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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Margaret Anne O'Connor, July 1, 1987. Interview L-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Catherine Maley encourages female faculty to share their past struggles

One of the important moments for the incoming female faculty during the early 1970s occurred when Catherine Maley prompted established female faculty to share the struggles they had survived.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Margaret Anne O'Connor, July 1, 1987. Interview L-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

As a matter of fact, I remember one wonderful meeting, I wish you could find the tapes that were recorded then. I'm pretty sure that they tape recorded the meeting. Catherine Maley, when she was putting together her first year's report, and this might have been in the spring of 1973, had a meeting open to the general faculty and asked the question, "What do you think the situation of faculty women is on this campus?" I sat there and I was absolutely amazed. Women who I still tremendously admire, Sara Immerwahr in art and Berthe Marti in classics, very "conservative" women, got up and, one at a time, said what their history had been at the University--how difficult it had been in the earlier years to begin and how slow recognition came. Here I was listening to two women, Sara Immerwahr and Berthe Marti, who are internationally renowned scholars, who had taken three, four times as long as their male counterparts to achieve recognition here. Well, that's Sara Immerwahr. Berthe Marti, as a matter of fact, had been at Bryn Mawr and was recognized as a full professor before she came, but she could still say, "Yes, we have to do something for women." I remember Berthe Marti, of all people, starting a petition around to get the Morehead Program to give Morehead Scholarships to women, and that was quite late in that process. I think that the movement turned a lot of very unlikely women into activists, and that meeting really opened my eyes.