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Date: circa 1951

During the summer of 1886, Elizabeth A. Low's family decided to send her to Dickinson College. Low wrote, "The visit of Dr. MacCauley [sic] to my home in the summer of 1886 may have influenced my father to send me to Dickinson. I was away at the time and did not meet him." Low pursued an education at Dickinson College, graduating in 1891.

Date: 1951

During her first week at Dickinson College, Elizabeth A. Low described the ways in which Carlisle was different from the rural area from which she came. While walking with a professor down the streets of Carlisle, the professor exclaimed, "Aren't you accustomed to walking on pavements?" Low was terrified by his question. She explained, "I felt so conspicuous and embarrased that I did not want callers. Perhaps this sounds exaggerated.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low recalled a party for "co-eds." Hosted by a female student Low referred to as the unofficial "Dean" of female students, the party was an opportunity for early female students at Dickinson to develop a community. According to Low, "even at the party, her [the hostess] theme song was coeducation." Low explains that the party "was fun, and the only really good time some of those girls had during their entire college course."
 

In her memoir recounting her experiences as an early female student at Dickinson College, Low recalls a fellow "co-ed" sophomore who "was more like a Dean than just another student." Though Low never mentions the woman's name, she explains that "She took her work seriously and co-education as her personal responsibility." Moreover, at an early party hosted by the sophomore "co-ed" she urged her fellow female students to sign a pledge proclaiming that "'We are set apart, destined for careers, we were superior and should not allow any entangling alliances to interfere with our life work." Unf

In her memoir recounting her experiences as an early female student at Dickinson College, Low discusses the various intricacies involved with late nineteenth-century student cultures. Low explained that a fellow female student told her to "be very careful in making friends, as once in a set it was extremely difficult if not impossible to change, as both the college and town were made up of cliques." Moreover, Low recalls being told about the proper etiquette after one has been serenaded.

In her memoir recounting her experiences as an early female student at Dickinson College, Low discusses the relationships between early female students of the college and the prep school affiliated with Dickinson. She explained that "these girls made no distinction because I was in Preparatory School. We read together, sometimes Browning which I had been taught to consider strictly highbrow." Throughout her memoir, Low speaks of the close relationship shared between female college and prep students.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembered a studious female student. According to Low, "She did not take gym, nor join us on walks. Her time was spent in study. I never saw her at a game, an evening reception, nor a contest. She hesitated to go with us when we had a group picture taken on account of the time it would consume, but finally consented." In the end, the student Low described became a prominent missionary in India.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low describes the backgrounds of early female students. She recalled that the group of early female Dickinsonians included the "daughters of Methodist ministers, the grandaughter of a Bishop, two daughters of members of the faculty, the daughter of the Rector of the Episcople Church in Carlisle, a jewess, and a Mennonitor, who did not wear Dunkard." Moreover, Low remembered that many female students had "come from families who had moved to the town to educate their children" and some commuted.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the treatment of female students by their male peers. She recalled that, "Some of these [female students] were attractive, charming young girls, but they were all co-eds, and woe to the one who tried to force herself to a recognition that was not given voluntarily." She further explains that "Personality was a factor, of course, and when linked to fine scholarship won not only the respect but admiration of male students. Some were ignored."

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the the role the Dickinsonian played in the lives of female students. Though female students were prohibited from writing for the Dickinsonian, much information regarding female students was included in the college newspaper.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers her early days as a female student in the Preparatory School. She explained that there was little hostitlity toward female students in the Prep School. She explains that "There was not co-ed problem in the Prep. The boys made no distinction. Had we been refused admission to the society, we would have taken English in class." According to Low, however, black students were not affroded the same acceptance as white female students.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the day she became a boarder of Miss Annie Rhoads who lived on the corner of West and Pomfret Streets.  Low wrote that she "lost no time" and immediately went to speak to Miss Rhoads so as to secure the room. Consequently, Low had no time to discuss her decision with the other female students. Low explained, "The change was so quickly accomplished that I had not told the Junior and Sophomore co-eds, but they soon found out and came round to inspect my room.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers the close realtionships shared among many early female students. She wrote that, "for the most part, the girls got along one with the other. However, not all were included in our walks." Low described how the women took long walks together, often while reading Shakespeare to each other. The women walked on High Street and "nearly always past Moorland." Furthermore, Low wrote, "We never, but once, met any male students, as they ran mostly on Hanover Street."
 

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers her women's gym class. According to Low, women's gym classes were "even worse" than men's gym classes. Low explained, "Gym came two days in succession, and we were so stiff we could scarcely move, and by the time we were limbered up, it was gym day again." Moreover, women's gym classes greatly differed from men's as the college believed that female students were "'too delicately adjusted.'" Instead, the gym instructor had the women sort yarn.

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers how she felt alienated as an early female student at Dickinson College. Low wrote, "Dickinson stressed the idea that women were admitted through the front door, on the same footing as men. This was only partially true. The men had their fraternities, their old established societies, glee and other musical clubs, athletics, field days, games through which contacts were made with the best colleges in the land. They were free to do many things proscribed for us...

In her 1951 memoir, Elizabeth A. Low discusses the reaction of many male students to the institution of coeducation. According to Low, many male students rescented early female students. Low explains, "So far as I know there was never any scandal connected with the name of any co-ed. Much of the opposition resulted from the fear that Dickinson would degenerate into a young ladies seminary-type."

In her 1951 memoir, Elizabeth A. Low remembers there being few early women's organizations at Dickinson College. She explained, "You may may wonder why we did not form a soceity of our own. The answer is obvious. There were too few of us, and our interests too diverse. Should each write a history not two would be alike."

In her memoir recounting her time at Dickinson, Elizabeth Low remembers an instance in which female students rebeled at graduation and wore white. Prior to the rebelion, and much to the chagrin of many female students, all students were required to wear black gowns at graduation. Low, like other early women at Dickinson, detested the requirement. However, she was forced to wear the color to her own graduation.

Date: January, 1951

The Mid-Winter Ball was an annual college event, where a "queen and her attendants are elected by the student body." The highlight of the dance was the actual crowning of the queen. The queen's responsibility was to "rule over the ball." In 1951, Ann Prescott won the title of queen at the Mid-Winter Ball.
 
 
 

Date: January 19, 1951

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: June 1, 1951

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees decided to defer naming the new Women's Dormitory until the Mid-Winter meeting fo the Board in December 1951.

Dean of Women Phoebe Follmer Bacon, formerly Phoebe Follmer, requested another year's leave of absence in order to join her husband for his military duty.

President William W. Edel suggested possible names for the new Women's Dormitory to the Board of Trustees. He presented one of the suggestions that the buildng be named Longsdorff Hall "in honor of the Longsdorf Family [sic] which suppied four women students to enter Dickinson College, among whom was Dr. Zatae Longsdorf Straw [sic]." He recommended, however, that the board select a name out of the college's historical past and that the hall be named Mary Dickinson Hall for the wife of John Dickinson.

Date: 1952

In 1952 the Pan-Hellenic Council was lead by Phyllis M. Lamont, president, and Marjorie E. Heymann, secretary-treasurer, and was composed of two members of each of the four sororities on campus. In addition to organizing the two weeks of fall rush, Pan-Hellenic focused on organizing the all-college Doll Dance before the winter recess. To enter the Doll Dance, participants had to bring a doll to donate to the children of prisoners; attendees were entertained by skits presented by the new pledge classes.

In 1952, Pi Beta Phi was led by Joyce C. Ingham, president; Nancy M. Foster, vice president; Mary Elizabeth Peterson, secretary; and Marilyn J. Unger, treasurer.

In 1952 Chi Omega was led by Diane M. Stewart, president; Mary K. Gleim, vice president; Kathryn M. Kilpatrick, secretary; and Kathryn Williamson, treasurer.

In 1952 Phi Mu was led by Marianne M. Luckenbill, president; Elizabeth B. Haslam, vice president; Elizabeth A. Fosnocht, secretary; and Rachel A. Smith, treasurer.

The officers of Zeta Tau Alpha in 1952 were Audrey M. Ridgely, president; Florence M. Williams, vice president; D. Elizabeth Parker, secretary; and Patricia A. Bradley, treasurer.

The 1952 Microcosm lists the marriage plans of several female students in blurbs by the graduates' pictures. Marian Breu Harlan's blurb mentions a "February wedding" and china patterns.

As in the case of Marian Breu Harlan (Class of 1952), the 1952 Microcosm lists the marriage plans of a graduating female student. Janet Z. Imler is listed as a "February grad, June bride."

Instead of presenting campus queens or Varga girls in the features section of the 1952 Microcosm, the staff chose to highlight social events from the year. They chose five events, including Homecoming, the Christmas season (which comprised a Nativity Play and a Doll Dance, among other activities), the Mid-Winter Ball, the Inter-Fraternity Weekend, and the Follies.

Drayer Hall, the first major building built by the college on the Benjamin Rush campus, was also the first building to be constructed with the women of the college in mind.  An unidentified newspaper clipping anticipates a successful celebration for the dedication of the women's dormitory.  The "celebration will be the first in the long history of the college arranged entirely for honoring Dickinson women."  The Women's Day festivities include high ranking guest speakers, a luncheon, the distribution of honorary degrees to "eight outstanding women" by co-ed student sponsors, and tours of th

Date: January 28, 1952

In a letter to College Historian Charles Coleman Sellers, Elizabeth Anna Low enclosed a copy of her memoir "I Was a Coed." Low describes her acount as "a sketch on the early days of coeducation at Dickinson College."

Date: February 1, 1952

In a letter dated February 1, 1952, Charles Coleman Sellers wrote to Elizabeth Anna Low to convey his excitement after reading her memoir "I was a Coed." He explaineed that he "hoped to publish it later in the year, when the Women's dormitory [Drayer Hall] is dedicated."

Date: July 14, 1952

This memo outlines the cost of furnishing a female student's room in Drayer Hall. Interesting to note that in addition to a bed, mattress, a chair with desk, female students also had the use of an arm chair, two lamps, a waste basket and a pillow! The total cost is $253.60, which in 1952 had the same (2009) buying power as 2046.56 US dollars.

Date: September 1952

Construction finished, Drayer Hall's first residents move in and Drayer becomes Dickinson's first dorm built just for women.

Date: 1953

The 1953 Microcosm documents a new athletic group for women on campus, The Aquatic Club.  "It was organized in the spring of 1952 with the purpose of furthering the interest of students in the development of swimming skills," and featured a presentation of synchronized swimming and pagentry set to music, performed by the Aquacades. 

In 1953, Pi Beta Phi members held a full schedule of scholastic, social, and philanthropic activities. They continued to support their settlement school in Tennessee and they also assisted a struggling German family through connections with one member who was studying abroad there. They also sponsored the annual Pledge Formal, Pledge Tea, Spring Formal, and Spring Tea. The group was led by Ann L. Prescott, president; Shirley J. Chase, vice president; Julia T. Yoshizaki, secretary; and Caroline T. Rhodes, treasurer.

The Delta chapter of Chi Omega strived to fulfill its national motto of "Hellenic Culture and Christian Ideals" in 1953. This was accomplished through dedication to service activities including working with elderly in Carlisle and supporting war-torn countries with care packages. Their social schedule included a number of events such as the Pledge Dance, Spring Formal, and the Initiation and Alumnae Banquets. The officers of Chi Omega were Ann L. Boyd, president; Kathryn G. Jordan, vice president; Elizabeth A. Hollinger, secretary; and Patricia Kort-Kamp, treasurer.

Members of the Dickinson chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha continued to dedicate themselves to philanthropic work related to cerebral palsey in 1953. Their efforts included fundraising and awareness through a published brochure. In addition, they continued to support their scholarship loan fund, which assists both Zetas and non-Zetas. The officers in 1953 were Patricia A. Bradley, president; Evelyn L. Sciotto, vice president; Barbara R. Mattas, secretary; and Kay M. Meyer, treasurer.

The members of Phi Mu continued to maintain a full schedule of philanthropic and social activities. They held their annual Pledge Tea and Pledge Formal, intended to present the new members, as well as their Spring Formal, held in honor of the graduating seniors. They contributed to their philanthropies by sponsoring cake bakes and rummage sales, and they visited the Carlisle Hospital weekly with a toy cart. In addition, the members of Phi Mu have embarked upon a mission of friendship with other local Phi Mu chapters, in an effort to bring together members founded on the same ideals.

In 1953 the Dickinson College Pan-Hellenic Council continued its annually-scheduled activities including Rush, the Doll Dance, and Pan-Hellenic weekend, which aimed to promote interfraternity spirit. The officers in 1953 were Marjorie E. Heymann, president and Shirley A. Holland, secretary-treasurer.

Mary Ellen Irwin (Class of 1953) is listed as the first female All-College Social Chairman in the 1953 Microcosm.

While the staff of the 1952 Microcosm chose to replace campus beauties with outstanding social events, the 1953 Microcosm brought back the "Campus Beauties" feature. Included with a poem by Lord Byron were pictures of the four female students selected.

Date: 1954

In 1954 members of Zeta Tau Alpha maintained an extensive list of activities. To support their national philanthropy, the fight against cerebral palsey, members sold Kris Kringle seals at Christmas, hosted a beauty clinic, and held bake sales and rummage sales. Zeta Tau Alpha prepared for the newly- scheduled second semester Rush by redecorating rooms where they held events. In addition to the annual Pledge Dance and Tea and Winter Formal, members held card parties and spaghetti dinners. The chapter was led by Jean M. McAnally, president; Bette Lou Hoyle, vice president; Shirley A.

Chi Omega's officers included Jacquieline A. Smith, president; Jean E. DeLong, vice president; Patricia L. Anderson, secretary; and Gail K. Bruce, treasurer. Their activities in 1954 included providing CARE packages to wartorn countries, and as in years past, the Pledge Formal, Pledge Tea, and Winter Formal.

In 1954 the Beta Delta Chapter of Phi Mu continued to provide scholastic and philanthropic opportunities for members. They continued to manage the toy cart at the Carlisle Hospital and also paid weekly visits to one of the Children's Homes. Their education programs included book reviews, discussions on vocations, summer job opportunities, and travel experiences. The officers of Phi Mu in 1954 were Alice Hamer Shaw, president; Barbara L. Brennfleck, vice president; Althea M. Trochelman, secretary; and Henrietta R. Mohler, treasurer.

In 1954, the women of the Pan-Hellenic Council continued their work toward maintaining good relations among all of the women's fraternities and supervising the rush process, which was deferred to the second semester.  In the fall, they organized two Pan-Hellenic teas, which allowed freshmen women to meet upperclassmen, sponsored the annual Pan-Hellenic Weekend, and sold flowers and Parents' Day and Homecoming.  The members of the Council now receive Pan-Hellenic Keys, to show their affiliation with the organization and to promote good spirit and cooperation among the women's groups.  Shirle

In 1954 the women of Pi Beta Phi dedicated their time to a number of philanthropic and social activities.  Their most important philanthropy continued to be their contributions to the Pi Phi Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Members were expected to uphold the principles of "true democracy, good sportsmanship, and high standards of conduct."  The officers of Pi Phi in 1954 were Rae E. Halberstadt, President; Mary E. Smith, Vice President; Frances J. Holt, Secretary; and Doroth L. Dykstra, Treasurer.

The 1954 Microcosm shows a picture of the recently completed Drayer Hall which, according to the Ten Year Development Plan, was constructed in 1952 to house upperclass women students.