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Celia Willman Belton

What are your favorite UVA memories?

The Restoration Ball and dancing on the balcony of the Rotunda. At times, it seemed difficult to meet others and make friends as I transferred mid-way through from Mary Washington College. I lived at Mary Munford Hall, which was the only women’s dormitory at the time and was the farthest away on Grounds. But one time, it was raining when I came out of Old Cabell Hall and a first year offered to walk me back to Mary Munford Hall with his large umbrella. I also enjoyed attending Football games and fraternity parties (UVA did not have sororities then). I never opened a door unless I was by myself. I met my first husband at UVA, and we often went together to social events. There had been female nursing students as well as graduate students before I started at UVA, but there were no women in any of my classes except in the education classes. 

Is there something you learned at UVA that you apply to your life now?

The importance of listening. And remembering and appreciating the touch you have received from those who listened to you.

What does the UVA alumnae community mean to you? How have fellow alumnae affected your life/career/journey?

Whenever we connect by phone or on Grounds, it’s a happy occasion and a reminder of how fortunate we are to have attended UVA. It will always be here for us.

In your opinion, what is the legacy of women on UVA?

Change can be the best. Changing direction turns on the lights and creates new paths for all of us.

If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her?

Learn, share, STUDY and be a friend. Keep learning. Know that your choices make a difference. Make the most of this time. Keep in touch. You are accepted today and for many years will be thankful for this time at UVA. Laugh and be thankful.