I have enjoyed learning about the lives of women who attended WM before me. Conducting this research has opened my eyes to things women experienced at the college after WWII into the 1950s.  One of the findings that I found most interesting was that not all women I reviewed interviews of necessarily disagreed with restrictions and rules women had to follow. My own biases and experience as a woman who has grown up in the 21st century believed that women were unhappy if they did not have the freedom to ride in cars or the ability to be out of their dorm past a certain hour. These women, however, made their won fun, went along with the rules, and stuck to the status quo. It was also interesting to see the first stirrings of racist laws and social customs being lifted during the time period. During Ruth Tiller’s time at WM between 1942 and 1945 the editor of the Flat Hat Marilyn Camerly wrote a piece at the time in favor of racial integration on campus that was met with a lot of resistance. She was right but ahead of her time Ruth Tiller (1945) noted. In addition, Mardie Markimm 1955 mentioned that the rule that blacks had to sit in a separate section during convocation was lifted during her time at WM. A decade before massive social change concerning segregation would take place and WM women in particular were advocates for integration. I am excited to present my findings in September to continue to showcase the value of women, their spirit, and their contributions to the college.


  1. omspencer says:

    This project sounds incredibly interesting and meaningful. I imagine that hearing the stories of women through the years and what they have experienced must be profound. I hope I get the chance to see more about your project at the showcase in September!