Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Celebrate Women's History Month at Mizzou!

March is Women's History Month and the MU Student Center is celebrating the occasion by featuring significant individuals and events relating to women's issues from the history of the University in displays located in the Lower Lair Lounge and in the square cases just outside of Mort's.

Please stop by this month to learn a little about some of the important individuals who broke gender barriers at the University, women's athletics at Mizzou, feminist activism on campus, and more. In the mean time, here are some highlights from the exhibition:

Sarah Anna Ware (September 1905 Missouri Alumnus) 
MU admitted its first female students in 1868, but initially only permitted women to enroll in the Normal School to qualify as teachers. The university changed this policy in 1871, thereby opening other departments to women. Sarah Anna Ware graduated with a B.S. degree in 1872, becoming the first woman to graduate from MU with a "non-Normal" degree.

Read Hall postcard, 1907 
The back of the postcard reads: "Miss Vera Barnes: Came here over Sunday with Florence Trotter -- great place; will write son and tell you all about it. Saw a good game yesterday. MU 27-W.0. Read Hall is where I'm at." (2011.087)

Read Hall, which opened in 1908, was the first women's dormitory at the University of Missouri and served as the social center for Mizzou women, regardless of whether they had a room in the hall. Read Hall now houses the History Department.

"The Nursing Squad for the 'Flu'" (1919 Savitar)
The influenza epidemic of 1919 took its toll on Columbia much as it did elsewhere. More that 100 university women answered the call to service to work as nurses' aids, errand girls, telephone operators, and stenographers. The Savitar expressed appreciation for these women who worked tirelessly and aided in saving many lives.

L.S.V. (1963 Savitar)
Founded on Mizzou's campus in 1908, L.S.V. is a secret society that recognizes remarkable women at MU. Although the group has existed for more than a century, it did not participate in Tap Day ceremonies until the mid-1960s.

Delta Gamma yearbook photo (1972 Savitar)
In 1972, the members of Delta Gamma used their yearbook photo as a feminist forum. The group was likely responding to contemporaneous debates about the Equal Right Amendment, which would have ensured equal rights for women under the law.

Dr. Barbara Uehling (1978 Savitar)
In 1978, Dr. Barbara Uehling became MU's first woman chancellor, making her one of only two other women who held the top administrative positions at large public universities at the time.

Natasha Kaiser (1989 Missouri Alumnus)
According to her player bio for the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, Natasha Kaiser "ranks as the most decorated female athlete in University of Missouri History." She holds a silver medal for a 4x400-meter relay at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and a gold medal for the same event at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. While at Mizzou, Kaiser was twice named most valuable athlete at the Big Eight championships and was named the Big Eight Conference Female Athlete of the Year in 1989.

 Authored by Sarah Horne and Niki Eaton, PhD Students in Art History and Archaeology