Browse documents by date

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Date: circa 1935

In her essay, "Women at Dickinson College," Josephine Brunyate Meredith took an in depth look at female students' role in religious life. She first looked at the Y.W.C.A., citing them as "somewhat of a problem" because they did not "reach many girls in a vital way...and lack definite objectives." However, the joint Y.W.C.A. and Y.M.C.A. meetings were well executed and well attended. She also discussed the organization of student called the "Freshman Commission." The organization held a weekly service on Sunday evenings in Metzger Hall.

In her essay " Women at Dickinson College," Josephine Brunyate Meredith discussed women's extracurricular activities at Dickinson College. Meredith first examined the women's literary societies. She argued that the two women's literary societies were not as well organized as the male literary societies. She wrote that "The Literary Societies, however, provide the only chance for many of the students to learn how to speak and if properly helped by the Faculty many students would work hard and enjoy the work.

In her essay "Women at Dickinson College", Dean Meredith discussed dating, dances, and chaperonage at Dickinson College. She explained, "The college is sometimes criticized because boys and girls are together socially so much. Other criticism is not just but it is somewhat merited. About 8 couples can be so conspicuous that they give the college an unenviable reputation." Meredith argued that it is easier to control the relationships if the woman lived in Metzger, however, it was much more difficult to control commuters.

In her report "Women at Dickinson College," Dean Meredith has a section titled "Women's Scholarship." In this section she discussed the ways in which women are strong students at Dickinson. However, it is difficult for female students. She explained that, "Co-education as we have it here is hardly fair to girls. There are not enough women teachers nor is there enough competition among the girls because girls are too few. Girls here are not “students” they are “Co-eds,” curiosities. A girl in a high school is just a student.

Photograph circa 1935 of women's archery practice.

Date: c1935

In her essay "Women at Dickinson College," Josephine Brunyate Meredith has a section in which she discussed "Women's Fraternities" (now referred to as sororities) at Dickinson College. Meredith explained that "We have never had such good spirit existing between the Fraternities as exists at present. Pan-Hellenic rules and rushing methods, the result of years of hard work and experiment are now fairly satisfactory to everybody." Pleased with the women's work, Meredith argued that the college must provide better housing for the female fraternities as they do for the male fraternities.

In her report "Women at Dickinson College," Josephine B. Meredith discussed coed organization at Dickinson College. She explained that there were seven such organization. They included:

In her report "Women at Dickinson College," Dean Josaphine B. Meredith discusses women's health in a section entitled "Health." She explained that there had not been a single serious illness in years as she is sure to send any sick women home or to the doctor as soon as she saw symptoms. Moreover, Dean Meredith advocated for a Women's Hygiene Program at Dickinson College. She wrote that "The girls need a course in Hygiene to supplement their physical training. The Physical  Tr. teacher has plenty of time for it.

In this section of her essay, Dean Meredith examined the conditions for study at Dickinson College. She had two main concerns about the conditions in the 1930s. First, Meredith is concerend with women dating. She explained that  commuters tend to come into town early and leave late now that they all have cars. This allows them to socialize and date unsupervised. Likewise, Meredith is concerned about Metzger Hall women dating as well. She explained, "Metzger girls spend their afternoon and other spare time about as day students do.

In this portion of her essay, Dean Meredith described her position. In the section, she listed her daily activities, holiday activities, long holiday activities, and her unclassified jobs. She explained that she does not have enough time in the day to complete everything.

Date: c. 1935

Shown here in the alumni gymnasium is one of the many formal dances that took place on campus.  From the looks of the decor and garb, the photo is most likely from one of the spring formals, and perhaps circa 1935.

Date: January 10, 1935

The Dickinsonian, "never a friendly critic" chastises the Student Senate for their inactivity and once again calls for a "senate with powers and constructive energy, a senate which both students and faculty will respect, a senate which will do more than spend most of its time discussing the Tribunal and all of its money buying keys." In hopes of finally enacting the proposal of an all-College Senate , these remarks from the Dickinsonian, students, and faculty continued to circulate around the college community.

Date: January 17, 1935

The January 17, 1935 issue of the Dickinsonian reports that Omicron
Delta Kappa "national honorary society has drafted the general outlines
of the constitution of an all-College Student governing body." The
article reports that O.D.K.'s plan for the senate calls for a strong
central governing body which would weld the functions of all the
present student government activities into a unified control. The new
senate would be comprised of members of the current Men's and Women's
Senates, Interfraternity Council, the Pan-Hellenic Council, the

Date: February 28, 1935

The Dickinsonian documents the finalization of Omicron Delta Kappa's plans for an all-College Senate. The plan is published in its completed form in this particualr issue of the Dickinsonian, allowing for "ample time for discussion of its provisions before the plan is formally prsented to the student body as a whole for ratification or rejection." The different articles that the plan addresses are as follows: Name, Objects, Membership, Senate (which contained the most detailed and specific description in O.D.K.'s plan), Student Assembly, Veto, and By-Laws and Amendments.

