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Date set to mark installation of memorial to Mrs. Syphax

Noted educator has been honored at Arlington's school HQ; ceremony set for June 23

An early-summer dedication ceremony has been set for a commemorative marker honoring the life and legacy of educator Evelyn Reid Syphax at the Arlington school system’s administrative headquarters that is named in her honor.

The event will be held the afternoon of Sunday, June 23, under the auspices of the Zeta Chi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Events will be held at the building at 2110 Washington Blvd. where Arlington Public Schools leases space for its central administration. That school system’s space is known as the Syphax Education Center.

Syphax (1926-2000) was an educator, civic leader and philanthropist. Among her achievements was service on the county School Board.

Moving to Arlington in 1951, she was a public-school teacher for more than two decades, and in 1956 married into the historic Syphax family in a union with Archie Syphax, according to wording on the plaque.

In 1963, Mrs. Syphax launched a child-care center, and was an early booster of Montessori-based education. She was active in efforts to implement desegregation of county schools in the 1960s-70s, and served on a number of state educational-advisory panels.

Mrs. Syphax established the Northern Virginia chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and was founder and first president of the Northern Virginia chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women.

With her sons – Rev. Archie Syphax Jr. and Craig Syphax – she was a driving force for the establishment of the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, having previously served as president of the Arlington Historical Society.

Mrs. Syphax was honored as “Woman of the Year” by the Inter-Service Club Council of Arlington (1981) and a “Notable Woman of Arlington” by the Commission on the Status of Women (1992).

Following her death, the school of education at Virginia Union University was renamed in her honor.