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Waugh and Judith G. Over the last century a of scholars have contributed ificantly to the study of West Virginia by focusing their attention in part or in full on the evolution of its educational systems, especially its public and normal schools and the university system. They placed this evolution firmly within national, regional, political and economic contexts, paying particular attention to West Virginia's difficult birthing during the Civil War era.
The dates "" and "" represent, respectively, the one-hundredth anniversaries of the first admission of women to WVU as degree candidates and the first graduation of a woman twenty- two years after the school opened, Harriet Eliza Lyon Lyon's recollection of what it was like to cross the gender line at WVU, to become a "coed," 6 was the only first-person available for historical scrutiny until spring when manuscripts written by two of the ten women entering inSallie Norris m.
Showalterclass ofand Mabel Curry Reynolds m. Glasscock 7 class ofbecame available to Women's Centenary researchers. Occasional theses and monographs address the general topic "History of Women and Education in West Virginia" but limit their analysis to recording the growth of women's participation in the field of teaching and their access to private and public schools.
Kathryn Babb Vossler's overview of female education from begins to consider the role of prejudice in limiting female opportunity and using women's education to reinforce stereotypical female gender roles; however; it comes dangerously close to blaming students for the failures of their schools to turn them into progressive "New Women. The fact that gender was considered, to use nineteenth-century terminology, when the "woman question" was "agitated" in coeducation debates, underscores the omission of women from the record.
For example, James M. Callahan and Charles Ambler, professional historians present on WVU's campus during the second decade of coeducation, the former as professor, the latter as student, did not incorporate the voices or perspectives of women in their histories. Coeducation appears in Ambler's History of Education in West Virginia as a subsection within a potpourri of s topics labelled "Miscellaneous. Doherty in his university history dramatically highlighted women's historic status as a minority population averaging only 30 percent on campus. Material relevant to the discussions surrounding the Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginia of women to WVU is relatively accessible and drawn from two sources, Board of Regents reports and the state's press.
The presence of women on campus as degree candidates improved the opportunities for public statements on their own behalf and must be considered part of the greater willingness of women of the s to buck traditions of ladylike silence.
Their educational activism was part of an increasingly higher media profile for women throughout the state, as evidenced by the publication of special "women's editions" of newspapers in in four communities, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Elkins and Morgantown, towns with strong commitments to education.
Eighteen months before the Aurora was published, Elizabeth 1. Woodburn Female Seminary was part of the real estate package that influenced the legislature to locate the state's land-grant university in Morgantown.
Ironically, Woodburn Female Seminary's graduates were not admitted to the new state university. Moore noted how appropriate was the passage "for here we have no continuing city" to the somber occasion of the last graduation in June Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginiaobserving that no "private school in this vicinity or elsewhere had] advantages to offer in any way comparable to those given by the State so generously to her sons, while denying to her daughters even the crumbs that fell from the table.
Moore over the educational portion alloted to the daughters of West Virginia was a reaction to a highly articulated educational policy that did not, to paraphrase Abigail Adams, "consider the ladies" very favorably. Educating women was an important consideration in the earliest state-wide discussion of educational policy in Virginia. The establishment of elementary schools throughout western Virginia languished until after statehood, when post-Civil War rebuilding and industrialization prompted its development.
Greatly increasing the supply of qualified elementary teachers was necessary to develop a viable school system, a matter which drew attention as early as September, when an unprecedented gathering of notable Virginia educators convened in Clarksburg to consider how to alleviate growing illiteracy and produce a population which would assure regional development.
Among the topics considered were the founding of teacher-training schools which women might be encouraged to attend. Consideration of female education occurred within an ideology which historian Linda Kerber deated as "Republican Motherhood.
Female education, as explained by the men charged with recording the proceedings of the Clarksburg conclave, was "the greatest means which can be devised for the work of elevating the people. Not until did West Virginia legislators adopt the Clarksburg convention's platform by simultaneously implementing the basis for the state's normal-school system and a land-grant university, West Virginia Agricultural College, soon renamed West Virginia University. Women were admitted to the former but not the latter, and the flagship institution's first President, Alexander Martin, speaking to the purpose of the institution in his June 27, inaugural address, underscored the college's male identity by broadening the land-grant intent of producing "farmers and soldiers," to include the more liberal goal of producing "men, as men, and not as machines.
