Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Philo A. Hutcheson - Chair

Second Advisor

Sheryl Gowen

Third Advisor

Wayne J. Urban

Fourth Advisor

Deron Boyles


This dissertation examines Tift College, formerly in Forsyth, Georgia, and the problems Tift faced as Georgia Baptist's women's college. Many of these difficulties were a result of the beliefs of Georgia Baptists on educating women and the fact that Georgia Baptists placed a greater value on education for males. This work also examines the role of feminism in a southern women's college. To complete this task, the dissertation examines the beliefs and attitudes of Georgia Baptists about education in general, and educating women in specific and how funding played a part in their education. The dissertation addresses Tift's struggle to remain a separate school for women and examines ideas of womanhood at Tift as determined by the curriculum imposed on the women, as well as documenting what Tift students felt about womanhood based on their statements in class papers, journal and newspaper articles, and various other archival sources. These data show how attitudes and beliefs changed over the years, and while a strong feminist spirit may not have been achieved, the changes that were evident affected the purposes of the college. As the student body became more diversified, students were no longer content to become genteel, southern ladies or "polished cornerstones." Going against traditional roles, many students argued for a curriculum that would allow them to compete with men in the job market.