Learning to ask: philanthropic struggles and rewards of women forging the path toward transformation 1865 - 1920

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Meredith E. Walther (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to understand why representations of women's educational philanthropy are often invisible in historical context. The political and economic power structures that existed between 1865 through 1920 are examined to understand how women created social change through educational philanthropy. The concept of philanthropy is (re)defined to be more inclusive of monetary giving, as well as volunteerism. My research focuses on three women and a society: Mary Biddle, Emily Prudden, Charlotte Hawkins Brown and the members of the Woman's Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, who established schools that later became Johnson C. Smith University, Pfeiffer University, Palmer Memorial Institute and Warren Wilson College, all located in North Carolina. Using the framework of postmodern feminist theory infused with black feminist theory, the methodology of this work is rooted in historiography. Examining primary sources enabled new interpretations of the life experiences of the women mentioned above and their philanthropic work. The research resulted in understanding that the influence of family, learning of the need for their philanthropic work, a vision for social change and struggles with the issue of power were the main influences on those women's educational philanthropy. Women have historically been dismissed and generally excluded from this field. Our work today as fundraisers, philanthropists and researchers must be to eradicate such exclusion.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Feminist, Higher Education, History, Philanthropy, Postmodern Feminism, Women
Education $x Charitable contributions
Women philanthropists $z United States $x History

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