|Mary Settle Sharpe|
During the early years of State Normal, the faculty was not always specialized and Mary taught a variety of classes across several departments. Her positions included Director of Physical Training, Instructor of History, and Head of the Department of Expression. Mary’s efforts were especially appreciated in the area of campus productions. As chairman of the faculty committee on entertainments, she was in charge of student plays and the school’s May Day festivals. Especially elaborate were the May Day celebrations held in the years 1912 and 1916, which involved the participation of State Normal students and faculty, as well as the younger children who attended the practice school on campus. These particular pageants included parades down College Avenue, a variety of plays presented on the school grounds, and the crowning of the May Queen.
|Elizabethan Court, 1916|
|Judge Thomas Settle, Jr.|
Mary’s candidacy had wide and enthusiastic support from her former colleagues and students at North Carolina College for Women,* who attended many of her talks. She traveled the state attending local political events and encouraging the women of North Carolina to “help purify the ballot box” and urged women to exercise their new right to vote. Hailed as an “eloquent and captivating” speaker, Mary campaigned for the improvement of education and the importance of citizenship. Although she lost the election, she remained very involved in state politics, chairing the state organization of women.
|Mary Settle Sharpe Event|
* State Normal had changed its name to North Carolina College for Women in 1919.