Join a committed group of lifelong learners working to ensure a strong future for the Field Museum.

Two women hold up a painting of a zebra by Field Museum artist-in-residence Peggy McNamara, while standing behind a podium with the Museum’s logo on it. Other Women’s Board members, seated at tables, look on.

The Women’s Board is a group of nearly 250 civic-minded members that raises more than $2 million annually to support the Field Museum, including programs that invest in young women interested in or studying science.

In addition to an annual giving commitment, the group supports the museum by organizing two major events: the annual Women’s Board gala and a Women in Science luncheon.

Women’s Board members participate in quarterly meetings, which feature behind-the-scenes tours and educational presentations from staff. Members also enjoy exclusive events and social gatherings, like exhibition openings and volunteer opportunities.

50+ years providing enthusiastic support for the Field Museum
$2.5 million annual funds raised to support programming
10 paid female science interns annually conducting research at the Museum with help from the Women’s Board
19 paid female graduate fellows have furthered their research at the Field with Women’s Board funding


Individual members of the Women’s Board are asked to make an unrestricted annual gift of $2,500 or more (fully tax-deductible). They also support an annual black-tie gala and Women in Science Luncheon with the purchase of a table or tickets, as well as contributions of time and talent. 

Members are also required to pay annual dues of $250 (not tax-deductible) and attend regular meetings. Membership for the Women’s Board is by invitation only.

Send a message to with questions about membership or upcoming events.


The Women’s Board was founded by Ellen Thorne Smith, a passionate supporter who devoted 40 years of her life to the museum as a volunteer, trustee, and finally, founder and president of the board. In 1966, she brought together 155 women to start the organization and promote the Museum’s mission and activities.

Today, the group remains active in fundraising and other support efforts for the Museum, raising more than $2 million every year that contribute to the Field Museum’s mission of creating a brighter future rich in nature and culture.

The Women’s Board takes pride in working on behalf of the Field Museum to strengthen our collective impact on Chicago and the world.