Whitney Hale

By

College: Libraries

Sesquicentennial Series: McClure Defies UK Faculty to Become First Woman Ph.D. Recipient

Published: Jan 15, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 15, 2013) — In celebration of the University of Kentucky's upcoming sesquicentennial in 2015, the 40th of 150 weekly installments remembers Virginia McClure and how she paved the way for women to receive professional degrees at UK.

 

The first woman who received a Ph.D. from UK said that her department chairman did not "want a woman to get a doctor's degree." In spite of those words, Virginia Clay McClure received her doctoral degree in American history in 1934.

 

After attending UK, McClure graduated in 1912 with an AB (same as a Bachelor of Arts) degree and received her master's degree in 1928, also from UK. After receiving her A.B. she taught for a year in Middlesboro, Ky., another year in Paducah, Ky., and seven years in Cynthiana, Ky. After this, she returned to Lexington, where she taught for nine and a half years in Fayette County Schools. At this point, she took two and a half years off of work to complete her doctorate.

 

McClure's dissertation was "The Settlement of the Kentucky Appalachian Region," about which "nothing had been done before." McClure did significant original research for the dissertation and made several trips to Eastern Kentucky with Katherine Pettit, who had taught in settlement schools, including Pine Mountain School, which she helped to establish.

 

McClure planned to teach at the college level but after finishing her dissertation in the midst of the depression, colleges were laying off faculty rather than hiring them. Instead, the educator joined the Fayette County School system, then Lexington City Schools, and taught United States history and government at Henry Clay High School from 1934-1959. A position that McClure found quite rewarding.

 

McClure was also a member of Central Christian Church and Kappa Delta Pi Honorary, Kentucky and National Retired Teachers Associations, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Cardinal Hill Hospital Auxiliary and numerous historical societies. She was also a charter member of the Lexington Rose Society, twice serving as president, and was a member of the American Rose Society.

 

McClure passed away in 1980 at 91 years of age.

 

This story on UK's history is presented by UK Special Collections. Special Collections is home to UK Libraries' collection of rare books, Kentuckiana, the Archives, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, the King Library Press and the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center. The mission of Special Collections is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

virginia_mclure_cropped.jpgvirginia_clay_mcclure_postcard_to_her_mom.jpgvirginia_clay_mcclure.jpg
September
 
1
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
2
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Tue
3
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Thu
5
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Fri
6
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Sat
7
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Sun
8
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Mon
9
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Tue
10
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
Wed
11
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
Thu
12
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Fri
13
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Sat
14
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Sun
15
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Mon
16
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Big Blue Commonwealth
Tue
17
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Wed
18
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
Thu
19
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Fri
20
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Mon
23
Pinterest Party
Employer Showcase
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Tue
24
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
Wed
25
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
¡Baila!
Thu
26
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
Fri
27
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
28
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Tue
 
 
 
 
Sep 02
Internship Info Session 09/02/2014
Reset Page