In Memoriam: Mary T. Christian, 1924-2019

Mary T. Christian, professor emerita at Hampton University, died on November 11. She was 95 years old.

Dr. Christian was a native of Hampton, Virginia, and graduated from Phenix High School on the campus of Hampton Institute, now Hampton University. While raising a family she worked in the university’s laundry.

Dr. Christian earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Hampton University. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in speech and drama at Columbia Univerity in New York and a Ph.D. n elementary education at Michigan State University.

Dr. Christian’s teaching career began as an elementary school teacher at Aberdeen Elementary School in Hampton. Later at Hampton University, she served as chair of the department of elementary education and later dean of the School of Education. While on the Hampton faculty, Dr. Christian served for nine consecutive terms as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. She also served as director of special education programs for the State Department of Education and was a member of the board of trustees at Cornell University.

At a celebration of life held on the Hampton campus, university president William R. Harvey stated that Dr. Christian “was the type of person and professional that we should all strive to be. She demonstrated the values of decency, dignity, integrity, responsibility, unity, and civility.”

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