The February 7, "Act for the regulation of the West Virginia Agricultural College" pd white males only as candidates for the institution's degrees, de jure and de facto racial segregation having been continued from antebellum days. In Section 8 of the act, the section dealing with recruitment to the cadet corps, the words "young men" appear; and in discussing conferring of degrees in Section 10, the word "men" again is used.
On April 2,a committee consisting of Lyon, S. Stevens, and J. Weaver reported back to the faculty that women's admission "had never been legally recognized, either by enactment of the legislature or Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginia of the regents, and that the admission of females to privileges of University classes was not included in the powers of the faculty. Despite clarification of legislative intent prejudicial to coeducation, in the early s a handful of Morgantown girls, including a sister of Harriet Lyon, managed occasionally to attend classes of sympathetic professors, a practice which continued for at least a decade.
Professor William P. Willey was so favorably impressed by their abilities that he became a vigorous proponent of coeducation. Among those men with whom Willey might have commiserated were Lyon and Milton Norris, who each had four children, "all girls. He preferred to have her closer to home. One of three women in a graduating class of fifteen, she chose her words carefully. Speaking on "New Occasions and New Duties," Norris challenged the men who governed the state and campus to stop discouraging women from attending the university. Norris was not referring to official policy since the catalogue carried the reminder that women could now be admitted to WVU or to a difficult curriculum because she excelled in math and the classics.
She urged faculty and the governing board to "make the path easy" by extending a genuine welcome to female students. A prime example of discouragement appeared in the commencement paper which carried her address. Norris recalled the preference of local landlords to rent to male students and the open hostility expressed by some students and faculty.
InNorris revealed details which were particularly irksome to her as a student and evidenced her pride at surviving the hostility:. No provision was made for the comfort or the convenience of the girls, and it was many weeks before even a cloak room with toilet facilities was provided and Dr. Turner Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginia in chapel that Mrs.
Dancer, the wife of the janitor, would show the young ladies to their cloak room after chapel. The cloak room thus provided was a bare basement room in Martin Hall, whose furniture consisted of a bench and a row of hooks and after being inspected by the girls was never used. The Math professor [Prof.
Stewart] even persisted in calling each girl in class by her last name without prefixing "Miss. Norris's sobering assessment of women's early WVU experiences was not unique. It was seconded by Harriet E. Lyon, class ofand Mabel Curry Reynolds, class ofand reinforced by campus reaction to the death of a third early woman graduate, Lulu Garlow, class of Inwriting for the WVU Alumni MagazineLyon broke a forty-five year silence on the difficulties of being the first woman graduate.
She Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginia made to feel "like an alien and an intruder. Mabel Curry Reynolds enjoyed the support of her Morgantown family and benefitted from the increased of women on campus; over thirty attended the university in the year she graduated as the only woman in her class, as compared to ten inthe first year women were admitted. Her experiences as a minority student led to deep involvement in the founding of The Woman's League of the West Virginia University ina support group for women. The league was founded, in Reynolds's words, to lessen that "awful I wish I hadn't come' feeling.
She died at Bryn Mawr College. Her grieving cousin, Winifred South, class ofwrote a memorial which disputed prevailing theory linking higher education of women to illness and death. In a companion piece to the article, Martha Brock, a community woman who supported women's education and helped found the Woman's League later that year, provided a lengthy academic biography of Garlow. The nature of the relationship of women to higher education was as much a concern of West Virginia's shapers of educational policy as it was to Garlow's friends and schoolmates.
Inthe first full art curriculum was offered under the leadership of E. Eva Boyers Hubbard. Reporting on the university's hiring of Mrs. Hubbard, in tones reminiscent of the Clarksburg Convention's recommended "instructress" in every home, the local media boasted, "the study of fine arts will make our young ladies better wives and give them the means within themselves to beautify their own homes at little expense. That process is epitomized, for instance, in the discovery that two early WVU women, Mabel Reynolds and Sallie Norris, wrote only for the record four decades after their admission to West Virginia University when they were asked to write their remembrances at the dedication of Elizabeth Moore Hall.
