1950-1959

Stanley Pliska Conducts a Television Class

 Dr. Stanley Pliska, head of the Social Studies Division at the Norfolk Division, conducts a television class, 1958. Source: ODU Photographic Collection, RG 32, Special Collections and University Archives.

October 1950: As a result of an agreement with the University of Virginia to offer an extension program at the Norfolk Division, G.W.C. Brown, business manager for the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (now Norfolk State University), becomes the first known African American to take classes on the Norfolk Division campus. 

Find out more about G.W.C. Brown's time on campus from Stanley Pliska's Oral History interview.

1951-1963: To comply with the state laws of segregation, William & Mary implements a policy to deny admission to all African American undergraduates at its Williamsburg and division campuses. For graduate students under the policy, if a course was not taught at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College, then the applicant could be admitted to the Norfolk Division of William & Mary with the approval of the William & Mary Board of Visitors

April 1952: the Norfolk Division offers its first noncredit television class, Science Is Simple, through its Technical Institute and several science departments

Letter from Paul H. Farrier to Lewis W. Webb, Jr.

Letter from Paul H. Farrier, Director of Admissions at V.P.I., to Lewis Webb, Jr., Director of the Norfolk Division of William & Mary, 1954. Source: Office of the President. Lewis W. Webb, Jr. Records, RG 2-1A1 Special Collections and University Archives.

1953: The Norfolk Division of William & Mary administers courses in English, Public Speaking, Shorthand, Transportation and Traffic Management, Business Procedures, Accounting, and Psychology for 15 African American employees at the Naval Supply Center in Norfolk

1954: Charles Frazier from Norfolk, Virginia becomes the first known African American to receive credit for a course at the Norfolk Division

March 1954: Irving Peddrew from Hampton, Virginia becomes the first known African American to be admitted to the Norfolk Division, enrolling in a mathematics course during the summer session

List of Foreign Students

List of Foreign Students at Norfolk Division of William & Mary. Source: Office of the President. Lewis W. Webb, Jr. Records, RG 2-1A1 Special Collections and University Archives.

May 1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark case that declares segregation of public schools to be illegal, is passed

Fall 1954: During the first semester of the 1954-1955 academic year, there are 10 international students enrolled at the Norfolk Division from countries such as Burma, Jordan, Korea, Portugal, Hawaii, France, Lebanon, Poland, and the Netherlands

Dr. Stephen Shao

Dr. Shephen P. Shao, Business Professor. Source: ODU Photographic Collection, RG 32, Special Collections and University Archives.

1956: Stephen P. Shao, a graduate of National Hunan University in China and appointed to the Accounting Department, becomes the first known Asian professor at the Norfolk Division of William & Mary

First Four Year Graduates

The Norfolk Division class of 1956. Source: ODU Photographic Collection, RG 32, Special Collections and University Archives.

June 1956: The Norfolk Division graduates its first four-year class, including Jean Leggett Holloman, the first woman to obtain a bachelor's degree