Virginia Scott

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Virginia Ann Scott (b. 1951) was one of four plaintiffs in the 1969 lawsuit that made the University of Virginia commit to full coeducation.[1] She would go on to get three degrees from UVA.

Early Life

Scott attended Albemarle High School and graduated in 1968. She was attending the College at William and Mary when her mother died during her first semester and she returned home. She subsequently worked as a clerk in civil rights attorney John Lowe’s office.

She sought admission to the University of Virginia for its academic rigor and its unbeatable proximity. She scheduled an admissions interview and was denied a place because of her gender. Scott's boss, John C. Lowe, filed a class-action suit in federal court with the American Civil Liberties Union behind him. [2]

The University of Virginia's Path to Coeducation

Lowe, astonished that the undergraduate college had not coeducated, helped Scott and three other women bring a class-action lawsuit against the University. Scott won the case, and the University was ordered to accelerate and expand its plan for coeducation.[3] Scott graduated from the University in 1973 with a degree in religious studies. She later earned master’s degrees in religious studies and education from UVA.

Frances Brand portrait

Scott is one of several people commemorated by the late 20th-century artist Frances Brand as part of her Firsts series.[4]

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  1. Web. The Case for Full Education at UVA Turned on a Late-Night Call, Jane Kelly, News article, University of Virginia, September 28, 2017, retrieved May 25, 2022.
  2. Web. Not Without a Fight, Richard Gard, Magazine Article, UVA Magazine, Fall 2020, retrieved May 25, 2022.
  3. Web. Women at the University of Virginia, Bellows, Sierra, King, Carianne, Rathbone, Emma, UVA Magazine, retrieved June 16, 2022.
  4. Branigan, Michelle Marie (December 1998). A Biography of Frances Brand, an American Painter and Social Activist (PhD). Indiana University.

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