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Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

The March for Justice: Winthrop Women Faculty and Their Struggle for Equal Pay 1915-1920


During the national struggle for women’s suffrage, there were women who battled against other injustices against their sex in addition to exclusion from voting. One such group included women faculty members at Winthrop. In 1915, 44 women department heads and professors petitioned the Winthrop Board of Trustees for salary adjustments to match their pay to their male counterparts. Four years later, they were still waiting for an answer. In a letter to Winthrop president D. B. Johnson dated July 24, 1919, Latin professor, Nettie Wysor, wrote “A few selfish politicians may retard the march of justice, but they can’t stop it.” The Pettus Archives has put together a virtual exhibit telling the story of these women.

The Board of Trustees was all-male until the 1921-1922 academic year. 
Clip of 1919 film of Board members on steps on Main Building

In 1919, women headed the departments of Latin, Modern Languages, Reading and Expression, Fine Arts, Biology, and the Library, among other programs. 

In the above clip, Fine arts department head Annie V. Dunn and Fine Arts students in the 1919 film "Winthrop Day-By-Day"