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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 >>

Katherine Carmichael's contributions to gender equity

O'Connor explains the role that Katherine Carmichael played in organizing the various women's organizations that became influential in the equalization of gender-related issues around UNC's campus.

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

Now about this time, or maybe a little bit later, Katherine Carmichael and the Women's Forum started, at least informally, collecting and disseminating information on courses being taught that focused on women. MARGARET ANNE O'CONNOR: Yes, and I think, probably, I wound up typing up most of those as well as gathering up the material myself. Katherine's office was a clearing house, essentially, in the first five years I was at the University for interest in the growing number of women's courses, particularly in the history department and in the foreign languages and also for faculty women. It was before there was any women's organization. It was a group that was composed of students, faculty, and staff. So it was a very unusual combination, and it was an exciting time. I think that might have been one of the most rewarding activities that Katherine Carmichael was involved in perhaps the last five years that she was at the University.
At this time she wasn't Dean of Women anymore. She was Assistant Dean MARGARET ANNE O'CONNOR: I believe she was Assistant Dean of Students. I would have to check on her title.
It was something like that. MARGARET ANNE O'CONNOR: The staff had grown so much that her responsibilities and duties had diminished quite a bit so that she had more time to take on these other roles. And I really do think that she became a focal point for an activism among the undergraduate students that was apparent, certainly, in the Association for Women Students and eventually became part of University Women for Affirmative Action in about 1975-1976, and also for the Association for Women Faculty that emerged from that group about two years after the University UWAA officially disbanded. I guess there was no one there to disband them, so maybe they still exist somewhere in an abstract sense.