RICHMOND — Virginia House Democrats are saddened to hear of the passing of the former Delegate from Hampton, Dr. Mary Christian. Dr. Christian served as Dean of Hampton University’s school of education and was the first African American to serve on the Hampton City School Board. In 1985, Dr. Christian was the first African American and first woman from Hampton to be elected to the state legislature, post Reconstruction. While in office, Dr. Christian championed legislation on education and healthcare.
“Virginia has suffered a great loss,” said Speaker-designee Eileen Filler-Corn. “Mary Christian was a trailblazer for women, and her work in the House of Delegates is an inspiration to me personally and to so many across the Commonwealth.”
Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn is the first woman to lead a caucus in Virginia and will be the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Delegates.
“During her seven terms in the House of Delegates, Mary Christian made history as the first black woman to hold so many of her positions, as well as a champion of groundbreaking legislation,” said Majority Leader-elect Charniele Herring. “Dr. Christian was instrumental in increasing Black women’s leadership and participation in Virginia’s government, and she was a model of steady and sure leadership.”
Delegate Charniele Herring is the first woman and the first African American to be elected Majority Leader in Virginia.
“As the current representative of the 92nd district, I have always been proud of my connection to Dr. Christian,” said Delegate Jeion Ward. “Her incredible work, not only as a member of the House of Delegates but as a humanitarian, touched so many lives and her memory will live on through this work. Hampton is honored to call Dr. Christian one of our own.”