In 1872, the Alabama legislature formally recognized our name as the Athens Female Institute. Later, they once again amended our charter to reflect yet another name change – Athens Female College. Efforts to establish a significant endowment for the college continued from 1869 to 1904 without success.
Until 1904, presidents were chosen by the Conference from its clergy. Many of these dedicated men spent personal money to keep us operating. In 1904, the vibrant thirty-year-old Mary Norman Moore became president. She focused on developing an advanced and modern curriculum. During her tenure, Brown Hall was completed in 1912 in memory of Florence Brown, the young instructor who succumbed in 1909 while caring for students too ill to be sent home during a tragic typhoid epidemic. Moore hired Katherine Leslie McCandless who was credited for putting the music program on the map. The fine arts building now known as McCandless Hall was completed in 1914 and subsequently named in honor of Katherine.
In 1915, the Alabama legislature once more amended the school’s name to be Athens College for Young Women. Ms. Moore remained president until 1916 when she resigned and married James Henry McCoy, the Methodist bishop of Alabama. Widowed in 1919, she returned for a subsequent term as president in 1926. Unfortunately, her plan to fortify the finances of the institution was defeated by the Great Depression and poor health, resulting in her resignation in 1930.