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Virginia Isabelle Felder Papers

Identifier: M197

Scope and Contents

The Virginia Isabelle Papers are an intriguing group of materials that document the life and career of one of The University of Southern Mississippi’s faculty members. This collection included Dr. Felder's doctoral dissertation (education); master’s thesis in mathematics; several term papers on the subjects of religion, mathematics, and agriculture; and copies of book reviews and journal articles which she authored. The reviews and articles are concerned primarily with newly published textbooks and the teaching of mathematics. They appeared in such publications as The Mathematics Teacher, The Arithmetic Teacher, and Mississippi Educational Advance. In addition, the collection included several articles pertaining to college sororities, predominately the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society, and the Mississippi Southern College Panhellenic House. The collection is divided into five series and an oversized folder which are as follows:

Series I: Biography

Series II: Education

Subseries I: DKG; Subseries II: Mathematics; Subseries III: Educational; Subseries IV: Personal Education; Subseries V: Japan

Series III: Church

Series IV: Genealogy

Series V: Miscellaneous

Additionally, there are correspondences throughout the collection.


  • Creation: 1922-1986; Undated

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Virginia Isabelle Felder was born November 8, 1905, the first of seven children born to Vernon Young Felder and Mamye Barksdale Felder. She was raised near Magnolia, Mississippi and attended the public schools there. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the Mississippi State College for Women. In 1926 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in mathematics and minoring in physics. After teaching mathematics for one year at the Quitman, Mississippi, high school, she enrolled at Tulane University to pursue a Master of Science degree. Due to financial constraints, she joined the faculty of the newly opened Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in the fall of 1928. For the next fourteen years she taught mathematics there and coached the debate team. In addition, she finished the work for her master’s degree which was awarded by Tulane University in 1931.

Between June 1942 and August 1948 Miss Felder held a variety of teaching positions with the armed services and junior colleges in both Mississippi and Texas. Then in September 1948 she accepted a position with Mississippi Southern College as an assistant professor of mathematics. The following year she became the first Panhellenic advisor for sororities and the assistant dean of women. In 1953 she received a two-year leave of absence to teach for the United States Armed Forces Institute in Japan. Upon returning to Mississippi Southern College in March 1955 she resumed full-time teaching of mathematics, her first love. In 1958 she was promoted to the rank of associate professor. Then, following the receipt of her doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1959, she was promoted to a full professorship in 1960. She continued to serve as a professor of mathematics until her retirement in June 1972.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Felder has been an active member of numerous professional associations. She has written more than a dozen articles and book reviews for professional journals and has edited two state publications. In 1978 she was the recipient of both an award for Excellence in Achievement by the Mississippi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and a Certificate of Commendation from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In 1983 the Hattiesburg Exchange Club honored her as their "Woman of the Year."

On March 26, 1992, Dr. Virginia Felder passed away in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at Convarest Nursing Home. Steve Doblin, Dean, College of Science and Technology, from The University of Southern Mississippi stated that “she made a positive difference in the lives of many people, something few can claim. I consider myself fortunate to have known her. She was a very special person.”


2.50 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains information concerning the personal and professional life of Virginia Isabelle Felder. Items range from her personal life and teaching career to she and her family’s involvement in the Methodist church to genealogical records.


The collection is arranged in five series: Biography, Education, Church, Genealogy, and Miscellaneous. Series II, Education, is the only series that has five subseries. The collection contains a variety of records ranging from book reviews to speeches to family genealogical and church records. An oversized folder contains diplomas and certificates.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Miss Virginia Isabelle Felder, July 1983; donated by the President’s Office, Dr. Aubrey Lucas, February 1988, March 1988, and August 2010.

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Methodist History Materials

Virginia Isabelle Felder Papers
Revised by Shawna Guidry
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001