Interviewee: Betty Taylor
Interviewer: Denise Braziel
February 10, 1984
B: This is Denise Braziel. I am here with Professor Betty Taylor, director of the
Legal Information Center at the University of Florida College of Law. What is
your full name?
T: Grace Elizabeth Woodall Taylor, better known as Betty.
B: What is your date of birth?
T: June 14, 1926.
B: Your place of birth?
T: Butler, New Jersey.
B: How long have you been with the University of Florida?
T: Since 1950.
B: Were you raised in New Jersey?
T: As a youngster until the age of fourteen. I was born and raised there, and went
to public schools there. Then we decided to move to Florida, which was my
father's home. So we moved in October of 1941.
B: Where did you receive your education in grade school?
T: Until the tenth grade, I went to school in Butler, New Jersey. Then, from tenth
through twelfth grade I attended school in Kissimmee, Florida, where we moved
to from New Jersey.
B: What schools did you attend in Kissimmee?
T: Osceola High School.
B: When did you become interested in law?
T: After graduation I was working as a secretary to the high school principal in
Kissimmee, and I was offered a position with a law firm in Orlando working with
my two aunts. They had worked with the Gurney firm in Orlando for a number of
years. One of them is still working for that firm part time. They tried to induce
me to come up as a secretary in the firm. That kindled my interest in law at the
time, but I had already made up my mind to go to college. So I declined the
offer and went to college instead.
B: Where did you go to college?
T: I attended Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee, which was the
woman's college at the time, in June 1946.
B: Were both your parents from New Jersey?
T: My father was born and raised in Kissimmee. He had gone north with some
tourists to help drive their car back to New Jersey. He stayed with them and
went to work there, and met my mother. My mother was a native to the Butler
area of New Jersey. He stayed there for about twenty years, and then they
decided to move to Florida.
B: What is your parent's educational background?
T: My mother went through high school. She wanted to go to college, but her
father passed away with tuberculosis and she had three younger brothers, so
she had to go to work. My father was not interested in school and he quit during
high school and went to radio school in New Jersey in order to repair radios, and
later television sets. Much later in life he took the high school equivalency test
and passed it. He was very proud of that. He often regretted that he did not
graduate from high school and attend college. Both of them wanted to go, but at
that time neither one of them was able to.
B: What kind of work did your mother do?
T: She was a housewife most of her life. She did some volunteer work during
World War II in Kissimmee, but she went to work for only about six or nine
B: Do you have brothers or sisters?
T: I have one sister who lives in Silver Springs, Maryland, and works with the
Department of the Army in Washington, D.C.
B: What is her educational background?
T: She and I went to college together in June 1946. I had worked for three years
when I graduated from high school, and she graduated in June 1946, and we
went together to Tallahassee to FSCW. We both have bachelor's degrees from
FSU, and she has a master's degree in math and physics.
B: How important was education in your family when you were growing up?
T: My parents both emphasized education and they both considered it very
important for both of us. Mother was always taking us to the public library to get
books and both of them read prolifically and they still do. We had a lot of
magazines in the house that were given to us, but we could not afford to buy any.
Everything that they could get their hands on for us to read, they read and we
B: Did you have any lawyers in the family?
B: Was it surprising to any of your relatives when you went to law school and
pursued an education as you have done?
T: Well, it was a surprise to the whole family because we did not have anybody on
either side of the family who had ever gone to college. My sister and I went
together were the first ones in the family to go to college. So that was a surprise
in itself. Going beyond the bachelor's degree for the master's put the two of us
in a very separate category from the rest of the family. My sister has done part
of her work on a doctorate in statistics. Then I went to law school and my family
has always been more or less awed at our educational accomplishments. Even
my father was a little held in disbelief by the fact that I was going to law school,
but of course they were very proud that I finished.
B: Did you and your sister support and encourage each other through college?
T: We roomed together all the way through college. I guess we had a natural
sibling rivalry at home, and that one felt the other was getting the advantage from
the parents. But when we were separated from our parents and were together
in college, we grew very close and we have been very close ever since.
B: How much difference is there in your ages?
T: Two and a half years.
B: Are you the oldest?
B: What was FSCW like at that time?
T: We thought it was a big school coming from a small high school. There were
thirty students in my graduating class, half of them in the service. So only
twelve of us actually walked across the stage in high school, and we went to this
big school in Tallahassee which had 3,000 students at the time. But, it really
was very pleasant because we got to know at least all the freshmen and
upperclassmen. It was really delightful.
Of course, we started out in the summer when men were permitted to go
because men who needed to upgrade their teacher's certificates were allowed to
go to the college of education in the summer. So, we had quite a few men on
campus and then that fall the overflow from the University of Florida was
admitted as the Tallahassee branch of the University of Florida. They called in
TBUF. These men were housed out on Dale Mabry Air Base with all of their
dormitories there which the military had used during the service.
So we had men on the campus. I actually was not there at a period of time
when there were only women on campus. But it was a small school and many
women were teaching at the time, and a very delightful place. We thoroughly
B: Was that new, having men on campus?
T: Yes, and the women who had been upperclassmen were very excited about
having men on campus, because up until that time men were not permitted to be
on the campus during the regular school year.
B: Do you think that gave the college more credibility having men there?
T: It certainly did change the attitude toward education. Most of the classes that
we were in, which were predominantly women or maybe totally women, with a
woman professor. The professor would lecture, we would take notes, she would
give us an exam, we would give her answers, and that was the extent of the
When the men came into the classroom, they started asking questions
and challenging what some of the professors were saying because of their
worldwide experiences in the service, and they came with a very different point of
view. Many of the professors who had been teaching just women students
really could not take the pressure of these men with their experiences and new
attitudes toward education.
It was a total revolution int he way education was offered at FSCW, from
my point of view. It really made it very interesting because it was not just a
lecture-response-type education anymore. It was an interaction with the
professor, and I think it was more challenging to the professors, too.
B: Did the men and the women in the class get along well?
T: Oh yes. The women were glad to have the men there, and of course these were
more mature men. I found it more interesting because I had already been out of
high school three years, so I was a little bit more mature than most of the women
in the classes. The men who had been in service made many contributions to
the classes because of their backgrounds and what they had been exposed to in
B: What was your typical class? How many women and men?
T: Well, I would say a typical class probably was forty to fifty students, and maybe a
fourth of them male.
B: When did you first come to the University of Florida?
T: I accepted the position at the University of Florida on July 1, 1950, and I started
working at the main university library.
B: What was the position?
T: Assistant in the library, which was an assistant in reference. I came as a
three-quarter time student because I came down to the University of Florida with
the idea that I wanted to go to law school.
B: Had you ever been to the University before for research?
T: I had come down for the dedication of the new wing of the University Library the
year before, as a student in the library school. A whole group of us had come
down, so I had been on the campus once before.
B: What was your impression of the University?
T: Well, I could not believe how big it was as compared to FSCW, because at that
time there were 10,000 students at the University of Florida with all the students
coming back from service. The place had expanded considerably and it was just
amazing to me how big it was.
The predominance of men on campus was still noticeable, although 1948
both universities were made coeducational. But still, there were not that many
women coming to the University of Florida. So it was an entirely different kind of
campus where men were predominant, and that was quite a change from FSU.
B: What did you think of the city of Gainesville?
T: Tallahassee and Gainesville were very distinct contrasts because Tallahassee
had stores that catered to women students, with a lot of dress shops and other
types of boutiques and stores that specialized in cosmetics and women's shoes,
and women came down to Gainesville where stores catered to a predominantly
male student body. The men's clothing stores were very well developed, but
they catered only to male students. There were not very many women's dress
shops. So the shopping in Gainesville was rather limited when I first arrived
here. As a matter of fact, when I would visit my mother in Kissimmee, she and I
would shop for my clothes in Orlando, rather than in Gainesville.
B: Was there any sort of a boom in shopping in the Gainesville retail stores with the
arrival of women?
T: Gradually. One by one there were a few more stores, but not a whole lot.
Between 1950 and 1960 the shopping for women was still limited. Most of the
women in Gainesville were shopping in Jacksonville. People would talk about
taking shopping trips to Jacksonville, or others who were more affluent, going to
Atlanta. But women just did not shop for nice business clothes or dress clothes
B: Would women students get together and go on shopping trips?
T: Yes, to Jacksonville primarily. People would make a weekend trip or a day trip
and go to Jacksonville.
B: How long after you arrived in Gainesville was it until you started law school?
T: When I was in my senior year, the director of libraries on this campus, Stanley
West, came to Tallahassee, and he and Dr. Shores, who was the dean of the
library school, had been visiting back and forth at library meetings. Dr. Shores
told him that I was interested in law school and in a career as a law librarian. So
he arranged for Stanley West to come by the library school on a trip to
Tallahassee, and I interviewed for the job then, and Stanley West told me that I
really needed a graduate degree. He said when I completed the degree to let
him know if I was still interested, and he would make an opening for me here. I
went through graduate school with the notion that I would probably come to the
University of Florida, and while I was in graduate school, late in the spring, I had
a letter from Harvard University Law Library asking me if I would be interested in
a cataloging position at Harvard.
