Thursday, December 27, 2012

Maria Sanford

"...vehement and gusty, leonine, hale, and lusty." 

Maria Sanford was an educator born in 1836. She became one of the first female college professors in the country when she accepted a professorship of history at Swarthmore in 1871, though she migrated to the University of Minnesota in 1880. Sanford was the first woman to deliver a commencement speech at a university and was a frequent public speaker at a time when it was considered inappropriate for women to speak in public. She was known for her ability to project her voice to the back of any room. On her eightieth birthday, the University of Minnesota held an event to celebrate her long career, and someone recited a speech that described her with the phrase above. What a woman!