Ruth Wilson James was the first female student to register for classes at the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary, later Old Dominion University (ODU), in 1930.
Student and Personal Life
In the summer of 1930, Ruth Wilson James was one of three students to register for classes at the Norfolk Division, along with her brother, Albert, and A. Rufus Tonelson, who would go on to be a teacher and administrator at ODU. Classes for the fall would start on September 12. While at the Norfolk Division, James majored in English, minored in French and history, and played on the women’s basketball team. She later became a teacher in Norfolk and was instrumental in reopening the Norfolk Public Schools after they were closed due to massive resistance in 1958.
- ODU Photographic Collection, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections, Old Dominion University Libraries.
- Old Dominion University Photographic and Multimedia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529.
- Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion at ODU Timeline, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Exhibit, 2016-present.
- Bookman, Steven and Jessica Ritchie. Old Dominion University: A Campus History Series. Arcadia Publishing. Charleston, South Carolina, 2017.