Professor Emerita B.J. Seymour
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B.J. Seymour Dedication
Randolph-Macon College celebrated the life of R-MC Professor Emerita Betty Jean
“B.J.” Seymour on October 22, 2010 with a dedication to a new seating area on campus.
The dedication took place along the Janet Harvey Trivette ’78 Alumni Walkway and
honored the late Seymour’s trailblazing spirit and her vital role in the R-MC community.
Seymour, who passed away in June 2010, joined the faculty in 1971 as the first full-time
female faculty member. She was also the first woman to attain tenure, chair a department
and be granted the rank of full professor. She taught religious studies, and from
1971-73 she served as the assistant dean of students, working primarily with the
first female students admitted to the college.
R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren welcomed guests to the dedication. “What a privilege
it is for me to participate in this ceremony memorializing one of Randolph-Macon’s
most respected and beloved professors, B. J. Seymour,” he said. “Inspirational teacher,
mentor and friend to legions of students, faculty and staff, and role model for
how to live a life with dignity, purpose and profound spirituality, B. J. personified
the very best attributes of this fine college.”
In 2004, R-MC established the annual
B.J. Seymour Alumna Award, which honors alumnae who have consistently worked
on behalf of issues important to women and/or girls, and who demonstrate vitality,
integrity and leadership. The award carries an honorarium.
Seymour played a vital role in the campus community. From 1975-77, she was the acting
chair of the Department of Religious Studies,
and served as chair of that department from 1977 until her retirement in 2003. She
was a member of numerous search committees; a member of the Committee on the Faculty;
a member of the Athletic Council; an academic advisor and a member of the Women’s
Studies Council. In 2009, Seymour was awarded an honorary degree from Randolph-Macon.