Preserving Black History Legacies: Maggie L. Walker Governor's School

Samantha Malott
Sam Brown
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Preserving Black History Legacies

Quinn Evans has been involved with a series of extraordinary projects to preserve the invaluable legacy of African Americans whose experiences and achievements have enriched our country, often at a great personal sacrifice. Protecting these places enables immersive visitor education and engagement with the past, perpetuating the immeasurable impact these events have had on our continued quest for equality.

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies

Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934) was the first African American woman founder and president of a United States chartered bank. Walker was born in Richmond, Virginia to formerly enslaved parents. Starting at age 14, Walker volunteered with the Order of St. Luke, an African American mutual aid society. As an entrepreneur, Walker founded the St. Luke Herald Newspaper, St. Luke Emporium, and St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. She later became board chairwoman of the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. Walker died in Richmond, Virginia on December 15, 1934, but her legacy continues to live on.

In 1937, Maggie L. Walker High School was built and named in her honor. It was one of two schools for African American students in the Richmond area during a period of increased racial segregation. The high school was abandoned in 1990 and reopened in 2001 as Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies. Quinn Evans was honored to update and renovate the 1930s-style, double-loaded corridor traditional high school to provide a more functional and accommodating learning environment for the 21st-century high school experience.

Maggie Lena Walker
The entrance to the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School
The school atrium

Click here to visit the National Park Service's webpage for more information on the life of Maggie L. Walker.

(The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is not affiliated with Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies.)

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