Women’s History Month Lecture to Travel Back in Time to Baylor’s Beginnings

March 20, 2015
Rebecca SharplessRebecca Sharpless courtesy photo.

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (March 20, 2015) – It was the 1850s – only a few years after the first women’s rights convention – when Sallie McNeill enrolled at Baylor University as one of its first female students.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Rebecca Sharpless, Ph.D., associate professor of History at Texas Christian University will give the 21st Annual Women’s History Month lecture titled, “Baylor’s First Female Students: Sallie McNeill and Educated Texas Women,” at 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 23 in Morrison Hall Room 100.

“This year’s topic is of interest to everyone because it’s about Baylor’s early history,” said Andrea Turpin, Ph.D., assistant professor of history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “It’s like seeing where you came from– your own family background.”

Each year, the Women’s History Month Lecture committee picks a prominent scholar conducting relevant research in American or world history.

Sharpless is the former director of Baylor’s Institute for Oral History and now teaches American history courses related to women, food, labor and Texas at TCU. She authored both “Fertile Ground, Narrow Choices: Women on Texas Cotton Farms” and “Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South,” as well as co-authored “Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives.” Sharpless is also the 2012 winner of the Bennett H. Wall award for the best book in Southern business or economic history and former president of the Southern Association for Women Historians and the Oral History Association. She sits on the executive council of the Texas State Historical Association.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Morrison Hall is located at 1410 S. 5th St. in Waco.

For more information, please contact Andrea Turpin

by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.

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