About Us


Since 1980, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee (WHET) have sought to meet the needs of women in
the academy. By working collaboratively with the American Association of Community College Women,
programs such as the June Anderson Award and the annual conference have supported the core values of
leadership, networking, and connection among women in the Tennessee higher education community.
In 2001, WHET and ACE-The Network formally merged to better meet the needs of all women in Tennessee
higher education. Consistent with its mission, WHET is committed to the following goals and initiatives:

•        Professional development seminars
•        Partnership with the statewide Women’s Leadership Conference for college and university students
•        A Presidential Advisory Committee
•        Support for member’ participation in national leadership conferences – Institutional memberships
•        A reception to honor new college and university presidents in Tennessee at the annual conference
•        Offers the Pat Pierce and Hal Ramer Scholarships annually

The History of the Caraytid as WHET’s Symbol

A Caryatid is a female figure that serves as an architectural support in the place of a column or pillar. It is often
associated with Greek and Greek Revival architecture. The term Caraytid originated from the term karaytides
which literally means “maidens of Karyai”, an ancient town of Peloponnese. Girls from Karyai were
considered especially beautiful, tall, strong and capable.

In 1980, the board members of Women in Higher Education in Tennessee (WHET) were seeking a
symbol/logo for WHET. They were intrigued by the beauty of the female caryatids, each which was unique,
representing the diversity among women. They felt the symbolism of the caryatids supporting great works of
architecture was reflective of the strength of women and their inherent ability to support all and provide
cohesion. Therefore the caryatid was selected and has served to represent the beauty, diversity, strength,
support and cohesion that is endowed to all women that they positively engage in their careers in higher

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