Julia Tutwiler

Julia Tutwiler

Julia Strudwick Tutwiler (1841-1916), born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was as a staunch advocate for educational and prison reforms in Alabama.

Educational reform

Tutwiler was herself educated at Vassar College, the year that it opened (1861). She furthered her education in Germany, France and at Washington and Lee University. She served as president of Livingston State Normal School, which later became the University of West Alabama. In 1892, ten Livingston-educated students became the first women admitted to the University of Alabama, at Tutwiler's insistence. She thus earned the title of the "mother of co-education in Alabama".

She was also a key figure in the creation of the Alabama Girls' Industrial School, in October 1896. This institution eventually evolved into the University of Montevallo.

Prison reform

Known as the "angel of the prisons," Tutwiler pushed for many reforms of the Alabama penal system. Most significantly, she fought to separate female prisoners from male ones and to separate juveniles from hardened adult criminals--resulting in the first Boys' Industrial School. In addition, she demanded better prison sanitation and helped institute educational and religious opportunities for prisoners. As a consequence of her good works, Alabama's Julia Tutwiler Woman's Prison was named in her honor.

Alabama state song

Tutwiler was known as a poet and wrote the lyrics for "Alabama", the state song, which was officially adopted in 1931. According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, "The inspiration for writing the poem 'Alabama' came to Julia Tutwiler after she returned to her native state from Germany where she had been studying new educational methods for girls and women". [ [http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_song.html Official Alabama State Song ] at www.archives.state.al.us]

The song begins:

Alabama, Alabama,
We will aye be true to thee,
From thy Southern shore where groweth,
By the sea thine orange tree.
To thy Northern vale where floweth
Deep and blue thy Tennessee.
Alabama, Alabama
We will aye be true to thee!


In addition to the Woman's Prison named in her honor, there is also a large women's dormitory at the University of Alabama and a library at University of West Alabama that bear her name.

When Judson College in Marion, Alabama, established the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1970, Tutwiler was among the first group of inductees.
Tutwiler Hall on the University of Alabama's campus is named in Julia Tutwiler's honor. It is one of the most recognizable buildings on campus and was the first tower style dorm built on campus. It is an all-female dorm and it is located at the corner of Paul W. Bryant Drive and 10th Ave., across from Bryant-Denny Stadium.


External links

* [http://www.awhf.org/tutwiler.html Julia Strudwick Tutwiler (1841-1916)] - Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.
* [http://www.archives.state.al.us/famous/j_tutwil.html Julia Strudwick Tutwiler] - Alabama Department of Archives and History.
* [http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_song.html State Song: "Alabama"] - Alabama Department of Archives and History

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