On November 11, 1952, Mrs. Robert W. Claiborne (at far right), the director of the Valentine Museum in Richmond, presents a painting of Mary-Cooke Branch Munford as a young girl to the new elementary school in the city named in honor of the civic leader. The portrait, unveiled at the school twenty-four years after Munford's death, was placed on permanent loan to the Mary Munford Elementary School. Standing next to the museum official is Munford's thirteen-year-old granddaughter Mary-Cooke Munford.
A prominent advocate of public education, Munford helped establish and served as president of the Richmond Education Association, an organization which became operational in 1901 and was primarily concerned with boosting education in rural areas. In 1920 Munford became the first woman to serve on the Richmond School Board. She was also a long-time advocate for women in higher education and eventually became a member of the Board of Visitors at both the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary.