Mission and Purpose
The Anna Lalor Burdick Program focuses on young women who have inadequate access to information regarding reproductive health, including the subjects of contraception and pregnancy termination, and as such may be particularly lacking options in their lives.
Anna Lalor Burdick was born in Villisca, Iowa in 1869. Upon graduating from Iowa University in 1889, she taught at the Decorah High School until 1891, when she married and moved to Denver. In 1894 she accepted the principal’s position at Iowa Falls High School. Later she became superintendent of schools in Des Moines. From 1917 until her retirement in 1939, she served in the U.S. Department of Education as Special Agent for Trade and Industrial Education for Girls and Women. She died in 1944.
Anna Lalor Burdick devoted much of her life to the education, careers and lives of women. In a speech at an education conference “attended by 300 Iowa girls” in 1938, she was quoted as saying:
Your problem is not to choose between marriage and career, but rather to plan a vocation and career and still be happily married. If a girl chooses not to marry, she needs a means of self-support. If she does marry, catastrophe often changes her plans.
Since its beginning, the foundation has made more than $1.3 million of these grants. A list of past grants is available on this website.