Minnie G. Braithwaite

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The Annual Minnie Braithwaite Lecture in Women’s Studies commemorates the efforts of Minnie Galt 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." Additional information about women at the College of William and Mary is available.

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