A Guide to the Diplomas, 1912-1936
Collection Number UA 0036

Compiled by: Sarah Roth-Mullet, February 2018

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Title: Diplomas, 1912-1936
Collection No.: UA 0036
Creator: State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg; State Normal School for Women; State Teachers College at Harrisonburg
Extent: 1 folder; .3 cubic feet
Language: English
Abstract: Diplomas, 1912-1936, is an artificial collection, comprised of thirteen diplomas and certificates issued to students at the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, later called the State Normal School for Women, State Teachers College at Harrisonburg, and the State Normal School Summer Session.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.
Use Restrictions: Copyright for Official University records is held by James Madison University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).
Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Diplomas, 1912-1936, UA 0036, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
Acquisition Information: Items were collected from various donors over the years. The Ruth Taliaferro diploma (1915) was a gift of Mrs. Lois W. Gaynor; the Garland Hope Farrar diplomas (1915, 1916) were a gift of Henry B. Frazier, donated on December 7, 1994; the Pauline Miley diplomas (1918, 1920) and Mary Louise Overton diploma (1922), were a gift of Mrs. John W. Wilson; the Frances Beam diploma (1936) was a gift of her daughter, Connie Daniels; the Anna Virginia Hollar diploma (1931) was a gift of Diane Yerian, donated August 6, 2015; others are orphaned in the collection.  
Processing Information: Collection was formerly given the collection number SU 93-0225, Diplomas in Carrier Library.

Administrative History:
Diplomas and certificates awarded by the State Normal and Industrial School reflected the various courses of study designed to prepare white women for teaching in rural Virginia schools. The first graduating class, in 1911, awarded diplomas to twenty students.

The most popular course of study was the Regular Normal Course, a program designed to prepare women to teach in public schools. At the school’s founding in 1909, the Regular Normal Course consisted of one to six years of study, and was open to students with little to no high school education. In 1910, entrance requirements were raised, and women had to have completed at least two years of high school or hold a teaching certificate as a result of a state examination in order to attend, which meant that the Regular Normal Course went from a six-year to a four-year course of study. By 1914, the first two years of the Regular Normal Course was reformed as the two-year Preparatory Course, and upon completion, students received a First Grade High School Certificate. Completion of the third year of the Regular Normal Course entitled a student to receive the Professional Certificate, so long as certain teaching requirements were met. Those who completed the fourth year of the Regular Normal Course received the Full Normal diploma, which amounted to a lifetime teaching certificate requiring no ongoing maintenance.

The Professional Course was a two-year course designed for women who already had four years of high school, those who had completed the Preparatory Course, or who had already received a professional certificate. By 1915, students enrolled in the Professional Course had the option of pursuing specialized certification in Kindergarten and Primary grades, Intermediate and Grammar grades, or High School. A student that completed one year of the Professional Course received a Junior State Normal Certificate, or the Professional Certificate. Those who completed the two-year Professional Course received a Full Normal diploma.

Various other programs, namely Household Arts Program (later named Home Economics Course), Manual Arts, Industrial Arts Course, Kindergarten Training, among others, were offered in the early years, though enrollment was quite small relative to the Regular and Professional Courses.  

The Harrisonburg Summer Session, which started in 1910, was designed to appeal to those already in teaching positions. In 1911, the State Board of Education authorized the Normal School to issue a Summer School Professional Certificate – one for primary school and one for grammar grades – awarded to students who completed courses in the two six-week summer terms over two separate years. The Summer Professional Certificate was considered more advanced than the First Grade Certificate. By 1916, the certificate requirements increased to three six-week terms over three separate summers, and in 1918 it was replaced by the Elementary Professional Certificate, which required still more study. A unique feature of the Harrisonburg Summer Sessions was that enrollment was also open to men.   

In 1918, the State Normal School began to offer four year Bachelor programs in Home Economics and Elementary teaching. In 1934, after over a decade of work by President Duke, the school officially became a liberal arts institution, able to issue Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Education.

Scope and Content:
Diplomas, 1912-1936, is an artificial collection, comprised of thirteen diplomas and certificates issued to students at the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, later called the State Normal School for Women, State Teachers College at Harrisonburg, and the State Normal School Summer Session.

They include the following:
1912 - Ruth Randolph Conn; Full Normal Course
1912 - Lizzie Stern McGahey; Full Normal Course
1914 - Kathleen Chevallie Harless, Full Normal Course
1915 - Ruth Taliaferro; Full Normal Course
1915 - Garland Hope Farrar; Junior State Normal Certificate
1916 - Isabelle M. Bateman; Summer School Professional Certificate, Primary Grade
1916 - Garland Hope Farrar; Full Normal Course
1918 - Pauline Miley; Professional Course
1920 - Pauline Miley; Bachelor of Science in Elementary Teaching and Supervision
1922 - Mary Louise Overton; Home Economics Course
1927 - Mary Julia Keezel; Professional Course
1931 - Anna Virginia Hollar; Professional Course
1936 - Frances Beam; Bachelor of Science in Education

Of particular note is the Isabelle M. Bateman certificate, issued by the State Department of Public Instruction, which contains a field for “race: white.” The Bateman certificate has four photographs adhered to reverse, with the following labels: Bettie Leffel, age 5; Uncle Arthur Davis; Grandmother Bateman; Uncle Arthur and Curtis Fawley.

Items are arranged chronologically in a single folder.

Dingledine, Raymond C.“Madison College, the First Fifty Years, 1908-1958.” Harrisonburg, VA: Madison College, 1959.


Folder Title Box: Folder
Diplomas, 1912-1936