Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi University for Women
Mississippi University for Women
Motto A Tradition of Excellence for Men and Women
Established 1884
Type Public
President Allegra Brigham, interim president (May, 2010)
Vice-president Nora Miller (Finance & Administration)
Thomas C. Richardson (Interim) (Academic Affairs/Provost)
Gary A. Bouse (Institutional Advancement)
Homer "Bucky" Wesley (Student Services)
Location Columbus, Mississippi, United States
33°29′35″N 88°25′7″W / 33.49306°N 88.41861°W / 33.49306; -88.41861Coordinates: 33°29′35″N 88°25′7″W / 33.49306°N 88.41861°W / 33.49306; -88.41861
Colors Cardinal Blue and Navy Blue
Nickname The W
Mascot Ody the Owl
Affiliations Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Website http://www.muw.edu

Mississippi University for Women, also known as MUW or simply the "W" is a four-year coeducational public university located in Columbus, Mississippi. It was formerly known as Industrial Institute and College (II&C) and later Mississippi State College for Women (MSCW) . Men have been offered admission to MUW since 1982.


History and mission

Upon its establishment in 1884, Mississippi University for Women became the first public women's college in the United States. Then known as the Industrial Institute and College, the institution was created by an act of the Mississippi Legislature on March 12, 1884, for the dual purposes of providing a liberal arts education for women and preparing them for employment. The first session began October 22, 1885, with an enrollment of approximately 250 students on a campus formerly occupied by the Columbus Female Institute, a private college founded in 1847.

The name of the institution changed to Mississippi State College for Women in 1920 to reflect an emphasis on collegiate, rather than vocational, education. In 1971 Mississippi State College for Women won the national intercollegiate women's basketball championship (the third ever held). The name changed again in 1974 to Mississippi University for Women to better reflect the nature of the academic programs, including graduate studies. All other Mississippi state colleges were also designated universities at this time.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan that the nursing school's single-sex admissions policies were in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Following this decision, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ordered the university to change its policies to allow the admission of qualified males into all university programs. In 1988, the Board of Trustees reaffirmed the mission of MUW as an institution providing quality academic programs for all qualified students, with emphasis on distinctive opportunities for women.

On August 10, 2009, university president Dr. Claudia Limbert announced that a new name for the college, Reneau University, would be presented to the state college board and state legislature for approval. This proposal has been met with opposition from some current students and alumni, many of whom fear the loss of the university's long-standing women's mission.[1] The name "Reneau University," chosen from dozens of proposed names, pays homage to Sallie Reneau, who was instrumental in encouraging the Mississippi State Legislature to establish a public women's college in the state in the mid-nineteenth century. This name change proposal did not stand very long in the Mississippi State legislature, and as of now there is no longer a threat of a name change.[2]


The University offers academic programs in more than 50 areas of study [3].

In 2006 MUW awarded 481 undergraduate degrees. The following were the top ten degrees awarded and the percentage of the graduates that came from that program[4]:

The remaining degrees awarded were in the following subjects: Art Education, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Culinary Arts, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Studio Arts, Theatre, History, Health & Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Sport Management, Mathematics, Microbiology, Music, Physical Science, Political Science, Spanish, Speech-Language Pathology /Audiology and Pre-professional degrees. MUW offers Pre-Professional degrees in Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medical Technology, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Veterinary.

In 2006 MUW awarded 81 Master's degrees from its eight different graduate programs. The following are the percentages of graduates that came from each program[4]:

Campus Demographics

[5][6] student organizations Brotherhood of Beta Kappa Tau, Xi Delta Omega


Total Enrollment: 2428

  • Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 2280
  • Total Graduate Enrollment: 148

Freshman: 587 Sophomores: 353 Juniors: 487 Seniors: 834 Graduate Students: 148


Average Faculty Salary: $46,184 Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Total Faculty: 207

  • Administrative: 9
  • Full-Time Faculty: 132
  • Part-Time Faculty: 66
    • Male Full-Time Faculty: 49
    • Female Full-Time Faculty: 83

Faculty Rank

  • Professor: 30
  • Associate Professor: 16
  • Assistant Professor: 35
  • Instructor: 51

Student Demographics 2006-2007

Average Age of Students: 25

Female: 85% Male: 15%

Full-time: 83% Part-time 17%

White: 64% Black: 32% Other: 4%

Mississippi Resident: 91.56% Other United State Resident: 7.66% International: 0.78%

