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Golden Days

Reminiscences of Alumnae, Mississippi State College for Women

Mississippi University for Women Southern Women's Institute, Bridget Smith Pieschel

Publication Year: 2008

Golden Days includes twenty oral histories of women who graduated from Mississippi State College for Women (now Mississippi University for Women) at least fifty years ago. From Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope's (1926) description of a teaching career beginning just before the 1927 Delta flood to Juanita McCown Hight's (1934) account of campus conversations with violinist Jascha Heifetz and writer/adventurer Richard Halliburton, these stories illustrate the profound influence of the nation's first public college for women on the lives of the storytellers. Vivid reminiscences about life on campus recall a different world of blue uniforms, rigid rules, and demanding faculty.

Even after many decades, these women still clearly remember particular teachers who inspired and pushed them to succeed, midnight dormitory pranks played on long-suffering "social advisers," and the spring Zouave marching drills directed by the indomitable Emma Ody Pohl. Whether they graduated in 1926 or 1956, there is a common thread running through these memories: an appreciation for academic life, strong leadership, cultural experiences that enriched lives, a recognition that the university gave self-confidence to pursue unusual or difficult careers, and a gratitude for remarkable friendships which have lasted a lifetime.

The Southern Women's Institute of Mississippi University for Women provides a foundation for research and inclusive outreach through the study of women in both traditional and non-traditional roles. The Institute's research focuses on the history of MUW and the position women hold in the culture and foundation of the South both today and in the future.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Title Page, Copyright

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xxiv

When it opened its doors to about 350 students in 1885, the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College for White Girls (later Mississippi State College for Women and now Mississippi University for Women) was the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Those who find it difficult to believe that Mississippi would be...

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Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope, Class of 1926

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pp. 3-30

Mary Ellen Weathersby was born to Ellen Harrell Weathersby and Robert Lodwic Weathersby on April 14, 1905, in Liberty, Mississippi. Raised in Magnolia, she attended MSCW from 1922 to 1926, when she received a bachelors of science degree in home economics. She had four sisters...

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Elizabeth Spann Smith Gwin, Class of 1930

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pp. 31-48

Born in Columbus on May 24, 1909, to Charles Harriett Smith and May Rush Smith, Elizabeth Smith was already familiar with the W when she became a student. As a student she was a member of the Town Girls Club, the Black Crows, the Bach Society, the Spanish Club, her class volleyball team, and...

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Juanita McCown Hight, Class of 1934

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pp. 49-68

Juanita McCown was born in Plattsburg, Mississippi, on August 26, 1913, the daughter of James Monroe McCown, a school administrator, and Ada Green McCown. Juanita McCown graduated from the W in 1934 with a bachelors of science degree in home economics. She was involved in many groups on campus...

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Hyacinth McCormick Hayman, Class of 1935

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pp. 69-80

Hyacinth McCormick was born on June 7, 1913, in Gulfport, to George Francis McCormick and Hyacinth Yerger McCormick. While she was a child, her household included her maternal grandparents, Rucks and Hyacinth Yerger, and her great-grandmother, Hyacinth McGuire. At MSCW, she majored...

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Katherine Lipscomb Worrell, Class of 1936

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pp. 81-94

Katherine Lipscomb, born July 17, 1913, in Mashulaville, Mississippi, was the fourth of eleven children born to Jasper Holmes Lipscomb and Mary Elizabeth Jernigan Lipscomb. Katherine Lipscomb came to MSCW from rural Noxubee County, Mississippi, in the fall of 1930, but family financial...

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Carmen Pearson Ronken, Class of 1937

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pp. 95-110

Carmen Pearson was born on November 23, 1914, in Conehatta, Mississippi, one of seven children of Edward Pearson and Addie Wilkins Pearson. Carmen Pearson spent two years at Decatur Junior College (now East Central Community College) before transferring to MSCW, where she majored in home...

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Emily Eugenia Summer, Class of 1945

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pp. 111-138

Emily Eugenia Summer was born on June 13,1923, to Charles E. Summer and Emily O'Rorke Summer of Newton, Mississippi. Eugenia Summer came to MSCW from Yazoo City and served in numerous campus leadership roles, including holding the post of class treasurer during her freshman year and of president of...

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Mary Glynn Williams Lancaster, Class of 1947

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pp. 139-156

Mary Glynn Williams was born in Bolton, Mississippi, on July 1, 1925, to James Harold Williams and Mary Verdie Noel Williams. She spent a year at Hinds Junior College (now Hinds Community College) before coming to MSCW, where she was a member of the Bach Society, the Glee Club, Sigma Alpha Iota...

