Document Type


Journal Title

University of Mary Washington Today

Publication Date

Winter 2005


In February of 1968, five young women gathered informally in the office of The Bullet, Mary Washington's student newspaper. They wanted to talk about something they all were experiencing: isolation. On a campus with more than 2,000 students, they were the only African-Americans. Three were freshmen - Claudith "Dottie" Holmes and twin sisters Anita and Orita Whitehead. The other two - Venus Jones and Chris Hall - were upperclassmen. Four of the "Big Five," as they called themselves in reference to the Big Four civil rights leaders, would become the first group of African-American students to graduate from what was then known as Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia.


This article appeared in the official alumni magazine of the University of Mary Washington (UMW).

The current issue of this publication as well as past issues are available on the websites of UMW and the Simpson Library.


Publisher Statement

Copyright: The University of Mary Washington