Mary Ledger remembered for service
According to “Radford University: Investing in Lifetimes,” Mary Ledger “M’Ledge” Moffett, RU’s Dean of Women for 42 years, “wielded more power and more influence for more years at the college than anyone ever.”
Moffett was hired in 1913 as director of home economics. She worked under three president’s administration throughout her 49 years as a Radford University faculty member.
“In her day-to-day interaction with the students, faculty and staff, she grew to have arguably an even greater authority than any of the school’s presidents,” according to “Radford University: Investing in Lifetimes.”
In her two decades of working at Radford, she achieved the status of the first female dean in Virginia history. She was granted the position as dean of women in 1920 and served as such until her retirement in 1962. Because of this she was seen as a champion of women’s education.
Along with being dean, she is also remembered for writing a book titled “A History of the State Teachers College at Radford, Virginia, 1910-1930.”
During her time at RU, Moffett provided words of wisdom to the girls of the State Teachers College. According to “Radford University: Investing in Lifetimes,” one particular day in the late 1950’s, a group of senior girls came into her office demanding an extension of the weekend curfew. Moffett replied, “Now girls, just what is it you want to get done that you can’t get done by 12 o’clock?”
Because of her influence on making the State Teacher’s College into an established institution in 1969 the newest and largest dorm at the time was named after her.
According to “Radford University: Investing in Lifetimes,” alumni remember her as an institution. Lanora Geissler Lewis-Smith wrote in the alumni magazine, “she was the thread of continuity between generations of students, alumnae and staff, the ageless spirit of Radford College that was bigger than individuals or major fields. From her, radiated the hopes and ideals which generations of young women carried back to transmit to others. She was the living, breathing embodiment of higher education in Southwest Virginia, and later throughout a broader area.”
Lewis-Smith continued, “Alumnae quote her long after they have forgotten the names of their courses or professors. What they remember from “M’Ledge” Moffett had become part of their inner strength, their way of coming at life itself.”
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