In today’s world, it isn’t strange for a woman to achieve a PhD. However, Miriam Moore earned her PhD in 1960, a time when most women were just getting started on their lower degrees.
Moore, now 83 years old, began teaching 7th grade after earning her first bachelor of science. Her career spanned 50-plus years culminating with the position of Dean of the School of Economics at Greeneville’s East Carolina University.
It took hard work and determination before she got her hands on that very special parchment, which designated the highest level of education at that time.
There was one obstacle, however. She had to prove to her father that she could do it.
Her father believed that higher education was the stuff that boys did. Her place was to tend the home fires and care for children.
Little did he know that his daughter would do all of these.
Therefore, Moore had to take things into her own hands.
She wrote directly to the President of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and asked for a scholarship.
He answered that she could probably get a work scholarship, and Moore began working in the school’s kitchen, where she earned $0.12 per hour. Since the only courses offered to her were Agriculture and were Home Economics, she chose Home Economics.
The work was hard, often arduous. She not only worked in the kitchen, she picked cotton, hoed grass, mopped the floors, cooked and did garden work. Moore was never afraid of hard work, so she made a name for herself.
She transferred to the University of Georgia and finished there with degree, also.
But she didn’t keep her head in the books, so to speak. She was a member of the 4-H Club, the Wesley Foundation and the Agricultural Council. She completed her work at ABAC early.
After teaching and attending colleges for several more years, Moore earned a master’s degree.
She also met the man who would become her second husband.
Bill Moore also got his master’s degree, and the two set out for Martha Berry College. During these years, Moore received her PhD in Home Economics.
The year was 1960, a time in which the Feminists movement was sweeping the country. Females were encouraged to earn advanced degrees, but Moore was ahead of her time.
Another achievement was yet on her horizon. She and her husband left Berry College and headed for East Carolina University, where Moore became Dean of the School of Home Economics.
The couple stayed at East Carolina University for 20 years. Recently, a scholarship was created in honor of Moore.
Hard work and determination to succeed have kept Moore going. She shares her life with her husband, Bill, at Magnolia Manor in Richmond Hill.