Wednesday, August 6, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 6

August 6, 1880 The University of Minnesota Board of Regents held a called meeting at the governor’s room at the capitol this morning, electing Professor Maria L. Sanford of Philadelphia, Penn., assistant professor of English to teach rhetoric and elocution.1

Professor Maria L. Sanford
Sanford was the first female professor at the University of Minnesota. A legend to her students and an ambassador of learning to the entire state, she gave thousands of public lectures on history, art and travel.2

Built in 1910 and named for Maria Sanford, Sanford Hall was the first women's dormitory at the University of Minnesota, c. 1915.6 The building is still in use; however, today it is a coed dorm housing 502 residents.

In 1958, the state of Minnesota donated a bronze statue of Sanford to the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection.3 Beneath her statue on the U.S. Capitol grounds are the words “the best-known and best-loved woman in Minnesota.”2

Bronze statue of Sanford to the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection4

1The Saint Paul Daily Globe; “The State University. Meeting of the Regents Yesterday—Filling Vacancies in the Faculty”; Aug. 7, 1880; p. 4.






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