All the faculty at FSU just though that this was great because they had just
become accredited the year before, and had just become a library school in
1947. It was a school and not a department in the College of Arts and Sciences.
They were very excited that one of their first graduates was offered a position at
Harvard. I was in the second graduating class with a bachelor's degree. So the
faculty all were very excited and thought I should take this position. I wrote and
told them that I did have an interest in the position, and to please send me the
forms to apply to law school. They wrote me back a letter and said that there
were many fine law schools in the Boston-Cambridge areas, and that I should
apply to one of them, and that I was not eligible for admission to Harvard
because they were not accepting women in law school in the 1950s.
So with this in mind, and the fact that if I worked for the state of Florida, I could
pay back the Lewis Scholarship which I had which I had earned and went all the
way through school on for the amount of $2,000. I could pay it back by working
for the state for the same amount of time that I had the scholarship. I decided
that financially the best thing to do would be to come to the University of Florida.
That was the reason for my choice. At the University there was no problem
about admission as long as the person had a bachelor's degree with a C
average, you cold be admitted to law school. So I applied and was admitted.
B: Did you have to take an entrance exam?
T: No. There were very few requirements, and there was no great demand for
legal education. Everyone who applied who had a C average and bachelor's
degree could be admitted. Now not everybody graduate and this made for hard
feelings along the way where people invested a lot of money in law school, and
then did not make a C average to graduate and was flunked out. It is not like
the current enrollment procedures.
B: Dean (A.) Fenn (dean of the law school, 1948-1958) was in office then in the
T: Yes he was.
B: Did you talk to him at all when you were interested in coming to law school?
T: Yes. Stanley West, director of libraries, had a law degree and a library degree,
and he was more or less working with me to get me into law school. But I did go
over and talk to Dean Fenn and he tried to discourage my going to law school
part time. I could not afford to go full time. I had to pay back my scholarship for
my five years of college, and I just felt like that I had had enough of going to
school full time for awhile, and wanted to work and go to school part time. He
tried to discourage me in it and after going two or three years part time, I
understood why he tried to discourage me because it was difficult getting law
piecemeal. But he approved my part time admission and he said he would let
me try it out.
B: Were any other students going part time?
T: No, I was the only one.
B: You had to get permission to do that?
B: What is the full name of the Lewis Scholarship?
T: I think it was called the State of Florida Lewis Scholarship. It was a legislative
scholarship. It was allocated by the state of Florida. Every county had a
number of scholarships available for students who could pass an examination
and were eligible to go to school either at Tallahassee or Gainesville, to state
universities. It paid about $400 per year, and $133 per quarter.
My sister and I both took the examination. Osceola County scholarships
had been filled and spoken for, but we found that there were vacancies in
Orange County. So my parents went to see the superintendent of schools in
Orlando, and asked him if the two of us could apply for vacancies in his county,
and he permitted it. So we took the scholarship examination. They
administered them in Tallahassee while we were in school in the summer, and
we both got a scholarship. Mine was a full one and hers was half. My sister did
not want to guarantee them she would teach. She did not think she wanted to
be in the classroom, but I took one for teaching. They went through graduate
school as well. So we had $133.33, something like that per quarter, and the first
year we were there we paid our registration and dining room fees. As freshmen
we had to eat in the dining room, which was attached to the residence halls. All
freshmen would eat in the dining room. So that paid for our dining room fees
both breakfast and dinner and what books we needed. We ate in the Cafeteria
After that, of course, the rate gradually increased and then we had to buy
our own meal tickets, and we did not eat in the dining room. When the men
came on campus, all these traditions of the women's school just faded away.
They eliminated the dining room requirement after the first year, and gradually
inflation took its toll, and we both worked anyway. It took working as students at
the university in addition to the scholarship in order to get through.
So I was able to pay my own way all the way through five years of college on the
basis of the Lewis Scholarship, and I will always be very grateful to the Florida
Legislature for making that possible. But then I feel that the state of Florida was
paid back because I have worked for the state almost thirty-five years now, and I
think that they have a return on their investment of five years of education with
B: Did that also pay for any part of your law school?
B: That just was through your undergraduate work?
T: Right, at Tallahassee. But because law school was part time, and I was a state
of Florida employee, I did not have to pay any registration fees taking one course
per semester. During one period of six months, just about the time I was about
to finish, I took off work entirely and went to school full time and borrowed money
from my parents in order to accelerate my education.
B: Just for the last six months?
T: Yes, the rest of the time was quite inexpensive, and I did not pay any registration
fees because I was a University of Florida employee.
B: How many years were you in school?
T: From 1950 until I graduate in 1962. I was off almost two years when my first
baby was born.
B: When was that?
T: In 1955 and 1956.
B: You just mentioned traditions at FSCW a minute ago and you said some of the
traditions faded out when the men came. What were some of those?
T: Well, in the first year one of the things that we all found so delightful was one of
the traditions in which the university gardener went out and cut gardenias from
the plants around campus and line up all these short-stem gardenia flowers on
the bank of one of the dormitory lawns. As we all went to calls, everybody would
pick up a gardenia and pin it in their collars or on a pocket. Wherever you
went--to class or the dining room or any place--you would smell gardenias.
I can remember the first football game when FSU played Stetson, and we all
went marching down to the fields where A&M played. I suppose it was a city
field. I do not remember now, and we all marched down to cheer for our
wonderful team that lost. Oh, we were beaten terribly, but it really did not make
any difference because the whole school was so excited that we had a football
B: Was that after it became Florida State University?
T: Yes, right. In the fall of 1948, I think it was.
B: Did men still come up from the University of Florida?
B: On weekends?
T: Right. Every weekend there was a big trek to Tallahassee if something was
going on there, or if there was a big fraternity weekend or a big party weekend in
Gainesville, all the women would team up and come down on the buses. There
were not a whole lot of cars at that time. THe women going to Gainesville
mostly rode the buses. At break periods for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or at
the end of a term, or something else, buses would come out to FSU and line the
streets, and we would sign up for a reservation on a bus so they would know how
many buses were going in what direction. We always rode the buses back and
forth because we could not afford a car at the time, and we used to get whole
bus loads going to Orlando, or beyond.
B: Did the men travel by bus going up to Tallahassee?
T: Some. They more or less pooled together because the men who were veterans
coming back from service had government support, and they were on the G.I. Bill
and most of them had saved money during service, and more of them had cars
than did women.
B: Were you single then?
B: When were you married?
T: In February 1951. I met my husband after I came down to the University of
Florida. I started my first day on a Friday and I was assigned Sunday night to
work. I cam in to work about 6:30 p.m. The library opened at seven Sunday
evening, and a student came to the door, and he would not let me in. I told him I
worked there, and he sid, "I have never seen you before. When did you start
here?" I said, "On Friday." So finally he let me in and six months later I married
B: So he was working at the library?
T: As a student, and he was working on a graduate degree in psychology.
B: While you were at FSCW, did you date any of the men from the University of
T: No. I dated some of the men at Tallahassee who were in school there, but I had
not made any contact with any of them at the University of Florida. The ones in
my class got scattered and there were not too many of the students in my class
who went to college from Kissimmee.
B: What kind of events did you travel to when you were there?
T: I never made the trip. I did not come down because I did not have any contacts
here, and it would have been difficult for me because my sister and I were living
on a shoestring. We did not make a bus trip any more often that we had to.
We stayed there on holidays sometimes because our finances were limited, and
we could not spend money on a fun weekend like that with the bus trip and the
B: When you did go home, did you go by bus?
B: So you came to Gainesville alone and met your future husband immediately.
Did you begin dating immediately?
T: Oh, no, it took about six weeks before I had my first date with him. But we
worked in the library together. After I had met him and convinced him that I was
an employee, when I had met him the stacks looking for something, I had to ask
him where to find something because the library was so big compared to the
FSU library. I was a little bit overwhelmed with the size of the place. It took a
little while to find my way around the library. So if he was around, I would ask
him questions so that I would not have to ask any of my professional colleagues,
and they would not know what I did not know. I did not mind that a student
knew, but I did not want other people to know I did not know something.
B: He did not let on?
B: What was his full name?
T: Edwin Stewart Taylor, Jr.
B: Where did you live in Gainesville when you first arrived?
T: In an apartment house ont he corner of Thirteenth Street and Southwest Fourth
Avenue. Mrs. Alice Clapp Brown was the landlady there, and she preferred to
have men students there. We had been looking around for a place to stay that
would be close to the campus because we did not have a car and we would have
to be walking.
My sister had graduated with her master of science degree with a major in math
and a minor in physics and was unable to get a job. There had been four
graduates in her department, and three of them were married men. The
department helped them find jobs and did not help her at all because women
were not supposed to be in the sciences in 1950. If she was not willing to teach,
they did not know what else to do with her. So she came to Gainesville with me
and we found a small efficiency in this little apartment house. She got a job as a
secretary in the engineering department, with her master's in math and physics.
We needed someplace where the two of us could walk to campus.
Mrs. Brown was also the house mother for Pi Lam, but then it was on
Thirteenth Street, and was within walking distance, about a block or two on
Thirteenth Street. She loved to serve Russian tea, and every once in a while
when we could not escape her, we would have to go downstairs and drink
Russian tea with her. She was always curious about what we were doing and
tried to match us with men from the fraternities. We had a delightful time with
her. Of course, I only stayed there until February of 1951, from July to February.
My sister stayed on with our friend, Vi Jeanne, who had lived with Alice.
The two of them were roommates when I was not rooming with Alice. Alice had
been there a year before to finish, and she married a fellow who was here on
campus. So we had all lived in that house at one time or another--four of us
who were such good friends. My sister and Vi Jeanne lived together for a while.
