Bender, Elizabeth R.

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Letter

In a letter to Dickinson College Historian Charles Coleman Sellers, Elizabeth Anna Low agrees to write her account of early coeducation at Dickinson College. However, she asked Sellers to be more clear on what he expected. In the letter, Low begins describing early coeducation at Dickinson. She explains that "there was undoubtedly some feeling about the admission of women, but much of it had disappeared by the time I reached there." Despite this statement, Low recalls an election in which her name was removed due to her gender and not being admitted to the literary societies.

Date: January 19, 1951
Elizabeth Bender

The November 1896 Dickinsonian mentions in the 'Alumni' section the goings-on of Elizabeth Bender '88. After graduating from Dickinson, she taught at the Carlisle Indian School and then decided to leave the country in 1890. Elizabeth Bender traveled to Japan in order to work for the Women's Foreign Missionary Society and is now the principal of the Girls' High School in Awoyama, Tokio. Miss Bender is mentioned as being "one of the first ladies to receive a diploma from Dickinson...capturing the honors of her class."

Date: November 1896
Group of Co-Eds circa 1887

This photograph is a group picture of early female students of both Dickinson College and the Preparatory School from circa 1887. The women included in this picture are Zatae Longsdorff '87, Mary Curran '88, Hildegarde Longsdorff '88, Elizabeth Bender '88, Mary Evans '89, Alice Kronenberg '89, Mary Himes '89, Jennie Taylor '89, Jessica Longsdorff '91, Elizabeth Low '91, Lenora Whiting '91, Wilhemina Scarborough '91, and Sarah Yocum '91.

Date: c. 1887
Commencement Ceremony

The July 1888 Dickinsonian discusses the occurrences and speeches given at the 105th commencement of the senior class. One of the speeches includes humorous and bogus gifts for each of the members of the senior class. For the women, such as Hildegarde Longsdorff, she would receive the gift of a ballot box for her "strong opinions on Woman's Suffrage." Another female classmate, Elizabeth Bender, would receive a marriage certificate because of what is in store for her future.

Date: July, 1888
Hurrah for the Co-Ed!

The July 1885 issue of the Dickinsonian praises in the "Miscellany" section a fellow co-ed student, a Miss Bender, for her good work at the college. Elizabeth Bender received the prize for best scholarship in Greek and for leading the class in general work. This was published to show those "few petty, jealous and narrow minded students who believe that woman's place is no place" as well as the "theory of the natural inferiority of woman to man" has been debunked and those beliefs look bad upon the character of those who believe them.

Date: July, 1885
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  • Elizabeth R. Bender, class of 1888, became Secretary of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society.
  • Mary C. Love, class of 1902, was asked to go on air where she broadcasted on the subject of "Women and the New Education." She claimed that while it was somewhat uncomfortable at first, she grew to find it simpler than talking to an audience.
  • Laura Harris, class of 1908, moved to Washington, D. C. after her husband, Major Ellis, entered the Army Industrial College in the state.
Date: May 1926
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  • Elizabeth R. Bender, class of 1888, did missionary work in Japan for several years before she had to return due to health problems. She went on to take charge of the New York District of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society, whose offices were located at 150 Fifth Avenue NY.
  • Anna M. Geiger Heckman, class of 1897, became the wife of the District Superintent of Harrisburg District, Central Pennsylvania M. E. Conference.
  • Mrs. Mary Love Collins, class of 1902, was the National President of Chi Omega Sorority.
Date: May 1923
Co-Education

Published in the 1890 Microcosm, “Co-Education” describes the introduction of coeducation at Dickinson College.  The author of the piece asserts that coeducation at Dickinson was a direct result of the Methodist influence at the school and women’s participation within that church.  Thus, female students were accepted to the college on the same terms and with the same privileges of their male counterparts. Moreover, the author of the piece adds that the women at Dickinson contributed  to the beauty of the campus.

Date: 1890