Annual Report of the Westhampton College Director of Religious Activities

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Annual Report of the Westhampton College Director of Religious Activities


This is the Annual Report of Religious Activities for Westhampton College of the University of Richmond for the 1970-1971 academic year that was submitted by Jean Mahaffey, the Director of Religious Activities. She began the report by explaining how religious activities for that year lent themselves to social consciousness and exploration of self and their communities. The University Interfaith Council, whose mission was to provide ministry through a symposium, community action, encounter, and study groups, was "very poorly attended," had weak leadership, and even canceled their conference for that year. The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) financially and personally sponsored Irene Ebhomielen, a freshman student from Ibadan, Nigeria, by raising funds for her education, securing tutors, and introducing her to American culture, and making arrangements for school holidays. The YWCA even made it a part of their campus involvement mission to address "institutional racism" where efforts included: establishing a committee to investigate an exchange program with Virginia Union University, a historically black college and university, student recruitment of black high school students, the sponsorship of a black high school visit day, and a national student YWCA person came to campus to help them define racism and get faculty support for minority recruitment. Some YWCA students even attended a National YWCA conference on racism in Durham, North Carolina. The Baptist Student Union, of which all Baptist students were members, fell short of their potential because of "unimaginative and uninteresting programs," lack of unity, and "student resentment." The Hillel Foundation had small group meetings on Sundays, lectures, films and discussions. The student body reacted negatively to Vespers, a group of fundamentalist, conservative students who believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible. The Lenten Services and Study programs had low attendance. Mahaffey ended the report by offering some recommendations: increased communication between Westhampton administration and campus ministry, the construction of a student center, an increase in community action projects, and one university chaplain instead of one for each college. Director Mahaffey said that organized religion appealed to a small minority of students, however, social action in their communities was widespread.



Annual Report of the Director of Religious Activities, Westhampton College of the University of Richmond, 1970-1971, 1971, RG 6.2.4. Box 16 Folder 15, University Archives, Virginia Baptist Historical Society









Richmond (Va.)

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Student Contributor



Mahaffey, Jean, “Annual Report of the Westhampton College Director of Religious Activities,” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed May 21, 2024,