February 28, 2020

Goucher College receives Suffrage Marker on National Votes for Women Trail

In recognition of Goucher College's students and faculty who were active in the struggle for women's suffrage, the college unveiled a commemorative roadside marker on campus.

In recognition of Goucher College’s students and faculty who were active in the struggle for women’s suffrage, the college unveiled a commemorative roadside marker on its campus on February 28, 2020. This marker, which officially places the college on the National Votes for Women Trail, was awarded to the college by the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites in partnership with the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center.

“Originally chartered as a woman’s college, Goucher has a long tradition of advocating for women’s rights and equality, so it is fitting that the college’s faculty and students were leaders in the women’s suffrage movement,” said Kent Devereaux, Goucher College President. “To this day, social justice remains a pillar of Goucher’s principles, and we are proud to commemorate the lasting impact these faculty and students made in the hard-won fight for a woman’s right to vote.” 

The marker reads: “Goucher College faculty & students campaigned for women’s suffrage, hosted suffrage speakers & marched in Washington, DC 1913. Students picketed White House 1917.” 

Beginning with their participation in the famous 1906 National American Woman’s Suffrage Association convention held at the Lyric Theater, Goucher students and faculty worked hard for the cause of women’s suffrage. They marched in suffrage parades, brought suffrage speakers to campus, and spoke at suffrage meetings. In early February 1917, thirty Goucher students joined the College Day picket of the White House organized by the National Woman’s Party.

The Goucher delegation of students at that picket was the largest single college group to stand in protest in front of the White House. While the college administration was less supportive of this protest during wartime, following the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution in August 1920, President William M. Guth granted students a day off from classes on November 2, 1920, to exercise their newly won right to vote. 

“The award of the suffrage marker, one of only 250 markers placed on the Trail throughout the country, represents a major honor for Goucher College and its distinguished history. This is one of 15 markers that will be included throughout the state,” said Diana Bailey, executive director of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center. “Shining a spotlight on the unrelenting dedication of Maryland suffragists is an important and relevant piece of our state’s history, especially during the centennial of the 19th  amendment.” 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

The February 28 ceremony featured speakers to commemorate the marker dedication as part of the program, “Two Perspectives on the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Baltimore: Goucher College Faculty and Students, and African American Women.” Presentations were given by Dr. Jean H. Baker, professor emerita, Goucher College; Dr. Ida Jones, archivist, Morgan State University; Hannah Spiegelman ’15, Goucher College; and David Hernandez ’18, Goucher College.