When my sister moved to Washington, Vi Jeanne married a fellow here who
was going to law school. We all had an interest here. Vi Jeanne went to law
school for a couple of terms.
B: What is her full name?
T: Vi Jeanne Ellis was her maiden name and she married E. Robert Miller. So she
is now Vi Jeanne Ellis Miller. We are still very good friends now, and Bob visits
once in a while on his law business. We keep in touch by telephone, Christmas
B: What is your sister's full name?
T: Rosalie Carolyn Woodall Hine.
B: You said you moved in February 1951?
T: Right. My husband, Ed, and I found an apartment on Northwest Third Avenue
right across the side street from what is now the Krispy Kreme. The building is
gone. There were four apartments, and four of us young married couples were
living in the apartments. I think Maryland Fried Chicken was on the corner, and
it was one lot from that corner.
B: Were you involved in any organizations when you first arrived?
T: Well, I joined Phi Delta Delta, which was the women's legal fraternity, at the time,
so that I could be associated with the women in the law school. I was also
involved in the university library with the librarians there, though we were not
really associated at the time. My husband was busy working on his master's
and I was busy in law school, and with both of us working, too, we did not get
involved in any other organizations.
B: How well established was Phi Delta Delta?
T: Oh, very well established because the women who had been in the service were
coming back to law school. It was an active organization with the women who
were around, but of course women were only two percent of the law school
enrollment at the time. Every woman in law school joined Phi Delta Delta.
B: About how many women were in the law school?
T: Well, I suppose there would be ten or twelve, all together.
B: You said some of the women were coming back from the service?
T: Yes, you see, in the late 1940s, the women were coming back out of the service
and using their G.I. Bill. There were quite a few women in the 1940s, before I
got there, and there were still a few that were coming in the early 1950s.
B: What had they done in the service?
T: Most of the women whom I knew were clerical-type people. I do not think I knew
any nurses. Of the women whom I knew that were going into the service, some
of them went into the WAC but most of them were in the clerical-type things:
administrative and office kinds of jobs.
B: Do you know if they went overseas or stayed in this country?
T: I do not really remember the backgrounds of many of them. The majority of the
ones that came were in the late 1940s, and they got Phi Delta Delta established
at that time. In 1946 was when the big influx started coming in at FSCW and
UF. I did not know many of those, although a few of them came in later.
B: You always hear about the veterans coming back, but not much about the
B: Do you know when Phi Delta Delta was established?
T: I may have the records, but I do not know offhand.
B: Was it right after the war?
T: I would think so because Clara (Floyd) Gehan (class of 1933) and only a handful
of women were in law school before that, so I would assume that we probably did
not have one then. I have some of Mrs. (lla Roundtree) Pridgen's (College of
Law librarian, 1930-1955) records, and it may be possible that I could go back
through and see if I can find out when it was established.
B: That would be interesting.
T: Phi Delta Delta does not exist anymore. It was merged with Phi Alpha Delta, the
B: Do you know when it merged with the men's fraternity?
T: Frank (Edward) Maloney (dean, 1958-1970) was involved in it, so I would say
that it was probably in the late 1960s. He was very active in Phi Alpha Delta,
and while he was involved in international activities on a national level. I would
say it was probably middle to late 1960s.
B: But it was well established when you arrived?
T: Oh, yes. Mrs. Pridgen was the faculty adviser. She kept all the women going
to the meetings. There were two women downtown, and she tried to keep them
involved in it. Delphene (Coverston) Strickland (class of 1967) was practicing in
town and she would get Clara Gehan whenever she could.
B: Delphene Strickland?
T: She is now a judge.
B: Did you hold any offices in this organization?
T: Yes, I held them all.
B: Did women on campus face any restrictions men did not?
T: We did at FSU. We had to be in by eleven, and had to sign out when we were
going to be back. Those regulations were loosened considerably during the time
that I was there. We had to have permission from parents to go out of town.
On this campus, the housing was predominantly male. There was no
housing on the campus for women. So most of the women who came here were
living off campus and were not regulated. They built dormitories later closer to
the stadium, and I know that women were assigned as years went by, but I am
not aware that they imposed the same kind of restrictions here on women that we
had at Tallahassee.
B: Most of the women in law school would live off campus?
B: Which organizations were women excluded from when you arrived?
T: Well, the fraternities were all male. Phi Alpha Delta and Phi Delta were male
fraternities and they just did not admit women. So women joined Phi Delta Delta
and there just were not any questioned in 1962, I am not sure whether there
were any women in it or not. I was recommended as a candidate for the
women's honorary leadership group on campus. I think it was Mortar Board, but
it seems like Mortar Board here? It is different anyway. I was nominated for
that and was not admitted either because they did not really want graduate
B: So you saw a lot of developments in women's organizations at the time.
T: Yes. Oh, we just did not think anything about. The women went to Phi Delta,
and the women all associated together, and the men had their fraternities, and
we just did not give it any thought. It just did not bother anybody.
B: Were sororities popular when you arrived?
T: I am not even aware that any sororities were on the campus at that time. I was
so used to FSU where sororities were very active organizations and many off the
women were just heartbroken when they did not get into a sorority. My sister
and I did not have the money to participate in a sorority, so we never even
thought about it. A lot of the women on campus when I came down here in
B: So the women's organizations became active in the 1960s?
T: I am sure there were organizing during the 1950s and getting women involved,
but they did not play any prominent role on the campus in the late 1950s of which
I am aware.
B: Were you involved in any of the organizing?
T: No, I was busy with marriage and law school and a job. I had all I could do just
doing those three things.
B: Were women included in the social affairs of the campus?
T: Yes. Women were involved and women faculty went to the social functions and
that was not a problem. But women never went to Blue Key dinners, or those
functions; that was all-male. No woman was taken in as an honorary member
for a long time. So it was quite an event when women started getting asked or
getting nominated and awarded an honorary member-ship in Blue Key.
B: You finally received one in 1970?
T: Yes. A political science professor was one of the first women to be taken as an
honorary member of Blue Key, and there was quite an article in the Alligator
about it, and all the women were very proud of her achievement.
B: Who was that?
T: I think her name was Gladys Kammerer. By getting into law school, I was more
or less isolated from the rest of the campus because we concentrated all of our
activities in the law school;, and I did not know the rest of the people. After I
moved from the University Library in 1966 over to the law school, my whole
world revolved predonimamtly around the law school.
B: How did professors at the law school respond to women students? Did they
treat them any differently than men?
T: We were in so few numbers at the time that we more or less stood our like sore
thumbs, and of course the first day the professors knew the women's names. I
think I always had the feeling that we were called on more often because when a
professor was looking for somebody to recite and could not remember a name or
nobody was responsive, it was easier to recall a woman's name than the men's
names. Some of the women in my classes asked not to be called on. They did
not want to stand up and recite in class, and most of the professors honored their
request. I thought that it was a shame that they did, because they really needed
to be reciting just like the men, and they should have been treated the same as
the men. But a number of them did not want to be embarrassed, or to make
long responses in class and be shuffled, and so they made the specific request.
Several of the faculty members, one in particular, told a lot of jokes and
everybody when he came to class he would recite the joke of the day and after a
while they got kind of rough. So he announced to the class one day that if they
wanted to know what the joke of the day was to ask the class in the other
section, because he would be reciting the joke there. I was the only woman in
the class, so I was one that prevented the rest of them hearing the joke of the
day. I viewed this with mixed feelings because I hated to be the woman presents
which changed the method of conducting the class. On the other hand, I was
rather grateful that I did not have to go through any more of them because they
kept getting a little bit rougher from one day to the next.
B: Which professor was that?
T: Frank Maloney.
B: You mentioned a minute ago that the women did not want to be shuffled?
T: Oh, that was traditional in law school.
B: Did they quite shuffling?
T: Yes. We had bare wooden floors in the old building on the corner of Thirteenth
Street and University Avenue, which was where we were at the time, and this
was a tradition. I do not know when it was started; it may have been the
veterans coming back from the war. But whenever anybody said something that
was a joke, or off-color, or if a woman said something that was from the female
point of view, or somebody just totally missed a point, or a faculty member
teased of called on someone who could not respond continually, then they would
all start shuffling their feet back and forth on the wood floor and that really made
a noise. There were certain people who got teased all the time and some of
them had hard backs and ignored it. Other people you could shut up, and that
person would never open his mouth for the rest of the term because of the
When we were working with the architects for this building, I said, "Somehow or
other, we have got to figure out how to get rid of this shuffle," and they said, "Do
not worry, the whole place will be carpeted and they will not be able to do that."
B: They did not shuffle the female law students? It was just the other women?
T: They did not shuffle them in the library, but if a female law student would make a
remark from the woman's point of view, which was different from what the men of
the class were thinking, then they were shuffled in class for what they had said.
But they did not shuffle the women law students in the library.
B: How long did that tradition last?
T: As long as we were in that building. It was going strong when I arrived in 1950.
The shuffle was in heavy use, and in the library it was awful. When I was about
eight-months pregnant with my second child and working in the library, a
professor called me up and asked me to assist his students with some work.
The two students came to see me and I gave them usual story. I said, "This is a
tradition over here--you just have to put up with it." Then I went out with them.
