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Helen B. Ashby

Gender: Female

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Biographical/Historical note:

Helen Ashby was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1915. She attended Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Professor Warren Ashby. The Ashbys moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Prof. Ashby taught philosophy at UNC, but moved again to Greensboro in 1949. Helen Ashby quickly became involved in several local progressive and interracial groups, including the YWCA, which appointed her to its board.

In 1958, Mrs. Ashby obtained her master’s degree in child development and family relations from Woman's College (now UNCG). She was then hired as the assistant director for the Institute for Child and Family Development at UNCG, and worked there until 1964, when she resigned to travel to India for two years with the American, British, and Canadian Friends Service Committee. While in India, Ashby also served as a consultant for the Ford Foundation in helping to establish a graduate program in Child Development and Family Relations at Lady Irwin College in Delhi. Upon returning to the United States in 1967, Mrs. Ashby taught family sociology at Guilford College for one semester and resumed her involvement with the Greensboro YWCA. In 1967, she was appointed executive director of the YWCA, but she resigned in 1970. Later in life she became a professional weaver, with many of her weavings gracing UNCG in the library, observatory, Residential College, and other locations.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Helen Ashby by William Link
Date: March 25, 1987
By: Helen B. Ashby
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of a March 25, 1987, oral history interview conducted by William Link with Helen Ashby, Ms. Ashby primarily discusses the role of women, Bennett College students, and religious ...

Item thumbnail image Letter from Helen Ashby to Benjamin L. Smith
Date: September 23, 1957
By: Helen B. Ashby
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This September 23, 1957 letter from Helen Ashby, on behalf of the Greensboro YWCA board of directors, to Greensboro public school superintendent Benjamin L. Smith, commends Smith and the Greensboro Sc...