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MLWGS honors the legacy of Maggie Walker with commemorative bust

7/22/2014, 1:06 p.m.
The Maggie L. Walker Governor's School has a scaled-up replica of a 1934 commemorative bust of its namesake.

Adding to the gallery of Richmond’s greatest citizens, the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School commissioned a scaled-up replica of the 1934 commemorative bust of its namesake.

Donations for this endeavor began with the MLWGS Class of 2011, and recent donations from community members and from the Maggie Walker High School alumni association allowed for the completion and installation of the monument on July 15, 2014.

“This monument not only connects our school to the kind and generous spirit of its namesake, but it also acknowledges those who walked her halls before us. Maggie Lena Walker and this facility are integral to the history of Richmond and of the United States”, said MLWGS Director Dr. Jeff McGee. The public is encouraged to visit the school grounds at 1000 N. Lombardy Street in Richmond, VA to pay homage to this great visionary and leader.

Maggie Lena Walker was the first woman and African-American to found and be president of a chartered bank in the United States. As an entrepreneur, Walker also founded the St. Luke Herald newspaper, the St. Luke Emporium, and the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, and later became chairman of the board of the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company.

She was born into poverty on July 15, 1864 in Richmond, Virginia to parents who worked in the mansion of the abolitionist, Elizabeth Van Lew. At the age of 14, Walker volunteered for the Order of St. Luke, a mutual aid society that provided financial and educational support to African-Americans in need. Walker died in Richmond, Virginia on December 15, 1934.