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First Black Woman to Graduate from Virginia Tech: Linda Adams (Hoyle) Picture of Linda Adams from 1967 Bugle Picture of Linda Adams from 1968 Bugle
Linda Adams in the 1967 Bugle. Linda Adams in the 1968 Bugle.

Linda Adams Hoyle's Oral History Interview

Linda Paulette Adams (Hoyle) was the first black woman to graduate from Virginia Tech. A native of Covington, Virginia, she graduated from Watson High School, a segregated high school which no longer exists. She attended the new Clifton Forge-Covington Community College (now Dabney S. Lancaster Community College) which began operations in September, 1964 and was operated as a branch of Virginia Tech. The campus in Clifton Forge was about ten miles from her home. Virginia Tech's Clifton Forge-Covington branch was an integrated college.

When Linda came to the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech in 1966, she was a junior in statistics. Linda was originally assigned a white roommate in Eggleston, but when the roommate's parents saw Linda, they asked to have their daughter moved. Chiquita Hudson, who was also one of the first six black women students at Tech, had requested a single room because she had a medical condition and did not wish to disturb her roommate when she was ill. Chiquita agreed to give up her single room in Hillcrest and move to Eggleston to room with Linda. (See Marguerite Harper Scott interview transcript, part 2.)

Linda helped to establish the House Councils in Eggleston Complex. She was a member of the West Eggleston Disciplinary Committee at Main Eggleston her junior year and chair of the committee her senior year.

Linda received her B.S. in statistics from Virginia Tech in 1968. Dean of Women Martha Harder wrote a letter congratulating Linda on being the first Negro coed to graduate from V. P. I. Dr. Boyd Harshbarger, head of the Department of Statistics, also wrote a letter referring to the "excellent manner and record that Miss Adams has made at Virginia Polytechnic Institute."

In August of 1968 Linda got a job with the Bureau of Census outside of Washington, D. C. She is still with the bureau and is now a Special Assistant in the Manufacturing and Construction Division.

Linda's sister Sherrie received her B.S. in computer science from Virginia Tech in 1974. Linda's nephew Brian Holloway is a student at Tech. Linda married Edward L. Hoyle. They have three children, Edward, Jr., Aileen, and Michael.

Jackie Butler, Linda Adams and Chiquita Hudson, from Linda Edmonds' scrapbook Chiquita Hudson, Linda Edmonds and Linda Adams, from Linda Edmonds' scrapbook
From left, Jackie Butler, Linda Adams and Chiquita Hudson, from Linda Edmonds' scrapbook. From left, Chiquita Hudson, Linda Edmonds and Linda Adams, from Linda Edmonds' scrapbook.

Send questions or comments to:
Tamara Kennelly
University Archivist
University Libraries
Virginia Tech
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA 24062-9001

Last Updated on: Monday, 02-Aug-2004 21:04:36 EDT
Page design:
Justin Iovenitti, Mohamed Amin,Tamara Kennelly and Oladunni Akinpelu

Produced by University Archives in collaboration with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Women's Center at Virginia Tech