Awards and prizes

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phibetakappa.jpg

Warren J. Gates, the Robert Coleman Professor Emeritus of History put together a Handbook for the Alpha Chapter of PA of Phi Beta Kappa. Included was this chart, showing the number of degree-seeking and class-attending male and female inductees over multiple decades. We can see that in many years, women rivaled men in earning this national honor.

Date: 1986
Zatae Longsdorff Participates in Contest

The July 1886 Dickinsonian shows that Zatae Longsdorff was a participant in the Junior Oration Contest. The Dickinsonian states that it could hardly be called a contest because of the fact that "the members of the class organization...refused to take any part whatever in it when the two persons outside of the organization had made known their intention of contesting." One of these two people is of course Zatae Longsdorff. Despite the protests against much of the Junior class participating, the Dickinsonian states that "the contest as a whole was good."

Date: July, 1886
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Elizabeth Carter, Virginia Heisey, and Jane Housman earned the prestigious honor of the Junior Blazer for the ‘38 academic year.  The Junior Blazer was the highest award given for participation in women’s athletics and only three are awarded each year to junior girls who possess the greatest “ability, interest and sportsmanship in their athletic activities.”

Date: 1938
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The 1930 edition of Dickinson's Microcosm yearbook features an eight page spread of women's portraits under the heading of "Campus Belles".  A committee of "three well known artists” judged and selected eight women as “most worthy of being placed under the caption of Campus Belles”.  Their selection relied "on the basis of a number of aesthetic attributes."  Women featured include, Florence Burt Shaw, Dorothy Virginia Loveland, Lenore Ann Cisney, Kathryn Louise Ammon, M. Jane Dando, Annabel G. Rice, Mary Sophia Everett, and Eleanore May James.

Date: 1930
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According to the official minutes of Sui Generis, a non-exclusive women's fraternity, in 1960 the members received an award from Phi Beta Kappa for their outstanding scholarship.  Sui Generis had the highest percentage of the Phi Beta Kappa average, a 3.5, of all of the sororities and fraternities on campus.

Date: Septermber 16,1960

Dr. Helen L. Witmer graduated from Dickinson College with the class of 1919. After her graduation, she taught for two years. Witmer recieved her Master's degree in 1923 and her Doctor's degree in 1925; both degrees were received from the University of Winsconsin. She then moved on to conduct research under the Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Minnesota.

Date: May 1927
Zatae Longsdorff asks the Faculty for Permission to Compete in the Junior Oratorical Contest

On May 31, 1886, Zatae Longsdorff went before the faculty to ask, "whether the Pierson Prize Medal Contest was open to all members of the Junior class without distinction of sex." The faculty decided that, as a member of the class, Zatae had the right to participate.

Date: May 31, 1886
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  • The Women's Glee Club was in action under the leadership of William Bretz (of Harrisburg), who in the year of 1924 completed his fourth year as the clubs' director.
  • The Phi Mu Sorority won the sorority "scholarship loving cup of the Interfraternity Council" for the third consecutive year.

For more information about the Interfraternity Council visit:

Date: November 1924