Virginia F. Wray
Dr. Virginia F. Wray, Dean of Faculty
B.A., Westhampton College; M.A., Bryn Mawr College; Ph.D., University of South Carolina
Building: Nichols Administration Building
In addition to English composition, Dr. Wray teaches American literature, including some of the 19th-Century greats like Melville and Hawthorne, and she offers a senior seminar on the celebrated 20th-Century novelist and short-story writer Flannery O'Connor. She also teaches a popular course on the history of the English language and its many dialects.
Dr. Wray does a lot of work on O'Connor, presenting papers at professional conferences almost every year and publishing in scholarly journals like Renascence and the Flannery O'Connor Bulletin. She is past editor of the O'Connor newsletter Cheers! and has served as president of the national Flannery O'Connor Society. This year she taught at a summer seminar on O'Connor funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Wray has won Lyon's most distinguished teaching award, the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Wray was instrumental in bringing a chapter of the national service honor society Mortar Board to Lyon and served several years as sponsor.
Out in Town
Dr. Wray looks for ways to help the vulnerable. She has tutored in Batesville's adult literacy program, and she's been a Board member at Family Violence Prevention, leading a drive to retire the debt on the organization's shelter, Safe Haven. When she takes some personal time, Dr. Wray likes hiking in the Ozark mountains and fly-fishing the Ozark streams.