Freshman Admissions

Number of freshman applicants: 1381 Number of freshman admitted: 683

ACT minimum score: 16 ACT mean score: 21.5

Colleges and Schools


MUW’s College of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.[7] Business majors in the 2006-2007 school year represented 8% of the total MUW student body[8]

The MUW College of Business offers degrees in the following areas[9]:

Education and Human Sciences

The MUW College of Education and Human Sciences is divided into three departments, the Department of Education, the Department of Psychology and Family Studies, and the Department of Health & Kinesiology.[10]


The MUW Department of Education offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas[11]

The MUW Department of Education offers graduate degrees in the following areas[12]:

Psychology and Family Studies

The Department of Psychology and Family Studies offers undergraduate degrees in each of the following areas[13]:

Health and Kinesiology

The MUW department of Health and Kinesiology offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas[14]:

The MUW Department of health and Kinesiology offers a graduate degree in[15]:

Nursing and Speech Language Pathology

The MUW College of Nursing and Speech Language Pathology offers degrees in the following areas[16][17]:

Arts and Sciences

The MUW College of Arts and Sciences is divided into six departments; those departments are Sciences and mathematics, Music and theater, Art and design, Languages, literature, and philosophy, Communication, and History, political science, geography, and paralegal.

Sciences and mathematics

The MUW Department of Sciences and Mathematics offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas[18]:

Music and Theater

The MUW Department of Music and Theater offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas[19]:

Art and Design

The MUW Department of Art and design offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas[20]:


The MUW Department of Communication offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in communication[21].

Language, literature, and philosophy

The MUW Department of language, literature, and philosophy offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas [22]:

History, Political Science, Geography, and Paralegal

The MUW Department of history, political science, geography, and paralegal offers undergraduate degrees in the following areas[23]:

Culinary Arts Institute

The MUW Culinary Arts Institute offers a Bachelors of Science in Culinary Arts and a minor in Culinary Arts. Students in the Bachelors program can emphasize their degrees in the following areas:

Notable alumni

Alumni of MUW are known collectively as "The Long Blue Line" and are known for their loyalty to their school[24]

Notable MUW alumni include:

  • Dorothy Vredenburgh Bush, secretary of the Democratic National Committee (1944–1989) and the youngest person and first woman to be elected as an officer of either the Democratic or Republican party[25]
  • Helen Carloss, first woman to argue a case before all of the United States courts of appeals[26]
  • Kay Beevers Cobb Justice, Mississippi Supreme Court, retired
  • Kathy Coole Miss Mississippi, 1973
  • Cheryl Cooper, prize winning marketer
  • Dr. Bettye Rogers Coward, President of Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, Mississippi
  • Denise Dillard, award-winning playwright[27]
  • Elizabeth Lee Hazen, co-discoverer of nystatin[28]
  • Glynda Hull, Professor of Education at the University of California, Berkeley
  • David A. Ivey, elected first male student body president of MUW, 1991-1992 [29]
  • Valerie Jaudon, award-winning artist[30]
  • L. Kim Kimbrough, award-winning New York Times Syndicate journalist and first female auto racing manager for Fortune 500 company Allied-Signal (now Honeywell)
  • Evelyn McPhail, co-chair of Republican National Committee (1994–1997)[31]
  • Mary Libby Bickerstaff Payne, Mississippi Appeals Court Judge, retired
  • Dr. Bridget Smith Pieschel, Director of the Southern Women's Institute at MUW, and author of Golden Days: Reminiscences of Alumnae, Mississippi State College for Women and Loyal Daughters: One Hundred Years at Mississippi University for Women, 1884-1984.
  • Lenore Prather, first female Mississippi Supreme Court Justice[32]
  • Penelope J. Stokes, author
  • Doris Taylor, scientist known for achievements in stem cell research
  • Shannon A. Truesdell-Rader (nee Rickey), first female Navy ABH3 Aircraft Crash and Salvage Firefighting Crew Member (Crash and Smash) onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, CVN 69
  • Eudora Welty, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • Blanche Colton Williams, author and first editor of the O. Henry Prize Stories
  • Toni Seawright, the first African-American Miss Mississippi (1987) and 4th runner-up to Miss America that same year

