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Susan Mary Kirkland


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At a Glance

Sue May Kirkland was especially respected during her time as Lady Principal at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A dorm, Kirkland Hall, was named in her honor; when it was demolished for new construction, the university honored her with the Kirkland Room. Photographs and letters of Sue May Kirkland are in the archive collection of the library at UNCG.


Sue May Kirkland grew up at Ayr Mount in Hillsborough, NC among respected women. When her father, John Umstead Kirkland, told her that she needed to look out for herself, she moved to Raleigh, NC to be with her sister Maria Simpson Kirkland and worked at Peace Institute teaching music and perhaps other classes. In 1892 she moved to Greensboro, NC to be Lady Principal of the State Normal (UNCG) where she was a model for the young women of the state in deportment, grace, manners. University of North Carolina at Greensboro tradition includes anecdotes about her, and material relating to her work, including photographs, available from the UNCG archives.

Biographical Data

Susan was called Sue May.

Important Dates

Susan Mary Kirkland was born on February 3, 1843, in Ayr Mount in Hillsborough, NC. She died on June 8, 1914.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended