars and projects. Doherty helped organize and served as co-chair of the first conference of women theologians. Hosted the 1974 conference for the Wisconsin Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, Homemaking and the Family: Changing Values and Concerns, held at Alverno College. She was an individual delegate to the 1977 National Women’s conference in Houston.
Photo 1. Sr. Austin was a featured speaker at a NOW meeting in Chicago, Illinois, July 16, 1970. Photo 2. Sr. Austin Doherty, Sr. Joel Read and Sr. Kathleen O’Brien, 2001.