Reporter: Moore, Ray, 1922-.
In this WSB newsfilm clip from January 1961, reporter Ray Moore interviews Alice W. Stancil, one of the first women admitted in 1919 as a full-time academic student at the University of Georgia, about her experiences at the university.
The clip begins with Moore interviewing Stancil. Moore refers to Stancil by her married name of Mrs. Walter Stancil. Moore asks about demonstrations that took place on campus when women were first admitted to the University of Georgia. Stancil remembers that placards and posters were nailed to the trees with the quote "Give us back our university." She also recalls that men dumped hot water on female students who walked too close to the men's dormitory. Mrs. Stancil asserts that she never went near a dormitory. Moore asks Stancil about the time the male students came to attack the home where she and some of the other women students were staying. The clip breaks and returns in the middle of Stancil's story. She explains that when the house matron heard the men were coming, she had the women change into their "very best evening outfit" and do their hair. The matron then ordered ice cream and punch. When the men arrived at the house, the matron invited the boys to come in for a party. After eating the ice cream, the men and women sang college songs. Stancil reports that the men had come with eggs and tomatoes to throw at the house, but that they quickly hid them when they heard about the party. She recounts watching the men as they left the party and tried to gather the eggs and tomatoes without letting the women see. After the party, according to Stancil, the men were very friendly to the women.
Next, Moore speaks to the camera, indicating that Mrs. Stancil is currently the chair of the legislative committee for the state parent-teacher association and that she lives in Dalton. He explains that she was also one of the first women to enter the university in 1919. Mrs. Stancil adds that she was one of the first women students on the academic side of the university. Moore asks Stancil about her treatment by other students on campus. Stancil comments that while the treatment varied, there was significant antagonism to opening the school to women. She comments that it was easy to distinguish between those who supported admitting women and those who did not. The push to admit women to the University of Georgia, Stancil reports, began with the Georgia Federation of Woman's Clubs, a statewide alliance of local reform-minded women's organizations. The members of the Athens Woman's Club understood the significance of women at the university and kept an eye on the women the first two or three years they were on campus, even coming to visit the new students and coaching them on their bearing.
Following a break in the clip, Mrs. Stancil recalls that during her first year, the women stayed in a frame house off-campus. At one point the women were quarantined during an epidemic. While the women were quarantined, men brought meals to the women's house and the house matron "pitched her suitcase out the window and left." In September 1920, the beginning of the second academic year of women on campus, the university moved the women into an almost-completed dormitory (Soule Hall) and finished construction during the term. Stancil tells of a time about five hundred young men from the freshman class decided to raid the building. Stancil comments that the dean warned the house mother, but the rest of the story is not recorded. After another break in the clip, she mentions that the female students were never invited to join the student government association, so the women formed their own organizations. Mrs. Stancil was the president of the first student government organization for the women. The Pioneer Club, another organization formed by the first women on campus, had become a honor society by 1961. The clip ends with comments about interactions with a chemistry professor. The story is not completely recorded.
The push to admit women to the University of Georgia was first championed by the Athens Woman's Club and in 1916 was taken up by the Georgia Federation of Woman's Clubs. After two years of active campaigning, university trustees approved the admission of women to upperclass and graduate classes at the University of Georgia. Miss Alice Walker of Monroe, Georgia, who later married Walter Stancil, was one of the women admitted to the junior class in the fall of 1919. While at the university, she was president of the women's student government association and involved in several other organizations on campus. In 1961, following the court-ordered integration of the school, reporter Ray Moore interviewed Mrs. Stancil about her experiences as member of a class of women admitted to the university. In January 1961 Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes became the first African American students to attend the University of Georgia.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of reporter Ray Moore interviewing Alice W. Stancil, one of the first women admitted to the academic side of the University of Georgia in 1919, about her experiences at the university, Athens, Georgia, 1961 January, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0922, 54:31/59:40, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.