North American Scholar

SUMNER, Laura Bennett Voelkel

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1921-09-05
  • Born City: Brooklyn
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: John Frederick & Laura Bennett V.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1993-06-18
  • Death City: Fredericksburg
  • Death State/Country: VA
  • Married: Raiford Eve Sumner, 20 December 1953
  • Education:

    A.B. Vassar, 1942; M.A. Johns Hopkins, 1943; Ph.D, 1945.

  • Professional Experience:

    Asst. prof. Latin, hist. of Art, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA, 1945-47; asso. prof. 1947-48; asst. prof., chair of dept. Mary Washington Coll., 1948-59; asso. Prof. 1959-63; prof. 1963-79; dir. summer session, 1968; vis. asst. prof. U. Wisconsin, 1954-55; State U. Iowa, summer 1950; U. Virginia, summers, 1961, 1962, dir. Humanities Inst. Fairfax, VA, 1965- Stafford Co., VA, 1970-4; cons. Dept. Educ., Richmond, 1960-72; memb. Fredericksburg City Council, 1960-72; Woman of the Year, Fredericksburg, 1962; exec. Comm. CAMWS, 1971-75; pres. 1976-77.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Coin Types of the Emperor Domitian” (Johns Hopkins, 1945).

  • Publications:

    "Coin Types and Roman Politics", CJ 43 (1948) 401-405; "Money Talks", CW 45 (1951) 4-6; "The Selection of Coin Types during the Reign of the Emperor Domitian", in Studies presented to David Moore Robinson on his Seventieth Birthday II, edd. G. Mylonas and D. Raymond (St. Louis: Washington Univ., 1953), 243-247; "Stop, Look, and Listen: A Re-Examination and Evaluation of Audio-Visual Aids", CW 47 (1954) 83-86; Sonnets (Fredericksburg, VA: Holly Hill Press, 1961) [poetry].

  • Notes:

    Laura Sumner was a mainstay of classics at Mary Washington College for 32 years. Her interest in numismatics and archaeology led her to study in Greece and Rome and participation in an excavating team in Greece. Her enthusiasms were for her students rather than research. Her appetite for teaching was not slaked by the normal academic year and she often taught in the summers at the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin and George Washington University. She was also an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University for a number of years and frequently spoke at schools and colleges throughout Virginia. The class of 1969 established a scholarship in her honor at Mary Washington. She served regional organizations faithfully for many years, culminating in her presidency of the Classical Association of Virginia and of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. She divided her attention among her academic and civic responsibilities and in 1961 published a book of original verse.

  • Sources:

    APA Newsletter (October 1993) 15; WhWhAmWomen 7 (1972-73) 878

  • Author: Ward Briggs