Women of the Tide

The University of Alabama Museums is currently showcasing the contributions and achievements women have made at the Capstone through “Women of the Tide: 125 Years of Women at The University of Alabama,” an exhibit held at the Gorgas House Museum on the UA campus.

The exhibit highlights numerous individuals and organizations that have left a lasting legacy at the University. Noteworthy individuals include Julia Tutwiler, who lobbied the UA Board of Trustees to admit the institution’s first female students in 1893, and Dr. Judy Bonner, UA’s first female president.

“The Women of the Tide exhibit is a fascinating collection of artifacts depicting the significance of women throughout the 125 years that they have attended The University of Alabama,” said Elizabeth McGiffert, member of the exhibit advisory committee. “This exhibit represents inclusion, progress, and hope for the future.”

The exhibit features several themes, including women in the military, sports, social activities and celebrities, among others, with each theme having a multitude of artifacts. Artifacts include the first diploma awarded to a female student, athletic memorabilia from various women’s sports and items from Bonner and Karen Brooks, the first female president pro tempore of the UA Board of Trustees.

One section of the exhibit focuses on the efforts of Autherine Lucy Foster and Vivian Malone Jones to integrate the University. Foster and Jones paved the way for acceptance and equality, and the diverse and modern campus of today.

UA’s department of clothing, textiles and interior design also provided a fashion archive for the exhibit. The pieces, some of which date back to the 1930s, spotlight fashions worn by women students over the years, including Mary Harmon Black Bryant, wife of legendary UA football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

The exhibit is part of UA’s 125 Years of Women celebration. Throughout the year, the University will honor women on campus through awareness, education, service, and special events.

“We want the campus community to understand that this is a milestone year,” said Dr. Mary Lee Caldwell, chair of the 125 Years of Women organizing committee. “Our goal is to educate everyone about roles women played in shaping UA’s history while imaging all of the possibilities for the future.”

The exhibit will run through Sept. 28 at the Gorgas House Museum, located at 810 Capstone Drive.