The First Female Editors
Unlike many college newspapers at which male students dominated the editing until well into the 1940s or 1950s, The University Weekly and Arkansas Traveler saw the service of numerous female editors over the course of its first century.
Elizabeth Adams, an English major from Pine Bluff, served as editor of The Weekly during the 1913-14 school year. Adams was a member of Chi Omega sorority and the Skull Society. She was from Pine Bluff and majored in English. From extant editions of The Weekly, it was not clear whether she was elected editor or appointed to replace R.B. McCullough, who was listed as editor in an early edition of the school year.
In 1928-29, Mabel Claire Gold of Fayetteville was elected by the student body in a competitive race for the editorship. She took over her duties early when her predecessor, Fletcher Isbell, left school in the middle of the spring semester to take a job with the Texarkana Gazette. She garnered some fame statewide when she cut her hair short, dyed it dark, penciled in a mustache, dressed in a suit and fedora, and crashed a men's-only gridiron held by the University Press Club.
Gold's father had worked for newspapers, which naturally led her to study the profession at the University. While she attended classes, she also worked as a reporter for the Fayetteville Democrat, published by Roberta Fulbright and edited by Lessie Stringfellow Reed, who predicted good things for The Traveler under their protege:
Miss Gold's editorship will be more criticized than would a boy editor's. Just why, it is not known, but the world expects more of a girl. If she fails it will be -- in the eyes of her critics -- because she is a girl. If she succeeds it will be because she is able to overcome many obstacles that will be put in the way of her success that probably would not be put in the way of a boy in the same position. But she will succeed. Remembering the good newspaper edited by Elizabeth Adams of Pine Bluff, here's predicting for Miss Gold's newspaper just as good.
Norma Jean Jenkins. "A History of a University Student Newspaper" (Athens: Ohio University, 1960), 75-76.
Tara Copp and Robert L. Rogers. The Daily Texan: The First 100 Years. (Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1999): 46.
The Arkansas Traveler. May 11, 1928; April 9, 1981.
Fayetteville Democrat. (Fayetteville, Ark.), May 4, 1928.