Minnie G. Braithwaite

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The Annual Minnie Braithwaite Lecture in Women’s Studies commemorates the efforts of Minnie Braithwaite to attend classes at William and Mary in 1896. On October 2 of that year, Braithwaite petitioned the faculty of the college to allow her to attend chemistry lectures. The faculty assembly voted 4-3 to deny her request. Six days later, after much discussion about Braithwaite’s appeal of their decision, the group rejected a more sweeping resolution that would have allowed women into the science lectures. Members of the faculty voting in favor of Braithwaite's request were President Lyon G. Tyler; the Professor of Natural Science, Van Franklin Garrett; and the Professor of Methods and Pedagogics, Hugh Stockdell Bird. Members of the faculty voting in the majority were Professor of English and History, John Lesslie Hall; the Professor of Latin, Lyman Brown Wharton; the Professor of Mathematics, Thomas Jefferson Stubbs; and the Professor of Greek, French, and German, Charles Edward Bishop.

On February 6, 1896, the Faculty of the College of William and Marv had approved a resolution "that ladies of town and College be permitted, at Dr. Hall's discretion, to attend his lectures on Shakespeare."


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