- December 20, 1982
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Biographical / Historical
Virginia Walcott Beauchamp (1920-) was born in Sparta, Michigan ni the year 1920. She grew up in Ann Arbor before earning a degree in English at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 1942. She continued her education there and obtained a master's degree in 1948. After World War II, Beauchamp worked for the International Red Cross in the Philippines and northern occupied Japan. Because of the nature of her work she was able to develop friendships with Japanese prisoners and relief workers. After her time with the Red Cross, Beauchamp moved to Nigeria with her family where she worked as an editor for the International Women's Society's newsletter for the Association of Nigerian Women's Societies. She also assisted with the foundation of the American International School there. In 1955 she received a PhD from the University of Chicago and in 1956, she began her teaching career at the University of Maryland. There she sought to change the way literature was viewed. She argued for the importance of women in literature and stretched the boundaries for what defined literature. She spearheaded a campagin for a women's studies program and was made the first coordinator in 1973. She served as a chair on the University of Maryland President's Commission on Women's Affairs from 1974 until 1990. She served as an editor, editorial writer, reporter, and member of the Board of Directors for the Greenbelt News Review. In 2003, Beauchamp was inducted into the Maryland's Women Hall of Fame for her efforts in gender equality.