It honored the memory of the Morgantown woman whose long affiliation with female education, and whose longevity, sustained women's collective memories of the struggle for educational equity. Historian Gerda Lerner affords insight into why the full dimensions of that struggle have yet to be appreciated:. Thanks to Lerner and other feminist historians, like Barbara Miller Solomon, John Mack Faragher, and Florence Howe, it is no longer acceptable, nor necessary, to consider the history of women's education in West Virginia as auxiliary history, as "miscellaneous.
Judith G. She earned the Ph. Lillian J. See especially, James M. Doherty and Festus P. Press, A work which provides a useful model for West Virginia historians examining their own historiography is Liberating Women's History: Theoretical and Critical Essaysed. Seefor example, Doherty and Summers, West Virginia University in which "women," "coeducation," and "discrimination" are cross-referred. In contrast, Otis K. Bickley, an independent scholar of West Virginia black history and retired Vice-President for Academic Affairs at West Virginia State College, was asked just how it was possible that West Virginia blacks were not given wholesale access to in-state graduate education immediately following the Gaines vs.
Missouri decision. For basic archival work on the coeducation debate, early WVU women and their families, and for discovery of the Aurorathe authors owe much to former graduate assistants Patricia Lee Hankins and David Clay Cebula. Use of the word "coed" instead of "student" to deate and differentiate female from male "students," was "extremely distasteful" to Harriet Lyon. Informal discussion with students at the WVU Center for Women's Studies suggests a shift away from one-sex use of the term, which is recognizable to them only as it applies to private or publicly run residences shared by both sexes.
For the sake of textual clarity, WVU women are discussed employing the surnames they used on campus. Post-WVU surname changes are indicated on initial reference. Moore believes the recollections were solicited by women students affiliated with the November Elizabeth Moore Hall dedication festivities. No publication, prior to excerpting in the Humanities Foundation of West Virginia underwritten Women's Centenary publication Centenary Currents1 January :is known.
Gentry, Many working papers of Prof. Taylor, President of the Wheeling Female College, skirts the sensitive issue of coeducation at West Virginia University by pointing out that remarks attributed to her were made by pro-coeducation campaigner Prof.
William P. Willey during a meeting of the State Educational Association. In order of publication, the following special issues have come to light in the course of Women's Centenary research. The Morgantown and Fairmont papers are more politically activist in tone; the Clarksburg and Elkins less committed to articulation of women's educational Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginia political rights. On Davis and Elkins' founding, see Thomas R.
Women's work and contribution to the Columbian Exposition of is contained to Mary K. Eagle, ed. Chicago: W. Conkey Co. Elizabeth I. Press,10; occasioned by Abigail Adams' concern that her husband and other politicians would perpetuate women's secondary status in their legislation. Ambler, History of Education, contains the best general overview of the convention, while his article, "The Clarksburg Educational Convention of September," West Virginia History5 October :carries discussion and Convention text relevant to female education and females as educators in the home and classroom.
Baker, Mary Chadwick and Florence Lyon" reciting in two or three preparatory classes; Lyon, "Beginnings," 6, reports attending classes in her teens. Callahan, History of West Virginia Summer teacher institutes provided a favorite forum for debates on coeducation, a forum which Willey, Brown and Purinton used to good advantage.
Ambler, History of Education, notes the persistence of this reasoning in the West Virginia debates. Contemporary usage of "student" as a male deator, vs. Showalter [Norris], "Beginnings," 1. The math professor in question was R. Berkeley, a campus leader of anti-coeducation forces. Dropping of honorific titles was an unpardonable breach of etiquette for the era.
Harold A. Jewett, interview with Lillian J. Joyce Antler, "After College, What? Winifred O. South was the first WVU woman to receive an advanced degree when she was granted the M.Women looking sex Hepzibah West Virginia
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