The books that we had to start using were at the far end of the reading room,
which is a traditional-type reading room with very high ceilings. We walked
down to the far end of the room, and they were really shuffling. I turned around
and walked back and they shuffled me all the way back through the reading
room. I was just horrified and I did not know what was going on.
When I went into the office I said to Alice, the secretary, "Tell me what is the
matter with me." She said, "I do not see a thing. Turn around." Well, one of
my student assistants had cut a picture our of a calendar with a little baby under
a blanket, the caption under it said, "Shhh, baby's asleep." this picture had been
plastered on my back, and they were all shuffling and pounding on the table.
The secretary took this picture off my back and handed it to me, and I went out in
the reading room and I said thank you very much to the whole group out there. I
never had any problem with the students after that. But they were always doing
crazy things. I never knew what was going to happen from one day to the next.
B: Would they pound the tables as well as shuffle?
T: Oh, yes. The prettier the girl, the greater the reception.
B: That ended when they moved over here?
B: Did it last as long as they were in that building?
T: Oh, yes, until the last day of class we were over there and in the library. This
building is so much bigger than that one. We had 700 students crowded into
that building and it was awful. People were at every seat at every table, and
people were standing on the balconies and all over the class rooms. We were
really crowded. So when we moved 700 students into this building, which will
hold 1,000 or morel students they were dispersed on three floors, and were not
concentrated in one big reading room.
In the old building the only way to get in the library was to come through the front
door of that reading room,
whether you wanted to get a
book from reserve or anywhere
else. So everybody was on
public view coming in the front
door, and everybody was on
public view coming in the front
door, and everybody was
concentrated in that little area.
So when we got over here,
people were dispersed; we had
glass doors separating the
reading room, and we did not
have a concentrated of people.
With carpets on the floors, they
could not shuffle, and the shuffle
died out almost entirely. Though
they had concrete floors in the
classrooms, the tradition also
died in the classroom. Students
used to put out a little
mimeograph newsletter called
B: Right. I have seen that. That is where that came from?
T: Yes, the shuffle. Then of course, at graduation, too, it was traditional. When
law students participated in the University graduation as I recall.
B: Are there any other traditions you can think of at the law school?
T: Well, one of the things that the early classes and the library did was to keep the
football. We checked the football in and out of the library just like we do a
books. Students would check out the football and play football in the afternoon
on the plaza between the law school and the Tigert administration building.
Everybody else who was not involved in class or working, would be hanging over
the balcony cheering for the teams when they were playing football downstairs.
B: The football was kept at the law library?
T: Yes. We checked out the football.
B: Do you still keep a football in the library?
T: We have one downstairs. It does not get checked in and out anymore.
B: Another thing I have heard at reunions are nicknames for professors. Did the
students still have nicknames when you arrived for Professor Slagle [Dean
Slagle, Professor 1923-1958, University of Florida College of Law], and professor
Cockrell [Robert Spratt Cockrell, professor 1919-1941, University of Florida
College of Law]?
T: Right, and some fo those carried over. I did not have either one of them. I
knew Professor Slage. Professor Cockrell had passed away before I came
here. They called Frank McCoy, "Fearless Frank". [Francis Tyrone McCoy,
class of 1955, professor 1956-present, University of Florida College of Law]
They made signs that they talked about at the 1958s class reunion which said,
"Tall brother is watching you," with Dean Fenn's picture on it. They hung them
all over the law school, alluding to Henry Fenn's watching what was going on. I
suppose it just started spontaneously.
B: Do you know if the students called the professor those nicknames to their faces?
T: No, this was all behind the scenes.
B: Even when I was interviewing Professor Macdonald last week, he was calling
other professors by their nicknames. So I guess that professors did it as well.
T: Well, being part-time for the first six years, I really was not directly involved in the
law school because I was working in the main library. By 1956, a lot of that had
faded out with the younger people coming in right out of college, and being a
younger group, a lot of these things did not carry forward.
B: What were the reactions of other women on campus to you as a law student?
T: I think that most women at that period of time were not even thinking about law
school, and just a few women were really serious scholars. Some of the women
who were in law school were there looking for husbands and really did not have a
serious intent in finishing. Most of the students on campus either were not
aware that there were women in law school, or did not have much interest in it.
It was not until the 1960s when there was an all-out effort to start recruiting
women to increase the women's population. When scholarships were available
in the 1970's, when started thinking more about law school.
So, I think that we probably were an oddity at the time, but I do not think people
were thinking very much about it. Few women were going to medical school and
a few women went to law school, but you did not hear much about women in the
practice, and you rarely heard of a woman judge, or a woman in the position of
state's attorney, or public defender. That was just unheard of. Women did not
want to get involved in those positions where they were exposed to the seamier
side of life, or violence, or that kind of thing, and it probably would have been
impossible to get an appointment to those positions.
Women who were going through were channeled mostly into estates planning, or
in divorce, of family law, or government planning, a lot of them were going into
government. Men did not want to interview women for positions, and as a
consequence there was no real surge of women going into the profession. I
think most women's attitude was that someone went to law school was really
looking for a husband.
B: What area of study were you channeled into?
T: I took as broad a curriculum as possible because to stay in library work and in
law librarianship. I felt the most important thing for me to do was to have a
smattering of everything so that I had a speaking acquaintance with the
vocabulary of the law and an understanding of the law with which to help other
people do research.
B: What were the reactions of the male students to; female law students?
T: I never had any difficulty with the students because they knew I was a librarian
and that I planned to continue as a librarian. There was no competition at all for
me with other law students. When I moved over as a librarian in the law library,
I helped students answer questions and worked with them and helped them with
their organizations. So I never felt any animostiy of any kind by any of the law
students because I was not going to be competing with them when it came time
to look for a job. Other women were subject to questioning by the law students
as to why they were in law school, and what kind of jobs were they going to look
for when they got out. They were very much concerned about women in law
school who were taking up the few jobs that were available. There was keen
competition for those women. Anne Cawthon Booth was the top student in one
B: Who was that?
T: She was then Anne Cawthon. [Anne Cawthon Booth, class of 1961] She
married Ed Booth [Edgar C. Booth, Class of 1962], while she in the class. The
students were very much concerned about her being number one because she
would be in the top ten per cent that the key law firms would be looking for, and
they were afraid that she was going to be real competition.
B: Did women discuss their problems that they were having with men students or
professors at Phi Delta meetings?
T: There was not a whole lot of discussion about it because we all accepted it, and
when a professor came in and said, "Good morning gentlemen" we were a
part of the group that was there, and it did not bother us that we were called
"gentlemen." It surprised me when women started complaining that the
professors were downgrading them by calling them ""gentlemen." When faculty
members said that we had known that we were at the interview periods. As
students had been coming along, women were more or less accepted in
undergraduate classes and there was a mixture of men and women. Very few
people were coming out of schools that were in the tradition of University of
Florida and FSCW where it was segregated male and female. So it was not
unusual when they came to law school for there to be women in classes.
On the whole, the men accepted the women in class, but there were some
complaints about professors calling on the women more, or not calling on women
at all. Women were also very much concerned about employment because they
would be asked if they were married, or if they planned to get married, or did they
have any children, or did they plan to have children, and frequently when
employers found out that women were being interviewed, they just refused to
At that time, there were no discrimination laws that prevented that action, and a
lot of women were very bitter that they did not get a chance to interview for jobs.
They sent out resumes like the men, but they would not get any responses.
They were treated very shabbily and very poorly, but they anticipated this
because women were a minority in the law school, and they were breaking
ground, and they just knew that this was something that they had to go through.
B: Were there any woman here at the law school to counsel them, or to advise
T: I was the only professional woman in the law school. The rest of the women
were all secretaries, and they did not really talk to me a whole lot about the
interview process because I had never been in the law firm competition. They
would tell me what was going on and how much they resented it, but they just
One of my friends who graduated from law school went to work with a law firm in
town as a secretary, before they finally put her in the library to do research. She
graduated in 1962.
B: Who was that?
T: Janie Noe. She later died of cancer. She was in my class. Her husband was
principal of a school in Waldo, and we needed a job in the Gainesville area. The
Lazonby firm was the only firm that would take her; it was the biggest firm in
Gainesville. She started out as a secretary, and then later went into the library
to do research. But it was a job, and she was grateful to be employed after
having spent all that money on law school.
A good many of the women who had difficulty went into the federal job market
because no discrimination existed there against women. In the federal
government, they received pay that was equal with the men. The federal jobs
did not expose them to the law firm's general clientele, or criminal clientele, or
civil clientele, and most of the men in law school, at least in the 1950s, said they
would not have a woman on a team with them in a law firm or in the courtroom
because the jurors would be prejudiced against a woman professional. If you
had a male jury in the Gainesville area in the 1950s, there was just no way that
he male jury would find for a client of a woman attorney. So women, being
realistic with this point of view, were looking for positions that did not expose
B: So you were here during the women's movement on the campus. What do you
remember about that during the 1960s?
T: I think this was a natural phenomena of the equalization of men and women on
the campuses at Tallahassee and Gainesville, and us there were more women,
they recognized the problems that existed with the predominantly male student
body here and organized to make changes. As sororities came on the campus,
women organizations worked through them to become a more effective factor on
the campus in government, and leadership, and administration. It just evolved
because of the numbers of women on campus.
Of course, the equal rights proposals and discrimination laws brought about an
increased awareness of the problems of women. I never participated in any of
these organizational groups. The women faculty on the campus organized and
were publishing statistics comparing salaries of men and women, and many
women on the campus filed forms that indicated that women were not being paid
equally with males. We all received forms to indicate the male counterparts that
we wanted to be compared with and what the salaries were of the male
counterparts. I did not participate in any of this.
I felt that the deans were aware of the problems. Particularly, in the 1970s,
Dean Juelin was very much aware of women's coming along in fields, and he had
an awareness of salary comparisons. [Joseph Richard Julin, dean, 1971-1980:
professor, 1971-present, University of Florida, College of Law] He was always
very enthusiastic about keeping my salary competitive with the men, and I
received some very substantial raises as a result of the drive for equality of
women. I was grateful that I did not have to participate. I was then somewhat
concerned, especially in the 1970s, about some of the done enough to earn this
status and were demanding it on a basis of sex, rather than accomplishment.
I have always been one to feel that if, you do your best work, and it is good, and
you do accomplish something in the profession, that you be recognized for your
accomplishment and not by your demands. I have always tried to set an
example for women coming after me, by example and not by demand, or carrying
on in campaigns. I think that some of the women were disgusted with me.
I am sure that while I have not been vocal on women's rights, but I have always
felt I accomplished a lot more by example, and I have always been very
conscious of that in law school, and had two babies. I was involved in
professional kinds of things, and went to professional meetings. I leaned over
backwards to try not to take excessive time off to transport my children, I
arranged for a baby sitter so that I would not have to miss work because a child
was sick. I tried to set an example for other professional women who would
come in behind at the law school. I wanted other people to benefit form what I
had been doing, and not be a detriment to the ones following.
I was very conscious of this and did everything I could to set a good example. I
hope others would agree with that too, because this was my goal. There were
many women vocal, at the lower levels on this campus who were unable to point
out what they had done, or what contributions they had made to their
professions, or what publications they had to their credit, or what organizations
they were working with. This is where I devoted my energy to building a
creditable record that would merit increases in people's recognition.
B: Were you actually criticized by any of th professional women on the campus for
T: Well, they kept sending me the literature and asking me why I did not join
organizations, and once in a while I would get into verbal arguments about equal
rights and so forth. We had one vocal young lady here at the law school; she
probably did more to make Dean Julin aware of the existence or professional
women than anyone. She was Pat Russo, and she would not understand why I
did not participate in some of these movements. [Patricia V. Russo, class of
1973] I told her I would rather be working and doing things than to be
participating in these organizations. But I must say I did benefit form their
activities because I did receive substantial raises that made me more competitive
with the faculty than I had ever been before.
B: Did most of that take place during the Julin administration?
T: Yes. But of course that is when the substantial activity was, too. For equal
rights amendment and discrimination laws and, this is when the consciousness
level was raised. I started out as a student's wife, and even though I was a
professional librarian before I was married, the majority of the time I was working
on the campus, I was a student's wife. It was not until Ed finally got a full-time
position that my status changed from a student's wife to an employee's wife.
Then the nepotism at the time, but when we were given raise, our two
supervisors compared notes with each other to determine how much the two of
us should receive as a combined raise for the year, and so that factor worked
against me for a long time until Ed resigned his position int eh registrar's office
and went to law school full-time in 1962.
B: Then you become a student wife again?
T: That is correct.
B: You were on the Law Review you were in law school.
T: Yes. Right.
B: What year was that?
T: It would probably be around 1960 or 1961. I was research editor and they put
me on research because they wanted me to edit the footnotes and bibliographies
and do all the checking. They thought that was great, that there was somebody
that was competent to do that. I also worked for the symposium issue on tax
and we had quite a bit of detail to work with. I helped them establish some of
the citation standards for the Law Review during that period because I felt that
they were too elementary and did not give enough information. The citations
were too brief to be valuable. I worked with the law review staff to improve
some of those standard citations.
B: Had any women served on the Law Review before you?
T: I am not aware of any who did. We would have to check it to make sure, but I
do not know of any, though there may have been. Certainly there were not any
who had served as editor-in-chief. The editor-in-chief of the Law Review has
been a female just since we have been in this building.
B: I am sure you remember episodes like panty raids and things like that going on.
Were law students affected at all by any of those episodes?
T: Well, of course, it was the topic of conversation, and Frank Maloney even had an
examination question with the panty raid as the fact statement. So it was
always very predominant in everybody's mind, and it was occurring across the
country, too, which is why it was implemented here on this campus. I do not
know that any of our law students were involved in it, and it was a big lark.
Law students more or less had the bar hanging over their heads and did not
participate in a lot of things they might have as undergraduates that they
considered pranks. Most students were not getting attested, and there was not
problem with it. Everybody knew that it was those crazy students out on the
campus, and they tried to keep them under control, but no one really thought of
the possibility of being involved with the law on these occasions. They just
considered them childish pranks. Even so, most of the law students were not
participating, but were enjoying the result.
B: Did you pay for your law schooling?
T: Only the six months that I went full-time. The rest of the time I was a state
employee and was able to take a course free, for which I was very grateful
because it would have been quite expensive to have to pay for law school, and
go to school full-time. I really could not have managed it. My husband and I
were on our own and he was going to school, too. We would have had to
borrow the money if I had gone to school full-time.
B: When you moved over to the law school library in 1956, what was your first
T: Assistant law librarian to Frank McCoy. He was made head librarian in 1956.
Mandy Glicksberg had been the librarian the year before. He assumed the
position when Mrs. Pridgen had retired, then Frank McCoy took over form Mandy
B: Did you get o know Mrs. Pridgen?
T: Oh, yes, I knew her well.
B: When you were at the university library?
T: Yes, and when I was a student over there because she was so active in Phi
Delta Delta. When I went to those meetings I knew her, and then of course I
knew her in the library. She knew that I was interested in the law library, and I
developed a friendship with her. She was a delightful person. You could not go
to the law school and not know Mrs. Pridgen.
B: Did she encourage you to go on with your studies?
T: Oh, yes. She thought it was great. She encourage all the women, and she
worked with the women and helped them with any problems. She made sure
that they had the books they needed and was very encouraging.
That had been her reputation all along even with the men who boarded at her
student boarding house. She would always talk about "my boys." Lawton
Chiles was one of her boys and she would speak of George Smathers when he
gave the graduation speech, he talked about Mrs. Pridgen. [Lawton M. Chiles,
class of 1952, U.S. Senator, Florida 1971-present] [George A. Smathers, class
of 1938, U.S. Senator, Florida 1951-1969] He was one of her boys.
B: Where was her boarding house?
T: It was across Thirteenth Street somewhere. I am not exactly sure where it was.
She had a house there, off Thirteenth Street, very near the campus.
B: Was that just for male students?
T: As far as I know, that is all she had in there. She was always talking about her
boys. She never talked about her girls, so I talking about her boys. She never
talked about her girls, so I imagine that it was mostly the men students. She
charged low rates which helped them get through school. I knew her daughter
much better because her daughter and her son-in-law lived behind us when my
husband and I moved into a house. We rented a little house on Northwest
Fourth Avenue and their house backed up to us. We knew Anne quite well, and
Mrs. Pridgen would go over and visit with her.
B: Did you study very much when you were in law school?
T: Oh, I studied all the time. I rarely went to class unprepared and in one class in
particular there were only about ten or twelve of us, and the professor would call
on all the fellows, and everybody knew that eventually the professor would get
back to me. I tried to be prepared for every class because I did not want to
embarrass myself, or the professor, because at the same time, I was working in
the library and was being invited to social functions with the faculty, and I was
meeting the faculty socially. I did not want them to think I was trading on my
association with them at the law school.
I did not want to disappoint any of them and I wanted to be a good student. I
had been an honor student in undergraduate school and had an honors record in
graduate school and was working towards that in law school, and I did not want
to be embarrassed. The only reason I would go to class unprepared was if a
child was sick, or I just simply could not get prepared. I always studied for class.
B: Did you find law school an intense experience?
T: I found it a very intense experience. It is hard for me to say whether it was
because of the combination of being conscientious in a full-time job, and working
with a husband and typing papers for him while he was in graduate school, and
trying to be supportive of children in combination with law school, or whether law
school would have been as intense if I had not had all these other responsibilities
that I had along with it, and trying to be conscientious in all of them.
B: Were you satisfied with your grades?
T: I had no complaint about the grades that I received. I have often wished that I
had made one more "B" or more "A". I ended up with a 2.94 and one additional
"A" or "B" would have made the difference in my graduating with a 3.0. I was
the first person not selected for order of the Coif in my class. The cut off point
was the person above me in the rank, and I would liked to have earned a 3.0, but
in retrospect, I look back and think, "Well, I did a lot of other things along with law
school, and it was a respectable graduating average."
B: You eventually were made an honorary member for your support as a faculty
B: What professors did you like you in the law school?
T: I enjoyed nearly all of my courses and all of the professors. One of the delightful
courses that I will always remember is a seminar which I took on comparative law
taught jointly by Bill Macdonald and Walter Weyrauch. [William D. Macdonald,
professor 1948-1984, University of Florida, College of Law] Walter was fairly
new at the time. He came in 1956, so I guess it must have been about 1961.
They team-taught the course, and Bill Macdonald with his Canadian background
and other international experience, and Walter with his German and European
experience really made it a very fascinating course.