See also


  1. ^ http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=2463
  2. ^ http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=2103
  3. ^ "Mississippi University for Women Admissions: Degrees". Archived from the original on 2007-06-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20070627092540/http://www.muw.edu/admissions/degrees.html. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  4. ^ a b Degreebook: AY2003-AY2006 Degrees Awarded and Top Ten Degrees & September 2006 Program Inventory. Jackson, MS: Board of Trustees State Institute of Higher Learning. p. 8. 
  5. ^ "Mississippi's Universities". February 24. http://www.ihl.state.ms.us/universities.html 
  6. ^ Mississippi University for Women Fact Book 2006-2007. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University for Women. 2006. 
  7. ^ "Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs". http://www.acbsp.org/index.php?mo=st&op=ld&sid=s1_025about&stpg=141. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  8. ^ Office of Institutional Research (2006). Mississippi University for Women Fact Book 2006-2007. Jackson, MS: Mississippi University for Women. 
  9. ^ "Business Programs of Study". http://www.muw.edu/business/programs. Retrieved 2007-02-25. [dead link]
  10. ^ "MUW - College of Education and Human Sciences". http://www.muw.edu/edu_hs/. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  11. ^ "MUW - College of Education and Human Sciences - Teacher Education Undergraduate Programs". http://www.muw.edu/edu_hs. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  12. ^ "MUW - College of Education and Human Sciences Graduate Studies in Education". http://www.muw.edu/edu_hs/grad/index.html. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  13. ^ "MUW - Psychology and Family Studies". http://www.muw.edu/pfs/. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  14. ^ "MUW - College of Education and Human Sciences Health and Kinesiology BS". Archived from the original on 2006-12-05. http://web.archive.org/web/20061205234643/http://www.muw.edu/hk/bs.html. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  15. ^ "MUW - College of Education and Human Sciences Health and Kinesiology M.S. Degree in Health Education". Archived from the original on 2006-12-05. http://web.archive.org/web/20061205235145/http://www.muw.edu/hk/ms_degree.html. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  16. ^ "MUW - Department of Nursing". http://www.muw.edu/nursing/. 
  17. ^ "MUW - Department of Speech". http://www.muw.edu/speech/. 
  18. ^ "MUW - Department of Science and Math". http://www.muw.edu/sci_math/. 
  19. ^ "MUW - Department of Music and Theater". http://www.muw.edu/fine_arts/Curriculum.htm. 
  20. ^ "MUW - Department of Art and Design". http://www.muw.edu/fine_arts/Curriculum.htm. 
  21. ^ "MUW - Department of Communication". http://web2.muw.edu/index.php/communication/. 
  22. ^ "MUW - Department of Language Literature and Philosophy". http://www.muw.edu/llp/llpprograms.html. 
  23. ^ "MUW - Department of History, Political Science, Geography, and Paralegal". http://www.muw.edu/hpgp/hpgpprograms.html. 
  24. ^ Thorn, J. Dale (February 1997). "When a Trial Threatens to Merge Small Universities: The Role of Litigation Public Relations in a Federal Desegregation Case". Innovative Higher Education (Netherlands: Springer) 22 (2): 101–115. doi:10.1023/A:1025193323375. 
  25. ^ "CNN/AllPolitics.com - Election 2000 - The Democratic National Convention". http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/conventions/democratic/features/convention.history/index.html#1916. [dead link]
  26. ^ http://womenslegalhistory.stanford.edu/articles/CarlossHelen032834.pdf
  27. ^ "Kennedy Center: ACTF - National Student Playwriting Award Description and Winners". http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/actf/actfnsp.html. 
  28. ^ "Hall of Fame Inventor Profile, Elizabeth Lee Hazen". http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/75.html. 
  29. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=CnrOrGUt43UC&lpg=PA5&ots=HRCSxrKDdj&dq=David%20ivey%20MUW%20Bridgett&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q&f=false
  30. ^ "Valerie Jaudon on artnet". http://www.artnet.com/Artists/ArtistHomePage.aspx?artist_id=8944&page_tab=Bio_and_links. 
  31. ^ "Washingtonpost.com: Politics Evelyn McPhail Dies at Age 68". The Washington Post. 1999-01-04. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/junkie/links/mcphail.htm. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  32. ^ "Chief Justice Lenore Prather Supreme Court of Mississippi". http://library.msstate.edu/content/templates/default.aspx?a=1149&template=print-article.htm. 

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