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Madison Metropolitan School District

Vel Phillips History

On Nov. 22, 2021 the Board of Education unanimously approved renaming James Madison Memorial High School to Vel Phillips Memorial High School, in honor of the civil rights leader who championed racial and gender rights in Wisconsin.  Learn more about Vel, her legacy, and how we will continue to further her mission as a school community below.

Spartan News: Vel Phillips' Career

Watch an overview video on Vel Phillips' enriching life as a civil rights leader, lawyer, and jurist.

Sword and Shield: Who was Vel Phillips?

Old black and white photo of Vel Phillips speaking in front of a microphone.

In November 2021, the school board voted in favor of our school’s name change from James Madison Memorial to Vel Phillips Memorial. So who was Vel Phillips, and why is it important to celebrate her legacy?