Date: April 18, 1935

On Monday March 29, 316 votes were cast by the student body in a response to Omicron Delta Kappa's plan for a reorganized student government association. In favor of the plan were 259 votes, while those opposed only numbered 51 people in the student body. The Dickinsonian reports that "the new plan will go into operation in May at the time of the expiration of the terms of the present senators" and would be able to operate "in full swing with the opening of school next fall."

Date: May 23, 1935

Representatives from various groups on campus met on Thursday, May 15, at 7:30 in Old West to organize the all-College Senate. The President of Omicron Delta Kappa Whitfield J. Bell spoke at length, explaining the purpose and structure of the new Senate. Copies of the constitution were also distributed among those present and voting for the positions of chairman, secretary, faculty member and the committee on committees of the new Senate took place at the meeting.

Date: 1937

In her speech delivered during a 1937 Commencementt Week Dinner, Zatae Longsdorff Straw remembers her time at Dickinson College. In the beginning of the speech, Straw admits that this was her first time back to Dickinson since she graduated in 1887. Thus, her mind flooded with memories of Dickinson during her 1937 visit. As the first female graduate, Straw described the harassment she received from her male counterparts. She described many of the faculty including Dr. Rittenhouse whose "eyes filled with tears" when male students treated her unkindly. Dr.

The Microcosm's 1937 edition documents the addition of the first co-ed addition to the cheerleading group.  Floyde Williams' addition to the group was said to have created a “well-balanced team” that “publicly earned recognition as a most desirable cheerleading unit.”

Freshman, Ruth Porter, lands the lead role in Dickinson’s production of Ibsen’s classic, “A Doll’s House.”  She is praised in the ‘37 Microcosm; her “outstanding character interpretation” was “unanimously declared unapproachable.”

Pictured here are the ladies of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority in 1937.

Date: June 7, 1937

Fifty years following her graduation from Dickinson College as the first female student, Zatae Longsdorff Straw received an honorary degree from her alma mater. The award was bestowed upon Zatae due to her position as "the first woman graduate of Dickinson College, a pioneer among women in the field of medicine, combining with a professional career the duties of motherhood and the demands of public service..."

Date: 1938

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: March 5, 1938

This Saturday event was sponsored by the Department of Physical Education for the Women and Athletic Council.  The program included photo opportunities and three games of an identified sport in the morning, followed by a luncheon at the Argonne Hotel, a Round Table Discussion of some type in the Alumni Gymnasium, a swimming event, and a concluding tea in the Women's Apartments in Denny Hall.  Participating colleges included Lebanon Valley, Bucknell, Susquehanna, Juniata, and Dickinson Colleges.  Several students served as "chairmen" of various committees, including Margaret Brinham '38 (Gen

Date: 1939

Long time contributor to the college, librarian, May Morris, earned the dedication of the 1939 edition of Dickinson’s Microcosm.  A woman who is praised as having contributed to the “advance and achievement of the college,” Morris helped to introduce to Dickinson’s library “a sufficiency of material and the efficiency of system unparalleled in its history.”

Yates Snyder, class of ’39, was not only a bright scholar as a member of the Harman Literary Society, and heavily involved in extracurricular activities, including chorus, athletics, and Greek life, but was also noted as an extraordinary campus beauty.  Her senior year she was crowned Queen at the Midwinter Ball and during her four years at Dickinson, “graced the pages of the beauty section of the Microcosm,” perhaps setting an example for future female students that it is possible to have beauty and brains.

The Dickinson Dramatic Club revived their fraternity, Tau Delta Pi, in 1938 in order to “recognize higher accomplishments in dramatic art.”  The 1940 Microcosm notes Dorothy Sandrock's notable presence in the organization and her election into the prestigious  position of President.

Date: April 6, 1939

Six professors and their wives chaperoned the Panhellenic Council dance.

Date: 1940

In a memo on smoking, Dean J.B Meredith states the regulations on smoking for female students. Stating, "smoking by female students on the premises of Dickinson College is stricly forbidden" and "any students found smoking in dormitory rooms will be indefinitely suspended." This was authorized by President Corson of Dickinson College. In a handwritten note added to the document later Dean Meredith notes that smoking rooms were arranged in residence halls starting the fall of 1944.

This photo depicts the front ahll of the women's dormitory. The caption below reads that the house is "decorated for Christmas."

Date: c1940

The photo depicts the women's basketball team during a game, c1940.

This photograph depicts three women mending toys. The caption below the picture reads "Social Work-Mending Toys."

