Viola Boddie – March 2010

Viola Boddie’s achievements in the field of higher education for women, in the formative years, earns her recognition as the Outstanding Person of the Month for March, 2010.

Viola was born on 2 October 1863 on the farm, in Castalia Township, of her parents, James B. H. Boddie and Leah S. Vick.  For college, she attended Littleton College, formerly Central Institute for Young Ladies and Littleton Female College, in Littleton, Warren County, NC.  Also, her advanced degrees were achieved at The Normal School (later called Peabody College) in Nashville, TN.  In 1898, she is identified as the Head of the Department of Classics at State Normal and Industrial School in Greensboro, which, during her time on the faculty, became The North Carolina College for Women (1919) and is, eventually, renamed The Woman’s College of The University of North Carolina.

Also, she earned a reputation as an educational reformer due to her service as a field worker for The Woman’s Association for the Betterment of Public School Houses in North Carolina.  In January, 1906, the Governor of North Carolina speaking in tribute to this organization said, “For myself and my co-laborers, for the public school children of the state and for all friends of the public schools, I desire to express to the members of this association grateful appreciation of their valuable and unselfish service, and to express the earnest hope that the association may extend its organization and its work to every county in the state, and to every school district in every county.”

She retired in 1935, died on 20 March 1940, and is buried with her parents in Forest Hill Cemetery, Nashville, Nash County, NC

A fuller description of her achievements can be found at “Women” and “Viola Boddie” on this website for Nash County, NC.