On September 7, 2022, Randolph College, in Lynchburg, Virginia, enthusiastically installed a Pomeroy marker honoring English Professor Nellie Powell and the students of the former Randolph-Macon Woman’s College for creating a College Equal Suffrage League (CESL).
Speakers surrounding the marker: Professor Jennifer Gauthier; Randolph College President Sue Ott Rowland; NVWT representative Nancy Tate; Lynchburg History Museum President Ted Delaney
The CESL was organized in 1913 with approximately 125 members. National American Woman Suffrage Association president Anna Howard Shaw spoke in Lynchburg at the invitation of the CESL student president. Professor Powell also ran the Lynchburg School for Suffrage Workers, which trained activists in public speaking and debate.
The dedication ceremony began with opening remarks by college president Sue Ott Rowland, followed by a panel. The speakers were Lynchburg Museum president Ted Delaney; professor and co-president of the local League of Women Voters, Jennifer Gauthier; and NVWT Virginia state coordinator Nancy Tate. Light refreshments were served. Then all adjourned to the front of the college – on a very hot day – to a joyful unveiling of the marker.
Speaker Nancy Tate, NVWT representative
The 70 guests included college students, faculty, and alumnae, the local historical society, the League of Women Voters, and the Library of Virginia, as well as local press. The Library of Virginia was the source of much of the material used in the successful application for the marker. The event was a big success! In addition, the news story was picked up by the online editions of newspapers around the country, including the Washington Post.
Submitted by Nancy Tate, Virginia State Coordinator, NVWT