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History of Sociology at UVA

1889 - The first mention of “sociology” in the Board of Visitors Minutes was February 8, 1889 when an adjunct professor of “Sociology & Political Economy” was appointed at a salary of $1500 as a part of the reorganization of the Department of Historical Science & Modern Languages. (more info)

1911 – The University accepted $12,500 from the Carolyn Phelps Stokes Fund to establish a Fellowship in Sociology for the study of the “negro” and for “advancing the cause of negro education in the South.”  (more info)

1922 – On November 29, 1922 the BoV approved a resolution brought forth from the School of Engineering to expand its curriculum from four to five years in order to “enlarge the field of study to embrace more of the humanities and better opportunities for student research….” and  “[t]hat courses should be offered in modern languages, history government,  sociology , philosophy and like studies.”  (more info)

1923/24 –  April 17, 1923 – Wilson Gee appointed professor.  Gee appears in the University Directory of 1923-24 for the first time.  There’s no departmental listing at this point. “RESOLVED; by the Rector and Visitors of the University, That Dr. Wilson Gee be and is hereby elected Professor of Rural Economics and Rural  Sociology  in the University of Virginia, at a salary of $3,750, incumbency to begin with the session 1923-24.”  (more info)


1925 – According to the BoV minutes for April 25, 1925 the “College and Graduate Department” budgeted for Professor Gee’s salary as well as that of an instructor and a Stenographer for a Newsletter.  The Curry Memorial Department of Education also budgeted for an instructor in Sociology.  (more info)

1925 – June 15 – hired E.W. Gregory as an “instructor” in Sociology (more info

1926 –  June 14 – First Professor of Sociology hired. “RESOLVED, by the Rector and Visitors of the  University of Virginia, That Dr. Floyd N. House be  and is hereby elected Professor of  Sociology  in the  University of Virginia, at a salary of $4,500, incumbency  to begin with the session 1926-27.” Sociology appears in the University Directory of 1927/28 for the first time. (more info)

1926 – July 6 – “RESOLVED, by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, That Mr. Frank Bane, Commissioner of Public Welfare, be and is hereby elected Associate Professor of Applied  Sociology, at a salary of $1,200 and traveling expenses, incumbency to begin with the session of 1926-27.” (more info)


1926 – November 5 – instructors in Sociology were hired in the Education Department, and “to help with Dr. Smithey’s work.”

1927 – April 22 - BoV minutes -  In the estimated budget of the University for 1928-29 “Sociology” is listed for the first time as a separate department from that of “Rural Social Economics” or “Rural Economics & Rural Sociology.”

More to come.