Celebrating the legacy of Mary Lyndon

As women’s history month comes to a close, UGA Online would like to give special recognition to the first female graduate of the University of Georgia, Mary Lyndon. Lyndon holds several “first” titles, including the first woman Associate Professor of Education and Dean of Women at UGA in 1919. 

Celebrating the legacy of Mary Lyndon

Many women helped break ground to coeducation at UGA. Women like Edith House, Charlyne Hunter-Gault and Mary Frances Early, among them was Lyndon, who was the first woman to earn a degree from UGA in 1914, and her contributions to this history are many.

Born in 1877 in Newnan, Georgia, southwest of Atlanta, she earned the first dramatic arts degree from Wesleyan College in Macon. She then attended Columbia University in New York City but moved to Athens to complete a Master of Arts, which happened to be four years before women were officially admitted to the university.

After receiving that degree, she taught English at Athens High School. Although only a couple of years later is when UGA Chancellor David Barrow nominated her for associate professor and dean, now that women had been officially admitted. Along with teaching, she directed a drama club and helped organize Phi Mu sorority, the first UGA sorority.

Her career was cut short when she contracted pneumonia and died in 1924 in Washington, Georgia. She was interred in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. In 1936, Mary Lyndon Hall was named in her honor.

Below is a video documenting her impact, and a profile providing more background is on Georgia Women of Achievement.


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