College of William & Mary’s Names Plaza in Honor of Its First Woman Board Member

The sundial area near the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, has been named in honor of the first woman member of the college’s Board of Visitors. The board vote unanimously to pass a resolution to name the area the Mary-Cooke Branch Munford Plaza, a decision in a series of efforts to honor William & Mary’s 100th anniversary of co-education.

According to the board, Munford devoted her life to the improvement of education in the south, the advancement of women in high education, and the improvement of race relations. She served on the William and Mary Board of Visitors from 1920 to 1924 and was instrumental in making W&M coeducational in 1918. During her career, she also served on the board of the National Urban League, was a founding member of the Virginia Inter-Racial League, and was a trustee of historically Black Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Munford also founded the Richmond Education Association, which lobbied for education for both Black and White children, and the Cooperative Education Association of Virginia, which focused on rural Virginia schools.

“This area connects — physically via brick walkways — the fine arts, the sciences, literature, history, social sciences and more,” the resolution says. “These were the opportunities that Mary-Cooke Branch Munford longed for as a young woman and fought for in her advocacy for co-education.”

Filed Under: Awards


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply