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Collection Title: Felder (Virginia Isabelle) Papers

Collection Number: M197

Dates: 1931-1983

Volume: .45 cu. ft. (1 box)

Provenance: Donated by Miss Virginia Isabelle Felder, July 1983.

Copyright: These papers may be protected from unauthorized copying by the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Virginia Isabelle Felder was born November 8, 1905, the first of seven children born to Vernon Young Felder and Mamye Barksdale Felder. She was raised near Magnolia, Mississippi and attended the public schools there. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the Mississippi State College for Women. In 1926 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in mathematics and minoring in physics. After teaching mathematics for one year at the Quitman, Mississippi, high school, she enrolled at Tulane University to pursue a Master of Science degree. Due to financial constraints, she joined the faculty of the newly opened Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in the fall of 1928. For the next fourteen years she taught mathematics there and coached the debate team. In addition, she finished the work for her masters degree which was awarded by Tulane University in 1931.

Between June 1942 and August 1948 Miss Felder held a variety of teaching positions with the armed services and junior colleges in both Mississippi and Texas. Then in September 1948 she accepted a position with Mississippi Southern College as an assistant professor of mathematics. The following year she became the first Panhellenic advisor for sororities and the assistant dean of women. In 1953 she received a two-year leave of absence to teach for the United States Armed Forces Institute in Japan. Upon returning to Mississippi Southern College in March 1955 she resumed full-time teaching of mathematics, her first love. In 1958 she was promoted to the rank of associate professor. Then, following the receipt of her doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1959, she was promoted to a full professorship in 1960. She continued to serve as a professor of mathematics until her retirement in June 1972.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Felder has been an active member of numerous professional associations. She has written more than a dozen articles and book reviews for professional journals and has edited two state publications. In 1978 she was the recipient of both an award for Excellence in Achievement by the Mississippi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and a Certificate of Commendation from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In 1983 the Hattiesburg Exchange Club honored her as their "Woman of the Year".

Scope and Content:

This collection included Dr. Felder's doctoral dissertation (education); masters thesis (mathematics); several term papers on the subjects of religion, mathematics and agriculture; and copies of book reviews and journal articles which she authored. The reviews and articles are concerned primarily with newly published textbooks and the teaching of mathematics. They appeared in such publications as The Mathematics Teacher, The Arithmetic Teacher and Mississippi Educational Advance. In addition, the collection included several articles pertaining to college sororities and the Mississippi Southern College Panhellenic House.


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Revised: December 13, 2004