They would give assignments that we had to read ahead of class, and then one
or the other would conduct the class and the other one would sit in the back and
either needle him or ask questions. It was one of the most fascinating courses
that I ever had. I had never had one with team teaching before. I really
enjoyed it because one would ask the other questions and bring out things that
were not in the literature that was assigned, or that you would not think of asking
as a student. They really made it very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I had Jack Freeland for three courses, and we teased each other very frequently
because I was already in law school when he arrived at law school in 1952.
[James Jackson Freeland, class of 1954, professor 1957-present, University of
Florida, College of Law] We went through law school and had a couple of
courses together as students. He graduated in 1954, and then he came back to
teach about 1956. I had three course from him, and we teased about my being
in law school before he began, and being students together, and then I was in his
classes. He was an excellent teacher.
The first time he taught state and gift tax, I was in his class. I would be working
and he would come into the library. On one occasion he told me that he spent
fifteen hours for every hour in class to teach that course. He was and
extraordinary teacher. He would read all this material and he would know it
backwards and forwards. He would come in and cite cases by name and
citations, and he would not even be looking at his material. He was the kind of
person who you had to be prepared for ahead of time and have your pencil
poised because he started talking when he got to the door, and talked right on
until the bell rang. He had a marvelous sense of humor and excellent command
of the tax are and was a good performer in class.
Danny Clark was just a delightful person with a southern drawl. [Vernon
Wilmont Clark, class of 1942, professor 1946-1977, University of Florida, College
of Law[ He was a sleeper in a way because it seemed that he was very easy
going in class, but then his exams were really rugged. He asked for so many
details on exams. You really had to know the material backwards and forwards
in order to survive. He was a total gentleman all the time. He taught criminal
law and then he would have some cases in criminal law that involved rape, or
involved women in some way. He was always very sensitive and would ask
questions that required women to recite extraordinary fact that might be
B: But he would not exclude that material form class?
T: Oh, no. We went consistently through the materials. He would call on people
in alphabetical order, so you always knew you were in the line up and when you
would had to recite. You would recite on the page that came in sequence. So if
it just happened to fall that a rape case or something similar fell to a woman, she
would be expected to deal with it, but maybe he would not drill so intensely ont
eh details as he might have with a man, and he tried to put things very delicately
so that it was not too embarrassing. He was a very fine person.
B: Are there any other professors that you had who are no long here?
T: Well, I had a class with Bob Mautz. [Robert B. Mautz, professor 1950-1967,
University of Florida College fo Law] We teased about that. He came as an
assistant dean, and he had not taught before so he sat through Henry Fenn's
contract class. He and I sat alongside of each other. I was taking classes as a
beginning student, and he was taking one as a beginning teacher. He went
through Contracts II after he had sat through the class lectures for a term
learning the details fo making a class presentation. So I say we started here
B: How was Dean Fenn as a professor?
T: He was very demanding and very exacting and required very high standards in
scholarship. He was an excellent teacher, but was very difficult, I thought.
B: Did you ever have Professor TeSelle? [Clarence John TeSelle, professor
1929-1959, University of Florida College of Law]
T: No. He was one of those that discriminated against women purposely. His
daughter went to law school and allegedly he gave her a "D" in Evidence. She
had an "A" average otherwise all the way through law school. He gave other
women "D," and "E's." I figured if he was going to give his own daughter a "D," I
sure was not going to subject myself to that. I did not want a "D" on my record,
so I never did take Evidence. I was able to avoid him when going part-time. I
never did take a class from him. His reputation followed him among the women,
and women really dreaded taking Evidence from him because there was just no
way a woman could make a good grade in that class.
B: Was he that tough with the men as well?
T: Oh, yes. At these alumni reunions the men talk as much about TeSelle as
anybody. He would sit in his wheelchair with his crackle voice and make
everybody stand up to recite. You could not just sit in a chair; you had to stand
up and recite. He did this on purpose to prepare students for the courtroom.
Everybody talked about him and just dreaded classes with him and tried to figure
out how to get around him or at least how to pass the course.
He is one of the professors that alumni all talk about the most when they return.
I have the feeling that he was very hard on them in law school, but they probably
learned Evidence like they might not have otherwise, because they were so
scared of him.
B: So he was in a wheelchair?
T: Yes, when I knew him in the early 1950s.
B: What about professor George John Miller? [George John Miller, professor
1948-1955. University of Florida, College of Law]
T: I had him for one class. It was an uneventful class and I did not have any
problems with him. I was not aware that he had any problems and I just
remember him as a colorful professor in the school. Not much else about him.
Dr. Day was a dream. [James Westbay Day, class of 1929, professor
1930-1961, University of Florida, College of Law] All the women like Dr. Day,
and he and Mrs. Day entertainment the women students a lot. He really enjoyed
the women students. He was a grand gentleman. When coffee time came he
would come up to the library and invite all the women who were there in the
reading room to coffee at the Piggy Park, which was located approximately
where McDonald's is presently, next to the Holiday Inn. We would walk there,
and he would sit and talk and entertain. Some women would decline so that
they would not get involved in coffee drinking for an extended period and not
have any study time.
He was such a delightful person. He and his wife and no children, so I think that
he was adopting the women students as a substitute for a family, and he felt very
close to a lot of the women students. Men could go along, too, but he tried to
round up the women students to go.
B: Were you in any of his classes?
T: Oh, yes. He was an excellent teacher, and very kind and considerate to
everybody. I do no know of anybody who did not like Dr. Day.
B: What class did you have him for?
T: He taught property.
B: Was Ila Pridgen involved at the library when you arrived?
T: She was the librarian in 1950 when I came to the campus. She retired in 1954.
When I transferred to the library. But she did go to some of the Phi Delta Delta
B: After he retirement?
B: Did you attend any of the social occasions between professors and students
while you were a student?
T: I frequently went to the JMBA (John Marshall Bar Association) brawls, the big
social events for the whole law school. I do not know that there were very many
other socials between the faculty and the students.
B: Did you ever go to any faculty members homes for social functions?
T: Oh, yes, but as a member of the College of Law staff, not as a student. We
used to have quite a few socials when the faculty was much smaller. I was
looking at The Shingle's that Robin Gibson (class of 1962) distributed to the class
of 1962, and I could not believe how few faculty there were back then. There
were about twenty. When we were that small a group, we did lot more
socializing. Hayford Enwall [Hayford Octavius Enwall, class of 1929, professor
1956-1976, 1980-1982, University of Florida, College of Law] nearly always had
a faculty party in the late spring or summer for all the faculty at his lake place, at
Cowpen Lake. We all drove there with our families and children. Everybody
would see the children growing up from one year to the next, and socialized, and
they were always occasions. Frank McCoy nearly always had a Chinese New
Year's party in early spring.
B: That was mainly for faculty?
T: Yes, and the students, of course, were always having their own parties. They
partied a lot, and the fraternities would party. JMBA would sponsor them.
B: Did the law fraternities have parties?
T: Oh, yes. That was the law student's social outlet really either JMBA, or the
fraternities. A few faculty members would go to those parties as members of a
fraternity. Homecoming was always a big social event around school. We
would have skits at the law school and it is only been just recently that the alumni
affair rather than the law school. It used to be that we would attract all of our
alumni to the law school.
B: What so you remember about integration of the law school?
T: Well, Virgil Hawkins was a topic of conversation, and he was denied admission in
that period. My husband worked with the registrar's office, and was partially
involved during some of the integration period, and so I was aware of the
admission problems and so forth.
B: Were the law students aware of what was going on?
T: Oh, yes, because the integration movement involved the graduate professional
schools first, and that was the area where the first attempt was made to
integrate. I remember the first black student who came to law school, George
Allen. [W. George Allen, class of 1962] I remember when he came in, and of
course, he was very obvious everywhere he went. We were all aware of his
presence, but he was a professional had having come out of the military, he was
polished. He was used to dealing with white people and working with them.
After the novelty wore off, we not watching every step he made, and he would fit
in with the group. We were not even aware of his being anything other than
another law student after the first term. He set an excellent example as the
person to be the first o come into law school. He was mature, very
self-confident, and not shy, or trying to attract attention. He was an excellent
person to pave the way for integration.
B: Were law student supportive of integration?
T: I would say no. I do not remember any big campaigns to go out and recruit
blacks to come to law school at that time. I would say that any of them who
came received support from other law students and were accepted. This was
just one of the things that happened. Law students had been accepting more
women all the time, and it was just a natural progression that the blacks would be
next. I do not think it created any big issues.
B: Do you remember any demonstrations or boycotts by law students or any places
in town that would not allow blacks in restaurants, or anything like that?
T: We had a faculty member who participated in some of the demonstrations. I
think it was an integration issue that he was involved with; we have had so many
issues that it is hard to remember. But I do not remember any law students
participating talking about it all the time, and knew people who were participating,
but I do not remember any organized campaigns in the law school.
B: Who was the faculty member that was involved?
T: He is no here any more. I am trying to think if it would be the integration issue,
or something else with which he was involved. Some of the other professors
that were more closely associated with him can give you the details.
B: Do you remember any demonstrations by law students opposed to the Vietnam
T: Well, of course, that was coming very close to home during the Vietnam War
because some of them were coming back from service, and others were
concerned about being called up, and there was an awful lot of sentiment against
the Vietnam War among the law students because it could closely involve them
personally. There may have been some involved in it, but I do not remember
any specifically. That professor must have been involved in the Vietnam
B: Were there ever any students speaking about the war here at the law school?
