Richmond, Va. March 25, 1919. Prof. William Thornton, University, Va. My dear Mr. Thornton: I have been constantly on the go, or I should have acknowledged sooner the receipt of your pamphlet on the life and work of Professor Kent, which you were kind enough to send me recently. I very much appreciate your thought of me, and I am enjoying the pamphlet, as I always do what comes from your pen, and especially so in this instance as I knew and admired Dr. Kent through so many years of early educational revival in Virginia.
While I am writing, may I say a word to you with reference to our mutual interest as to the women and the University? I had a somewhat lengthy conference with Dr. Alderman of his seeking, some weeks since when the Governor called together the various Boards of the State Institutions. Dr. Alderman seemed to agree with me that owing to the opposition from the group of alumni opposed that the proposition of a Co-Ordinate College had little chance for success at the hands of the next Legislature, as the argument of a tremendous cost and its opposition to the common school had taken such hold on the minds of these men that they were almost prepared to pass a co-educational bill. Since this seems true, and the idea of co-education in Virginia would mean so radical a change, my own judgment is that we should endeavor to get the Board of Visitors to see that the wise thing to do is for them, together with the friends of the Co-Ordinate College, to push, at the next Legislature, a proposition for the openong of the graduate and professional schools to women. This would mean a small number of mature women at the University. When they are assimilated, and that branch of the work successfully inaugurated we would know better how to proceed with wisdom and justice to all concerned. If the Board of Visitors can be brought to this point of view, it would be my desire and preference, but if not, then the more radical plan must be pushed.
You remember during your little stay here that I spoke to you of having gone on the Board of Sweet Briar. I rather thought at the time that you felt I had in some way lost interest in our scheme. In order that you may be quite sure, just what my mind and purpose is with reference to this matter, I am herewith enclosing you the correspondence which preceded my acceptance of that position, which has been on my desk for some weeks as you see, but I have been unable to get a stenographer to attend to this work for me.
I have had some conference with our friend, Mr. Walton Moore, and his mind, I understand, is in agreement with mine as to the graduate and professional plan. Again thanking you for remembering me, and with all good wishes, I am Faithfully yours, [blank] BBM-EEM