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Frances Mildred Bethea Dent, Class of 1950

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pp. 157-170

Frances Mildred Bethea came to MSCW from Indianola, Mississippi. She was born on August 8, 1927, in Starkville, Mississippi, to Carl B. Bethea and Julia May Bevill Bethea. A library science major, she sang in the Glee Club for four years. She was also a member of the Spanish Club, the Library...

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Joan Crawford Meadows McLemore, Class of 1951

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pp. 171-196

Joan Crawford Meadows, the middle child of James Leon Meadows and Dell Crawford Meadows, was born in Texas on August 24, 1929. The family subsequently moved to Oklahoma and then to Mississippi in 1939. After graduating from Natchez High School in June 1947, Meadows came to MSCW, where...

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Lenore Loving Prather, Class of 1953

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pp. 197-218

Lenore Loving, born in West Point, Mississippi, on September 17, 1931, is the daughter of attorney Byron Herold Loving, who served as a state representative and state senator from Clay County, and Hattie Morris Loving, who was educated at Draughns Business College in Jackson, Mississippi...

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Mary Elizabeth Bickerstaff Payne, Class of 1954

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pp. 219-250

Mary Elizabeth Bickerstaff was born on March 27, 1931, in Gulfport, Mississippi. Her mother was Emily Augusta Cook Bickerstaff; her father, Reece O. Bickerstaff, represented Harrison County in the Mississippi legislature from 1936 to 1955. Mary Libby Bickerstaff spent two years at the W, during which

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Sylvia Camille Duck Clark, Class of 1956

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pp. 251-272

Sylvia Camille Duck was born in Louisville, Mississippi, on July 24, 1934, to George M. Duck, a railroad manager, and Camille Langham Sullivan Duck, who owned and operated a women's clothing store in downtown Louisville. At the W, she majored in elementary education. She was active in many...

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Barbara Ann Garrett, Class of 1956

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pp. 273-296

Barbara Ann Garrett was born in Yazoo City on November 20, 1934, to Ezra W. Garrett and Mary Eleanor Bishop Garrett. While she was at the W, her numerous activities included the Student Christian Council; the Committee of Fifty; the Baptist Student Union; the Women's Athletic Association; the Rogues...

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Mary Elizabeth Barrett Francis, Class of 1956

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pp. 297-314

Mary Elizabeth Barrett was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on November 24, 1934. Her mother, Mary Rawls Barrett Martin, graduated from the W in 1931; her father, Raphoral Lee Barrett, attended Mississippi State and taught agriculture. While at the W, Mary Lib Barrett was a member...

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Janet Carol Davis Gray, Class of 1957

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pp. 315-334

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, on August 7, 1936, Janet Carol Davis was the daughter of Homer B. Davis and Velma Mary Hughes Davis. Janet Davis graduated from the W with a degree in English, speech, and journalism. She participated in the Palette and Brush Club; the Commerce Club; the Glee...

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Beverly Stuart Koch Jones, Class of 1957

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pp. 335-350

Beverly Stuart Koch, born on December 20, 1935, in Picayune, Mississippi, was the daughter of Alberta Elizabeth Stuart Koch, a schoolteacher, and Stanley A. Koch, a lumber salesman. At the age of five, the family moved to Jackson, where Beverly Koch spent the remainder of her childhood. At the...

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Donette Dunaway Lee, Class of 1957

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pp. 351-362

Donette Dunaway, the daughter of W. A. Dunaway, a farmer, and Deloris Pyron Dunaway, a homemaker, was born on July 24,1935, in Swiftown, Mississippi. At MSCW, she majored in music with an emphasis in organ and earned a bachelors degree in sacred music. A member of the Torch, Lantern, and Mortar...

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Nell Ann Pickett, Class of 1957

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pp. 363-378

Born in Utica, Mississippi, on October 22, 1935, to Fred Newman Pickett and Eva Reed Pickett, Nell Ann Pickett transferred to the W from Hinds Junior College. She was a member of the staff of the Spectator, MSCWs student newspaper; the Religious Emphasis Week Committee of Fifty; the Student...

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Barbara McMillin Webb, Class of 1957

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pp. 379-393

Barbara McMillin was born on August 9, 1936, in Louisville, Mississippi, to Oliver Frank McMillin and Alice Irene Robison McMillin. At MSCW, she majored in library science and was active in numerous groups, including the 4-H Club, the Future Teachers of America, and the Alpha Psi Omega drama...

Index

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pp. 395-411


E-ISBN-13: 9781621033820
E-ISBN-10: 1604730978
Print-ISBN-13: 9781604730975

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2008