T: If they did, it was over on the plaza of the Americas to the general student body
as undergraduates. We never had any sessions that I remember, although
there may have been some people who were speaking out at the school. I do
not remember that we had any demonstrations at the law school.
B: Do you remember if any law students were ever harassed by other students on
the campus for being establishment?
T: I think that any of them that were, probably kept their mouths shut because that
is the way it was with Vietnam; the anti-Vietnam groups were very vocal and
other people were not really saying very much.
I have some difficulty with this time period because we had a major fire in 1962.
For a long time I could not remember details in the period right before because I
concentrated so hard on the fire. That was really a disaster, and a lot of those
details escape me from the period slightly earlier than 1962. This also was the
period when I was concentrating on law school, and children, and a job.
B: What were the circumstances of the fire?
T: Gene Shaw (class of 1963) was a student assistant and one evening the was
cleaning up the desk around ten o'clock to close the library at eleven.
Incidentally, he was later a state representative and attended the 1963 reunion.
He had to close the stacks as well, and the students usually tried to clean the
reserve desk first, which was in the corner of the room. He emptied all the ash
trays around the desk into a waste basket. Apparently, the ashes smoldered in
the waste basket. He cleaned the rest of the library and closed at about quarter
At about eleven thirty somebody was walking across the campus and saw flames
through the library door, and called the police and the fire department. They
went over to see about it. They called Dean Maloney at home, and his wife
called me and told me that the library was on fire. So my husband and I got our
two kids and put them in the back seat of our car and we drove to the law school.
The flames were shooting up all over the rooms in the front. I met Dean
Maloney and he and I went to see what was going on. We could see the flames
in the reading room, so we went around to close off the air conditioning unit. We
kept telling the fire fighter to turn off the air conditioner because the fan was
drawing the air through, and it was fanning the flames. They finally got the fire
out a couple hours later, and we went home.
The next morning we waded into the reading room and water was about a foot
deep all over the place. They had put hoses through all the windows and got all
the books wet. When they had broken the glass, there had been a surge of fire
that singed the books throughout the reading room. They would not have been
affected it they had not done that. Then, of course, they soaked everything.
So we really had a disaster. I had just become librarian September 1, 1962, and
this was September 22, 1962. The next day, all these people arrived and the
fire inspector wanted to know where the electrical appliances were and where we
kept the coffee pot. We did not have a coffee pot. So they finally decided
some shelves and the flames caught the paper on fire. It did not have enough of
a start to burn books. It was really something.
B: That was September 22, 1962?
T: Yes. 1962. So we spent the next six weeks tearing out title pages of books,
and cleaning up the mess. The physical plant personnel came over and took the
plaster off the walls. We aired out all the books, and used dehumidifiers to dry
them out. Faculty and students contributed books to put in the reserve desk and
we relocated it in the lower level of the stacks and changed the entrance to the
library, and then remodeled.
We were partially out of business in the library through December. Then we
moved back into the main law library that had been restored and remodeled.
The air conditioning was in place in January. After the fire, people volunteered
to help. I worked at night. I would go home and take a shower at lunch time,
go home and take a shower at five O'clock and then I would go back to work at
night. Students would come in between classes and ask what they could do to
help. It was really a great feeling to think that there so many people who would
volunteer to help. So it was really a great feeling to think that there were so
many people who would volunteer to help. So it was really quite a disaster, but
it impressed everybody and they were talking about it at the 1963 reunion.
B: Did we still have a law school newspaper when you arrived?
T: It has gone through a number of different editions. We started out with The
Shuffle, and then we had The Verdict, and now we have the Law Center News.
I have tried to save most of them, and tried to have them bound. I think we have
a fairly good collection of the different edition of the student newspaper.
B: Would you say the importance of the law library to the College of Law has
increased over the years that you have been here?
T: I do not think there is any doubt about it. It used to be that the law library really
was a place to study and to use Horn books that the students checked in and out
of reserve for two hours. The content of the collection really was not that
important. The Law Review had just started in the late 1940s, and the Law
Review at present plays a major role in research among the students.
The attitude of the dean is also critical. Dean Julin came from Michigan with a
background in faculty publications. The faculty at Michigan had different kinds of
organizations, and research was important. That made a big difference in the
law school. Dean Julin's background form Michigan, where there is a great deal
of emphasis on the equality of the library, made a great difference. He channeled
funds into the library when they became available. That made the libraries much
richer resource for the faculty and in combination with the requirement to publish,
and the increase in the number of students on the Law Review, all made a big
For a while the curriculum was arranged so that no student could go through law
school without having written a major piece. In many terms there could not be
a students in school who was not involved in writing and that required research in
the library of some kind. It really has made a big difference.
B: When was it that the faculty were required to publish?
T: I would say in the 1960s. Bill Mcdonald headed the Role and Scope study, and
this was one of the major areas in that study of the 1960s. We have all thought
that the work, effort, and energy which he put into that Role and Scope study
may have been part of the problem with his health because he was so deeply
involved. He spent so much time and effort and did a marvelous job.
B: You mentioned Horn books a minute ago. What were the Horn books?
T: Those are textbooks that accompany case books which give written material
explaining the principles of law in a given area. It is a treaties on a particular
topic. We have Horn books on torts, like Prosser on Torts. William Prosser
wrote a case book for students to study, and then a textbook that explains the
principles of law and the exceptions to accompany his case books. The
students read the text material, and read the case books to relate the two.
Those are the standard textbooks that we have on reserve for students on
B: Has a library had three permanent librarians? Priscilla Kennedy [Priscilla McCall
Kennedy, librarian 1921-1929, University of Florida, College of Law], Ila Pridgen,
T: Frank McCoy was considered a permanent librarian. Manny Glicksburg filled in
for a year until a permanent librarian was appointed.
B: When did Priscilla Kennedy start? Do you know the years?
T: I do not have any idea when she was appointed. I do not know whether it was in
any of the documents that I had or not.
B: The two history reports I got from you mentioned that she was the first, and it told
how long she served, and I wondered how early she arrived, or if there was a
librarian before her.
T: I am not aware of it. I probably could get the information for you if you would like
to have it to fill in the details for the history of the law school.
B: It may have been that the library was so small that they did not need a librarian.
T: Right. There was a very small collection when it started. There is a little short
clipping in the scrapbook was sent to the University Archives, and there is a pull
some this together for a display or something for the dedication in September.
B: Has the law library always been in the law school building?
T: It has always been with the law school, but the law school was begun in a
different building before it went into the building on the corner of Thirteenth Street
and University Avenue. It was temporarily in that building first, and the collection
B: Has the law library always been in the law school building?
T: It has always been with the law school, but the law school was begun in a
different building before it went into the building on the corner of Thirteenth Street
and University Avenue. It was temporarily in that building first, and the collection
B: Was that Thomas Hall?
B: Then the law school was moved and they called it the law building. Are the law
building and Bryan Hall the same thing?
T: This is my under standing, yes. But of course it has been added several times.
It did not look like that at first. The book collection has always belonged to the
law school. It was not part of the main library collection, which is the way most
law library collections began historically. They were first in university collections,
and then they were pulled out when the law school got big enough to demand
B: When did the library first move beyond just having printed materials? When did
you move into audio-visual?
T: In the mid-1950s we were buying microcards and adding them to the collection.
That was still printed material, but it was in a different format with which you had
to use with a reader. It was after I took over in 1962 and later several people
wanted some recordings. I think the first thing we bought was a collection of
recordings in the trial practice area, but somehow or other they disappeared. I
do not know what happened to them. We checked them out, or they were taken
when a faculty member, who ordered them left, I suppose.
After that, we borrowed a couple of small movie films that several faculty
members wanted. When we came over to this building in 1969, I think we had
one movie projector, and maybe two or three films, but those recordings were
missing. I think that is probably about he extent of our audio-visual when we
moved in here.
We stayed that way for two years, and then Dick Julin came along and asked
why we did not have any audio-visual materials. I said it was because we did
not have the demand, and said, "Well, let's create the demand then." So that is
when we started our audio-visual materials and began using video equipment.
B: Is that when you became interested?
T: Oh, I was very interested in audio-visual materials all along. My graduate work
was half-devoted to audio-visual courses. I had all the audio-visual courses they
taught in library science, and was very much interested in it and thought that
using audio-visual material was an excellent way to make education interesting.
But our budgets were always so limited for the library that by the time we finished
buying any demands for audio-visual materials. They did not see any need to
have any films for their teaching purposes. So the lack of money and the lack of
demand just prevented us from doing anything with audio-visual materials.
Our budget was $75,000 a year when Dean Julin came. When he was
interviewed and offered the position as Dean, the administration increased the
budget by $50,000, which was just overwhelming. That was a tremendous
increase. We had never been allocated that much increased before. When you
have increases of that size you can afford to do a few extra things that you would
not have ordinarily. That was just the beginning. So when he arrived, we
actually had some good budget years. This gave the library the flexibility to do
other things after everything else was purchased.
B: Up until then and when you first became law librarian, did you have a close
personal relationship with the students? Would they come to you and ask for
T: Oh, yes. I was assistant librarian between 1956 and 1962, and I was on the
front desk. I supervised the students at the desk, and then was involved with
them, helping them with JMBA activities at the law school. They would leave
tickets with me. The public telephone was by the library desk and wives would
call and ask me to tell so and so to bring home a loaf of bread, or a child was sick
and to pick up the child at school. I was very much involved with the students at
the time and really enjoyed my relationship with them.
