LEADING LADIES: The first African American women at Virginia Tech included, from left, Jacquelyn Butler Blackwell, Linda Edmonds Turner, and Marguerite Harper Scott.
THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN TO ATTEND VIRGINIA TECH ARRIVED ON CAMPUS IN 1966. FIFTY YEARS LATER, THEIR LEGACY WAS CELEBRATED DURING THE 2016 BLACK ALUMNI REUNION IN APRIL. THREE OF THOSE STUDENTS ARE NOW ALUMNAE OF THE COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND HUMAN SCIENCES.
Jacquelyn Butler Blackwell (sociology ’69), who graduated in only three years, held training positions at the Virginia Employment Commission before devoting herself to volunteer work.
Linda Edmonds Turner (clothing, textiles, and related art ’70) went on to complete an MBA and a doctorate in business at Virginia Tech, a master’s degree from Michigan State University, and a postdoctoral fellowship in higher education administration at Harvard University. She held two college presidencies and executive positions at three Fortune 500 companies. In 2015, she was named director of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
Marguerite Harper Scott (history ’70), who received her master’s degree in liberal studies from Duke University, first taught in Norfolk, Virginia, where she chaired the social studies department at Maury High School. She then taught civics, history, and sociology in public schools in Wake County, North Carolina. She also served as an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University.