Date: circa 1940

This photo depicts female Dickinsonians studying in a dorm. The names of the women in the photo are unknown.

This photo is of a group of female students sitting around the radio at Metzger Hall. The women in the picture are not identified.

This photo is of a group of female Dickinsonians celebrating Christmas. The caption below the photo reads, "Christmas at the Women's Dormitory."

This photograph depicts a group of female Dickinsonians dinning in Metzger Hall's Dinning Room. According to the note on the back,  this is one end of the Dining Room.

Date: c. 1940

This picture dates circa 1940 and shows a women's bowling team as a part of Dickinson's physical education ideas for women.

A group of five unidentified women enjoy nice weather on the steps of Old West.  Photo taken circa 1940.

Date: April 24, 1940

Because of a recent tragic death of a female student at a nearby college, Dean Meredith and the College crack down on the rules regarding the female students' travel plans. Women are now required to get an "Absence from Metzger" card every time the student wishes to go on a trip overnight or late at night. This card supplies information both to the college and at home of where the student will be staying, with whom, who will be driving and when they will return.

Date: October 10, 1940

The Dickinsonian reports that two female students, Alice Abbott and Ann Housman, were among those who signed up to take a Civil Aeronautics Authority flying course at Dickinson.  Professor Wellington Parlin, a member of the Dickinson Physics Department, will teach a portion of the course.  The article specifically notes that the women "have been given the authority of President Corson to participate."

Date: November 11, 1940

In the "Minutes of the Faculty Meeting of November 11, 1940," the Board of Deans reviewed a case of discipline in which the Phi Delta Theta house hosted a party "without proper chaperonage" followed by a jaunt in an automobile. The two female students who left Carlisle in the automobile received probation for the rest of academic year 1940-41 and were placed under "special regulations" in Metzger Hall. Another student, who did not leave in the automobile, only received probation "until Christmas."

Date: September 1941

The Women's Freshman Adjustment Committee served as a liason for incoming female students to assist in their transition to college life. This committee provided general information, information on equipment, courses, etc...

Included in the 1941 student handbook is a list of six rules freshman students were required to adhere to. Freshman women were expected to wear armbands, rise when the Dean of Women or any other college official entered the room, women were required to speak to all professors and their wives, "give the right of precedence to the women of the upper classes," and were required to know "something of the college history."

Date: November 13, 1941

Dean Ernest A. Vuilleumier reminds the Dickinson College Fraternities about the regulations against unchaperoned female visitors. According to the rule's creation in 1936, it is stated that, "women visitors shall be admitted to fraternity houses without chaperonage approved by the dean of the college." Suitable chaperones that are available without further formalities are mothers of fraternity members, mothers of guests, or faculty member's wives. Only in certain cases where other chaperones are contemplated then it is necessary to secure special authorization from the Dean of the College.

Date: c. 1942

Circa 1942, The Metzger Council divided itself into three new councils in addition to a fire drill committee to better provide for Dickinson's female students. A fire drill committee was created of Helen Kretschmar, Arline Mills, Nancy Tatnall, and Nancy Person in which regular drills would be planned.

Date: January 6, 1942

The Faculty Minutes for the meeting of January 6, 1942 detailed the requirements and standards set for girls who wanted to enter into the Nurses Aides course on a voluntary basis. They had to prove, among other requirements, that they had the grade point average, leisure time, and permission necessary to complete the course. They also needed to complete the entire course.

Date: 1942

According to the 1942 student handbook, all incoming female students were "given a physical examination by physicians designated by the college." Female students seeking all other physican services were required to arrange appointments through the Dean of Women's office first.

Date: December 14, 1942

Two female students were suspended by the Board of Deans upon approval by the faculty. The Deans suspended one student for drinking, for giving a false testimony to a college officer, and for violating the regulations of the college. They suspended another for "absenting herself without permission."

Date: c. 1943

Found in Marion Bell's personal scrapbook from her years at Dickinson College (1941-46), this document of six pages outlines female regulations in dress and socialization in games, bars, dancing, and dining, with a special section regarding social possibilities on Sundays. It also includes rules regarding curfews, tardiness, noise disturbances, and distinctions between freshman women and upperclassmen not "on rules- those having a 75 average." It even provides a section for transfer students.

Date: 1943

The 1943 Microcosm added pictures of co-eds in the "Features" section. These women, selected by the Officers of the 32nd College Training Detachment of the Army Air Forces, included: Elizabeth Black, Charlotte Stopford, Barbara Mulford, Lucille Sweet, and Jean Carson.

According to Metzger Hall government document, women were punished with a Saturday afternoon campus (students were forced to remain in a room without callers from 1:30pm to 5pm) for violating quiet and study hours. Violations included, boisterousness, banging doors, whistling, washing, baths, hair drying, and ironing.