Old map of Southeastern Ohio
Women Promoting Education in Southeast Ohio

Cynthia Weld (1838-1915)

Cynthia Weld portrait, circa 1883
Cynthia Weld portrait, circa 1883. Courtesy of Ohio Digital Archives

About Cynthia Weld

First female faculty member:  Cynthia Weld, a New York native, was Ohio University's first female faculty member, teaching English literature and history and rhetoric.

When President William Henry Scott reorganized the faculty in 1881-1882, that reorganization included creating the new Department of History and Rhetoric, for which Weld was hired as a professor in 1883. According to Thomas Hoover's The History of Ohio University, Scott believed that since a number of women were enrolling at the university there should be a woman teacher. Weld did not stay at OHIO long. After President Scott left and became president at Ohio State University, he hired her there.


Her Time

When Cynthia Weld came to OHIO, the nation was in the midst of the post Civil-War reconstruction era. It was also the beginning of a time of rapid economic growth in the United States. It was nearly five decades before women would get the right to vote.

Her Legacy at Ohio

Weld House, a South Green residence hall built in 1969, was named in honor of Professor Weld. It was originally known as South Green building number 7.

Weld House
Weld House