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October, 25, 2010

Zina Young Williams Card

Zina Presendia Young was born to Zina and Brigham Young on April 3, 1850.  She attended Brigham Young Academy after the death of her first husband, Thomas Williams. Upon graduating in 1881, Zina became part of the faculty there as the first “Ladies Matron” or “Dean of Women” in 1879.

Reflecting upon teaching at the academy, Zina said, “[I taught] a class of [grown men] who had never attended school, and their reason for attending [BYA] was because they had heard that no ridicule or unkind remarks would ever be passed upon them. Many of them[,] until they were grown, did not realize how handicapped they were without more schooling. How they would work! They advanced rapidly in their school life and their own self-respect. Many of these young men became bishops [or] high councilmen, went on missions, and proved successful in the Kingdom of God.”

While on the faculty at BYA, Zina became one of the first women from the state of Utah to work in the woman’s suffrage movement, an assignment that gave her international recognition. She toured the eastern United States as an ambassador, speaking out for her religious beliefs and women’s rights. She and Emmeline B. Woodward Wells attended the convention of the National Woman’s Suffrage association held in Washington, D.C., in January 1879 and spoke on the platform. They then visited the U.S. President and his wife and were solicited by Susan B. Anthony and Sarah J. Andrews Spencer.

Shortly after remarrying, Zina and her new husband, Charles Ora Card, moved to southern Alberta, Canada, as some of the first Mormons to settle there. Later, Zina served for fifteen years as a member of the LDS Primary General Board and assumed the duties as Ladies’ Matron/Dean of Women at the LDS Business School in Salt Lake City.

In 1918, Zina was appointed to the Brigham Young University Board of Trustees by President Joseph F. Smith, and she served in this position until her death on January 31, 1931.

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