MMHMF Honoree

2011 Community Service Award Recipient


Loretta Murray Braxton was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she attended the public schools and graduated from Atkins High School.  She received the Bachelor of Science degree, Magna Cum Laude in mathematics from Virginia Union University in 1955.  She was selected by the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, Illinois to receive a National Science Foundation fellowship and was awarded the Master of Arts degree in mathematics in 1962.  Additional studies were pursued at Winston-Salem University, Hampton University, A and T State University, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, and Wesleyan University, Middleton, Connecticut.  In 1973, she was awarded the Doctor of Education degree by the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dr. Braxton’s professional career began as a teacher of mathematics at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  In Norfolk, Virginia she taught at Jacox Junior High School.  In 1962 she began her tenure at Virginia State College as an Instructor in the Department of Mathematics.  Dr. Braxton was appointed to serve as Chairperson of the Mathematics Department in 1977 and held that position until her retirement from Virginia State University in 1992.  Upon her retirement she was awarded the title, Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Braxton was very active in the mathematics education community where she worked on many councils, committees, boards and was a frequent presenter at local, state and national conferences.  She also worked on various projects as a consultant with several school districts in Virginia and the District of Columbia.  For several years she was the editor of the newsletter for the National Association of Mathematicians.

From the mid Sixties until her retirement she was involved in writing grants for projects that provided mathematics learning opportunities for school children; this included both summer programs, after school and Saturday programs.

At present she is affiliated with the Ettrick/Matoaca and Chesterfield County Friends of the Library, Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Southside Women’s Investment Club, NAACP, the Progressive Action Association of the Matoaca Magisterial District (CAPAMMD) and Gillfield Baptist Church.

In recognition of outstanding public service she was inducted into the Chesterfield County Senior Hall of Fame in 2001.

Initial grant writer and Assistant Director of Upward Bound at Virginia State University.  Focal subject emphases were Mathematics and English.  The ultimate goal was to prepare students for post secondary education programs.

Teacher Education Program that involved pre-mathematics instruction for Head Start children at Grange Hall Elementary School in Chesterfield County. 

Summer Program for the Laboratory School at Virginia State College.  Involved the introduction of pre-algebra concepts to children attending the School.

Several Funded Mathematics Enrichment Programs held on Saturdays at Virginia State University for sixth through eighth grade students from local schools.  The major emphasis was problem solving.  The goal was to prepare students for success in high school and college mathematics courses.

Member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer (13 years), Friends of Chesterfield County Public Library.  Managed financial activities of the organization including maintaining records of income and expenses of the copy and typewriter services provided at each of the nine branches.  Managed special programs involving all branches.

Past President (more than 15 years), Ettrick/Matoaca, Friends of the Library.  Coordinates activities of the group in support of library activities and operations.  Recruits volunteers and participates in activities for children and adults.

Coordinator of Community Halloween Party.  Works in cooperation with Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation Department.  Recruits volunteers to provide games, activities, prizes and treats for more than 150 children and parents attending the event.  Produces correspondence and flyers for the event, and prepares letters and certificates for the college student volunteers.  Serves as director for the event.

Charter member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of Ministers Wives and Ministers Widows Foundation.  Maintains financial records and prepares monthly reports.  Provided financial accounting for a major project involving the publication of the book, On The Sabbath After, which was distributed to families of victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy.  Provides correspondence with applicants and recipients of BOOKS FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS.

Charter member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer, Delta Community Service Foundation.  Provides financial support for public service activities of Petersburg Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  Prepares invitations, programs, letters, and other materials used to communicate with the public.  Organize and facilitates the Board’s Christmas gifts drive for CARES (Crisis Assistance Response Emergency Shelter) clients.  

Past Vice President and President (10 years), Retired Teachers Club of Petersburg and Vicinity.  The organization supports a selected elementary school by providing incentives for children who make progress on SOL (Standards of Learning) exams.  Financial support is given to selected Virginia State University students taking the National Teachers Exams.

Civic and Progressive Action Association Matoaca Magisterial District (CAPAAMMD), a civic organization which provides civic and political education in the Matoaca District.  Prepares monthly notices, occasional newsletters and brochures for the organization.  Maintains mailing lists and interfaces with other community groups in sponsoring the annual Halloween Celebration at the Community Center.

Member of the Board of Directors, Mary Carter Beacon House, an adult daycare facility in Petersburg, Virginia.  Serves on fundraising and other operational committees.

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