AllentownSchool District

ASD Proposes Naming New Elementary School After Female WAHS Alumni

ASD Proposes Naming New Elementary School After Female WAHS Alumni
Posted on 04/16/2020
The Allentown School District is excited to announce that an official name for the new elementary school will be recommended to the Board of Directors on April 16. The name was chosen from over 125 community submissions and reviewed by a committee that consisted of board members, building administration, building staff, parents, and students. Pending final approval at the next regular board meeting, the district will move forward with naming the new school after district alumni, Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays. 

“ASD is committed to celebrating all aspects of our diverse community and is proud to honor the legacy of Brigadier General Hays,” said Thomas Parker, Allentown School District Superintendent. “If approved, this will be the only building in ASD to be named after a woman.”
Brigadier General Anna Mae Hays was an advocate for the equal treatment of women in the armed services and serves as a reminder of the district’s commitment to the celebration of our diverse community, and continued effort to ensure equitable access for all.

Background on Brigadier General Hays
Brigadier General Hays attended Allentown High School (now William Allen High School) and graduated with honors in 1938. Upon graduation, Brigadier General Hays attended and graduated from the Allentown General Hospital School of Nursing. She then joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1942 at the age of 22. During her time in the Army, Brigadier General Hays served overseas during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. Brigadier General Hays worked several prominent American hospitals and was selected as one of three private nurses to serve President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 
In 1970, President Richard Nixon appointed her the rank of Brigadier General. Following the official ceremony on June 11, 1970, she became the first female general in the US Army.  After her appointment was official, she became the first-ever female US general to use the main entrance of the army officers' club. This marked the first time a female officer used the front entrance, as female officers had traditionally entered through a side door.

Brigadier General Hays made a number of recommendations regarding the treatment of women which have become military policy, including not to automatically discharge officers for becoming pregnant and not to determine appointments to the Army Nurse Corps Reserve based on the age of the nurse's dependents. In addition, regulations were changed to allow spouses of female service members to claim similar privileges to spouses of male service members. Brigadier General Hays passed away in January 2018, at the age of 97.