One of the biggest misconceptions about Stephens College, I’ve learned, is that our fair campus is or has been a “finishing school.”
Early in my position here, I might have told you that was true at some point. Maybe back when they were teaching marriage and etiquette courses.
But I’ve read enough 1940s through 1960s Stephensophia yearbooks that I now know that really was never the case. Susies, it appears, have historically been strong women not afraid to speak their minds or talk about taboo topics.
Take Marilu Waybourn from the Class of 1951. Here she was when she was Marilu Marshall.
This weekend, this 1950s-era Susie will release another book, this time about the most notorious “gunslingers, bootleggers, rapists, cattle rustlers, lynch mobs, sheriffs and outlaws” in Northwest New Mexico.
A’hem! Not exactly the stuff of finishing schools!
But finishing Stephens College apparently has paid off over the years. She’s published more than a dozen books over the past quarter century and at the age of 83 is set to release her latest on Saturday, The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico reports.
“This time, she’s rounded up the bad guys,” reporter James Fenton quips.
For her latest book, Waybourn spent more than 10 years researching the infamous outlaws such as “Kit” Carson and the hanging tree behind his home, which doubled as a jail cell. She recounts stories of robberies, bootleggers and murders—“rich stories waiting to be told,” she told The Daily Times.
Like Stephens and the thousands of women she’s sent out into the world, Waybourn seems to have always been ahead of her time, working as a publications liaison for The Daily Times starting in 1968, then in computers in the 1980s. She was a “computer expert way back then,” said Vicki Ramakka, Aztec Museum board president and a self-described Waybourn admirer.
Check out the Times story here and try to get your hands on a copy of her book, Crimes of the County: Northwest New Mexico, 1876-1928.”