Arnette M. Hawkins
Itseems that I have always lived in the shadow of the University Hall tower. From the age of five until thirteen my family lived in Old Orchard and walked to events on campus. Now, many years later, I returned and obtained my Master of Arts and Education from University of Toledo and am currently working towards my PhD in History.
Inrecognition of the Project Succeed Program, I would like to document for the young women of today that the process of obtaining a university degree and a job was never guaranteed. When I attended the University of Kentucky from 1966-1969, I was the first female student to enroll in the Geology program. As luck would have it, my first class on the first day of school was Geology 100. There were approximately fifty male students and a male professor who advised me that this was not Home Economics. I stayed and received an A. As the years and the courses went on, there were no other female students in the program and only one female professor of paleontology. My academic advisor’s best advise was to get married and leave the program because they just didn’t know what to do with me. Unfortunately I relented and changed my major to History where there were other students "of my kind." When I graduated with my B.A. from the University of Toronto, jobs were hard to find because I was told that a married woman would just have children and quit, while a single woman would get married and quit. Other than becoming a man, how does one argue against that kind of logic?
Women of today have made significant strides in all areas, both inside and outside academia and this is to be celebrated. It should not be forgotten that as the majority of the population, we owe it to ourselves and to our children (both male and female) to attempt everything and to achieve what we desire in life. So, as you look down on these bricks – on this one and say that it is your stepping stone to your future. Oh, and don’t worry about the cracks and your mother’s back – your mother’s back is there to give you a lift to help you move forward to wherever you want to go.