Women’s History Month: Georgia Women of Achievement

Mary Dorothy Lyndon (left) and Leila Daugherty Denmark.

Mary Dorothy Lyndon (left) and Leila Daugherty Denmark.


Throughout March, we'll spotlight notable women with Georgia connections in the daily Living section on Mondays and Tuesdays. Go to ajc.com/womens-history to see videos on the women featured here each week.

Higher education in America was once the domain of men, but since 1980, more women have graced the nation’s college campuses than men. Last year, 56 percent of all college students in the U.S. were women, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Before the trend reversed in the late 20th century, there were many pioneering women who were the first to elbow their way into the hallowed halls of higher ed. One of them was Mary Dorothy Lyndon, the first female graduate of the University of Georgia in 1914 — five years before women were officially admitted as regular students. Lyndon, a native of Newnan, would go on to serve as dean of women and associate professor of education during the 1919-20 school year, the first year women were allowed to attend the university as full students. In 1921, she organized the first female chapter of Phi Mu at UGA.

Elkins said she hopes people will not just learn the stories of the 90 women who have previously been honored in the Hall of Fame along with the newest honorees, but that they will share those stories with others.

“I am inspired by these women and the neatest part about this for me … is showing (young women) how these women persevered during times when women really weren’t seen as leaders in our society,” Elkins said. “They created these wonderful opportunities for us.”