Within the College’s neighborhood, only the Cavalier Restaurant and the Dahlia, which has since been revitalized, remained off-limits for R-MWC students due to their (certainly overstated) shady reputations. However, finding good food was not a problem at the time.  Each residence hall had its own dining room with chefs who would compete for the reputation as the best at the College.  When her parents and other relatives visited, the Virginian Hotel and Katie Mundy’s The Columns restaurant were fine establishments to eat delicious meals, or even to grab a brownie or a brown sugar tart. At the time of her graduation in 1953, it became clear that Muriel’s life would keep her in Lynchburg, where she would become an influential member of the community.

            Married to William Mallan Casey Jr. in the summer after she graduated, Muriel would live on N. Princeton Circle in one of the few affordable non-basement apartments in Lynchburg at the time.  The house, once the infirmary for R-MWC and a tea house, would be their home until 1956. After briefly living on Dellwood Drive, the couple moved to 1919 Rivermont Avenue after having two children together, living there for ten years. The Casey children loved this house as it had a huge backyard large enough for a barn and a pony. Muriel taught English at the Seven Hills School and later served as the Assistant Headmistress while also completing graduate school. In 1972, Muriel returned to R-MWC to direct the efforts of the Alumnae Relations Office which was then located on the ground floor of Smith Hall. Significant changes had occurred on the campus, as well as the entire southeastern portion of the United States when Muriel took on her position at the College. Sororities on the campus had been discontinued since the 1960-1961 academic year and R-MWC officially integrated in 1963. Building additions to the alluring campus were also notable since Muriel had graduated including the chapel, the then-new gymnasium off of Norfolk Avenue, the Leggett Building, and the Maier Museum. After a long career, Casey retired from R-MWC in 2003. Over the years she volunteered and participated in events with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Washington D.C., Trinity Episcopal Church in Lynchburg, the Lynchburg Mental Health Association, the Woman’s Club of Lynchburg, the American Association of University Women, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

            Muriel’s legacy has lived on with the naming of the Muriel Zimmerman Casey Alumnae House across from the campus at 2615 Rivermont. Her longstanding connection with the College, as well as the history of the city of Lynchburg, is unmistakable.

Interviewed 6/22/2010



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