Skip to main content

Celebration for 1974 Women

May 2024 marks 50 years since the trailblazing women of the Class of 1974 graduated as members of the first fully-coeducated class of the University of Virginia! The Alumni Association is excited to honor and recognize this very special anniversary with programming planned in partnership with a steering committee of 1974 alumnae.

Events for 1974 Women at Reunions

In addition to the Reunions schedule you have come to know and love, the Alumni Association will host a series of events exclusively for the women of the Class of 1974 and their registered guests to reunite, reflect, and celebrate. When you register for Reunions, you’ll see a special Women of Class of 1974 registration type – please select that registration type to ensure you see all the events below.

If you are an alumna who entered the University in the early-70s, you are invited to join us for this celebration! To ensure you stay in the loop, let us know you’re interested in participating by filling out this short form and see who is planning to attend on the Hoos Attending page.

Thursday, May 30

Various tours, open houses
4–6 p.m.
Cocktail Reception for the Women of 1974: Kick off your 50th Reunion weekend with an exclusive cocktail reception in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. Enjoy beverages, light bites, and remarks from fellow alumnae.

Friday, May 31

10:30–11:30 a.m.
Alumna Author Chat: You Say You Want a Revolution? The Story of the Women Who Coeducated UVA: Alumni of all classes are invited to join this interactive session, featuring Dickie McMullan (Col ’74) interviewing Gail Burrell Gerry (Col ’74) about Gail’s soon-to-be-published book with the University of Virginia Press, Here to Stay: The Story of the Class of Women That Coeducated the University of Virginia. The session will explore the obstacles overcome by the women of ’74 and how those challenges led to achievements. Wyatt Andrews (Col ’74), award-winning broadcast journalist, will provide an introduction and commentary. As an early reviewer of the book, he called it “very well done, well researched, and culturally revealing.”
11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
Celebration Luncheon for the Women of the Class of 1974 and Official University Portrait: Join fellow 1974 alumnae, University leaders, and friends of the class for an exclusive Reunions luncheon. Additionally, the official portrait of 1974 women will be taken so that it can be installed on Grounds in the fall as part of the University’s ongoing work to highlight events and people who have broken barriers, sparked change, and shaped the history of UVA. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

Saturday, June 1

3:30–4:30 p.m.
Alumnae Panel: Reflections from the Women of 1974: A panel of 1974 alumnae will reflect on their unique journeys, the ways they forged community and created space for women on Grounds, and the lessons they’ve carried with them as alumnae. Panelists include:

  • Susan Pfiester Anders (Col ’74)
  • Diane Kirchner Knetzger (Col ’74)
  • Barbara Golden Lynn (Col ’73)
  • Dickie McMullan (Col ’74)
  • Claudia Russell (Arch ’74)
  • Barbara Savage (Col ’74)

Special Gift for the Women of 1974

As a token of our gratitude and appreciation, the women of the Class of 1974 will be gifted a commemorative scarf at Reunions check-in, which is decorated with the ginkgo leaves that are so iconic to Grounds and symbolize hope, strength, and resilience.

Buy the 1974 Puzzle!

Celebrate the trailblazing Class of 1974 with a puzzle featuring objects, documents, and photographs reflecting the transformation of women’s experiences at University of Virginia. This image was originally created for Retold, which marked the 100th anniversary of the Board of Visitors resolution allowing some women to enroll in select graduate and professional programs and the 50th anniversary of full coeducation in 2020.

Additional Events for the Women of 1974

Save the Date!
Spirit of 1974 | Breaking Through, Going First
September 25-26, 2024

This fall, a two-day University-wide event will be held to capture, commemorate, and celebrate the challenges that the pioneering women of 1974 faced. We hope you will join us back on Grounds for an opportunity to connect and share the stories with current students, and for the unveiling of the official University portrait.

Stay tuned for more information to come in the weeks ahead. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please email

More Resources

The history of the University of Virginia is not complete without women’s stories. Take a look at our timeline highlighting the achievements and milestones of UVA women.

1974 Alumnae Steering Committee

  • Ms. Alda G. Biddell (Education)
  • Ms. Margaret Ann Brown (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Patricia Jones Burnette (Education)
  • Mrs. Patricia K. Epps (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Patricia H. Fralix (Nursing)
  • Ms. Gail Burrell Gerry (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Janet Palmer Hamel (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Dale M. Hill (Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Sylvia Fortney Hunt (Education)
  • Ms. Karen Juul-Nielsen (Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Joan L. Kennedy (Architecture)
  • Ms. Susan Clements Kiely (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Connie Clark Laudenschlager (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Terry J. Lockhart (Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Mary Bland Love (Arts & Sciences)
  • Frances Dickinson McMullan, MD (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Paulette J. Morant (Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Christine M. Ozyjowski (Commerce)
  • Barbara D. Savage, J.D., PhD (Arts & Sciences)
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Fitz Scott (Education)
  • Ms. Betty L. Shotton (Arts & Sciences)
  • Ms. Barbara E. Wilkinson (Arts & Sciences)

For more information, please contact us at