After I took over as librarian my duties became more administrative, and I have
been traveling to professional meetings, and have been publishing, and giving
speeches. Gradually I have removed myself from the public desk, and gradually
I have lost contact with them. While we were still in the old building up until
1969, I was closely involved with the students dropping in and out. Not having
taught courses for those years except Legal Bibliography, I gradually lost contact
with the students, which I regret.
That is one reason why I have enjoyed my seminar the last couple of years. At
least, I am working with a small handful of students that I am getting to know. It
is not as close of an association as I had in the old building, where we were a
much closer-knit group, but I do have some kind of contact.
B: What teaching have you done?
T: Legal Bibliography, how to use the library, how to write bibliographies, and ho to
B: When did you do that?
T: Actually I have done it most of the time that I have been associated with the law
school. When I started in 1956, I started teaching Law Review students. After I
became librarian and finished law school, I taught a little of the Bibliography
course, teaching the freshmen how to use the law library. This continued
through the early-1970s, and then we started getting more students. When we
reached 1,000 students, the classes were getting so big that it was very difficult
for me to teach 200, and do the other administrative things. So gradually that
duty was assigned to some of my staff. Later, it was taken over full-time by a
separate program with the research and writing personnel.
B: Are you satisfied on the growth and the improvements in the library since you
have been here?
T: I think it has been very exciting. I have seen it over a long period of time, and
the golden years of the 1970s were when the money has not been quite as
plentiful, we have been able to at least keep abreast of most of the things that we
wanted to do. We have had to cut back a little bit here and there, but this year
been as improvement over the last year. We are hoping that next year will be
an improvement over the last year. We are hoping that next year will be an
I think over the period of the last thirty-five years, we have seen cut backs and
extremely limited budgets, and at other times we have seen very gracious and
plentiful budgets! They tend to balance out over long periods of time. I think
the library has really grown in stature since I have been involved with it. When I
first took over, we ranked about fiftieth in the country in size, and we are now in
the top twenty. We have a reputation for leadership in some of the innovative
kinds of things and the future direction of libraries deans and adequate budgets.
B: You served as acting-dean in the spring of 1981?
B: Was that during the search that led to the hiring of Dean Read?
T: Well, it was during that period, but Roy Hunt was interim-dean. Roy indicated
that when he took over the interim position, that he had already made
arrangements to go on a safari to Africa, and wanted to be assured that if he took
over this interim position that he could still go on that trip. We had assumed that
the first search for a dean would result in a candidate being selected and
appointed. It was assumed that the search would not be a problem, and that
Roy could have a sabbatical between February and March.
When the first dean search did not produce a candidate, we had to start over
again. We were in the process of going through the second selection
procedures, and the point came where Roy was supposed to have his sabbatical.
So he cleared with the University administration for me to serve in that position
during the time that he was gone.
B: What was that like?
T: I do not anticipate that it would be much different from what I had already been
doing. I had been working with Dean Julin all along; I felt like I was part of the
administrative team. I was involved in some of the major decisions that were
being made about the law school and how to spend the budget. I had been
working with him on the expenses and the student assistant budget. I had also
been working the staff on all kinds of things. I knew administrators on the
campus, the physical plant, personnel, and others.
I moved over to the Dean's office estimating that I would be easier to find there.
I found that the administration of the law school is very different from
administrating the library. I really did enjoy it, though. It was a lot of
responsibility. There was a large amount of paperwork, similar to the paperwork
i am doing in the library, but quite different in that it involved a lot more personnel
and problems of payroll and appointments. We were in the process of
appointing faculty for the next academic year. We had all those details to take
care of after the appointment committee approved a person. I was responsible
for calling and talking with the candidate, offering a position, negotiating the
salary, when he or she would come, and what the responsibilities and when he or
she would come, and what the responsibilities and arrangements would be. It
was quite different.
There are a lot of obligations that a dean has to fulfill on the campus, and many
invitations came in for functions that I was expected to attend as a representative
of law school. I met the new chancellor, and I went to the deans meetings, and
administrative meetings. It was really very interesting, but it occupied my full
attention from eight o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night, and in the
evenings for social events because there was no associate dean before he
became the interim-dean. So he did not have an associate while he was
interim-dean. I was filling those two positions, plus my own as Director of the
It was a very strenuous period of time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been
considered a nominee for a position as dean elsewhere since then because of
my experience. I value the experience and probably would consider a position,
but I am glad that I am not in it. We had a wonderful staff who had been working
for Dean Julin a long time, and it was the staff really that helped carry the load.
Marge Maxfield, Val Redensky, Willie Nazareth were really very helpful.
B: Do you have any free time at all?
T: Well, it depends on what you call free time. I guess when I am not bust
administering the library, or traveling, or publishing. I am spending time trying to
improve my background in computers, reading, or working. I look forward to
some free time to figure out how to work Orchestra 90 on my TRS Model Four. I
will be picking up another Model Four this week for my office. When I get
through with it, you can listen to the music.
B: Can you place an amount on the grant money you have received while you have
been with the university?
T: The grant money that came in under the NEH grant was $45,000. We had to
match it, and that total was about $80,000, which we had for completing the
bibliography that we just received today. Four bound volumes just came in. I
have had a couple of other little ones since, but no more than $100,000 total.
B: I would get into all of your committee assignments and publications, but there are
T: I guess we have not talked about computers. I must say I received a lot of
mileage out of the article in the Law Center News. People are telling me, or
calling me, or writing me about it. The associate Librarian of Congress wrote me
a letter commenting on it, and said how great it was to know me. I was very
B: How has student attire changed since you arrived?
T: The students in school then were almost dressed formally. Of course, it was so
warm that they did not really wear coats, but in the winter time they dressed with
shirts and ties, and most of them would wear a sports coat, or a coat of some
Then the era of the 1960s filtered through the law school. We were hoping that
it would not affect the professional schools, but it did, and we went from
professional looking attire to the worst possible that students could bring with
them from undergraduate school to law school. I can remember when an
assistant in the early 1970s asked me if she could wear a pants suit to work. I
said, "Well, I am really not in a position to dictate what you can and cannot wear,
but I certainly would prefer that you wore a skirt." It was quite a while before she
wore a plants suit, and I laugh about this, and so has she since.
We all gradually began wearing pants suits, and now of course women are
wearing skirts again. You do not see very many professional women wearing
pants. But on the other hand, the students were then coming in barefooted, and
wearing cut-off jeans, and sleeveless shirts. Somehow or other, the impact of
society does seem to have an effect because students who had looked
woe-be-gone for three years in law school, all of the sudden would appear in a
suit and we all knew that it was interview day. We think there is still hope for law
students when they will dress up for an interview, and when they recognize that
as they go out in that cold, cruel world that they are going to have to wear suits.
We do not give up on them entirely.
In the last couple of years the trend is away from the sloppy dress, and the hippy
look. I think that it is very pleasant now to see the students dressing better just
to come to school, and improving their appearance.
B: What did women wear when you first arrived as a student?
T: Dresses and suits, skirts and sweaters, blouses and sweaters. They were not
dressed formally in business suits, however. The college look of the period was
saddle shoes and sweaters and skirts.
B: Was that the same at Tallahassee?
T: Oh, yes. We could never wear pants to school. People would disguise what
they had on by wearing raincoats. We often slipped across the campus in
shorts with a raincoat over the top so we would not be out of dress.
B: What about the problem with women's restrooms in the law school?
T: Oh, this has been a major issue here, and I think this is a part of the equal rights
movement as much as anything. The women assure me that it is a major
problem. When we first moved in here our female enrollment was about two per
cent, and the architect built the restrooms in accordance with the standard
requirements for a public building. They were certainly adequate for the women
who were here at the time, and for a number of years since.
But it is really become an issue in the law school among the women. I try to
avoid the restrooms during the break period so that I do not add to the problem of
congestion when women students really need to use the restroom. On the other
hand I do not see any great lines up at any of the restrooms even at the peak
period. I am not totally convinced that it is the issue that the women alleged that
it is, or that women are having health problems because there are not adequate
restrooms for them to use at break periods. Yet, Mary Twitchell assures me that
there is a problem with congest in the restrooms at break period.
We are hoping that with the new building opening there will be two more
women's restrooms, which will give them better access. The major problem is
that the large restroom available for the men is on the concourse of this building
where a good many classrooms empty out, and that there is no woman's facility
on the second floor concourse. So the women have to go looking for a restroom
somewhere else, and I think they are annoyed that there is not a facility available
for them in the area of the men's restroom. I think that this is the issue, and that
it is a discrimination issue and not a supply and demand issue.
B: How was it when you were in Bryan Hall? Were the facilities adequate for the
T: Oh, yes. The men were coming in and out of the restroom all the time and there
was very little use of the women's restrooms. There was a woman's restrooms
alongside of the men's restroom in the building. I think we only had two of each.
There may have been more. So it was not an issue over there.
Men do not take the same amount of time women do in the restroom, so
therefore a male facility accommodates a greater number of men. There were
fewer women at Bryan Hall, and those women had the same number of facilities
as the men, but these facilities accommodated a smaller number or women.
Except for one restroom, there are the same number of facilities for men and
women in this building.
B: Well, I guess I can close on that subject. Do you have anything else you would
like to add.
B: Thank you for sharing time.