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Date: 1954

The 1954 Microcosm documents the shift of women's hockey teams from intramural to varsity status.  The varsity squad competed with Wilson College, Penn-Hall preparatory school, and the Harrisburg Hockey clubs in the 1953-1954 academic year. 

Date: 1955

In 1955, the women of Zeta Tau Alpha were active members of the Dickinson community.  They held a song festival to raise funds for a cerebral palsy organization and invited all members of the greek community to participate.  Their social calendar included Sunday morning breakfasts, teas for faculty and fraternity representatives, and the Pledge and Winter Formals.  A picture in the Microcosm also documents the women of Zeta Tau Alpha supporting athletics on campus.  The officers of the organization in 1955 were Wilma V. Hatter, president; Barbara L. Burket, vice-president; Barbara J.

According to its entry in the Microcosm, in 1955 the women of Pi Beta Phi encouraged all members to participate in campus activities and to maintain high scholarship.  They held a number of social events including a formal in honor of the seniors, a pledge formal, and a pledge tea.  In 1955, the officers of Pi Beta Phi were Susan J. Marquardt, president; Suzanne S. Ruggles, vice-president; Susan D. Epley, secretary; and Alma M. Balla, treasurer.

In 1955, the women of Chi Omega maintained a busy schedule of scholastic, social, and service-related activities.  Their serivce projects included Campus Chest and assisting at a local Recreational Center for underprivileged children.  They raised money for each of these activities through rummage sales and a jazz concert.  They organized informal discussions with professors on pertinent topics and held a tea at the beginning of the year to welcome new faculty and transfer students.  Their social activities included a hayride, Winter Formal, breakfast in rooms, serenading college men, and a

In 1955, the Microcosm documented a number of activities of the women of Phi Mu.  The organization held three rummage sales and two carwashes to benefit their Toy Cart at the Carlisle Hospital and the Carlisle Children's Home.  Phi Mu also held a Mary Sachs fashion show to benefit the Philadelphia Arthritic Society.  The officers of the Beta Delta chapter in 1955 were Louise E. Howard, president; Edith F. Cooke, vice-president; Edith H. Bean, secretary; and Ruth M. Costenbader, treasurer. 

The 1955 Microcosm lists Victoria Kathryn Hann as the new Dean of Women and lauds her as an "ideal Dean of Women" who is enthusiastic, efficient, has a "winning manner," and understands "women students and their problems."

The 1955 Microcosm gave the task of selecting the year's "Miss Microcosm" to Jack Webb, a "well-known personality in the theatrical world." Of the eight portraits of Dickinson College coeds sent to him, he chose Joanne Neilson as "Miss Microcosm." Runners-up included: Susan Marquardt, Patricia Eshelman, Jeanne Carlson, Jocelyn Peltz, Carolyn Fitzcharles, Jane Lewis, and Mary Ann Walter.

Date: circa 1955

This photo depicts two women relaxing in a Matthews Hall dorm room, c. 1955. The names of the women are not known. If you recognize someone in the photo, feel free to post the information below.

This photo depicts a woman in a Matthews Hall bedroom, c. 1955. The name of the woman is not known. If you recognize her, feel free to post the information below.

Drayer Hall postcard advertising Dickinson College's all female residence, closer to campus than any prior female housing.

Date: January 15, 1955

From the 1955 Alumni Questionnaire sent out by the Curriculum Committee, Mary Lou Sheets, an alumna from 1901, fondly recalls Dickinson memories. The greatest strength of the college, to Mary Lou Sheets, was the faculty who were "wonderful men in every respect and great teachers all of whom I remember with sincere admiration and love." On a more negative note, Mary Lou felt that the college's  emphasis on extra-curricular activities has been too great and that the college's present emphasis on vocational preparation is too slight.

Mary A. Ranck, 1907 alumni, recalls her memories on Dickinson College in the 1955 Alumni Questionnaire. Mary Ranck remembers the German Professor, William Prettyman, urged her "to do advanced work in German," which she did while studyting at the University of Berlin in Germany. In 1914, Mary Ranck received an A. B. in German and in 1924 she received an A. B. in History and a teaching degree from Columbia University. She also remembers the Misses Morgan, McIntyre and Mohler who had "a very splendid influence on us girls" due to their "excellent talks at our Y. W. C. A.

In 1955, Ester Popel Shaw (class of 1919) responded to President Edel's Alumni Questionnaire. Popel Shaw, the first known African American female graduate from Dickinson College, fondly remembered her days at Dickinson. When asked what were the "greatest shortcoming of Dickinson College," Popel Shaw responded that "there were no shortcoming when I was a student. The school seemed to meet all my needs." Moreover, she explained that she was "proud of being one of Dickinson's daughters.'"

In 1955, the Curriculum Committee sent out an Alumni Questionnaire for the graduates from the years 1885-1957. Out of the 7,000 questionnaires that were sent out, only 1,050 or about 15% were returned. The President of the College, William W. Edel, asked for favorable or unfavorable responses, based on the varied experiences of all the alumni of the college, in order to get the most truthful evidence on what needs to be done for the college's improvement.

Kathryn Kerr, a 1902 graduate, remarks upon her time at Dickinson in the 1955 Alumni questionnaire. She felt that the college's greatest strength was the "moral integrity of the members of the faculty." Ever since graduating from Dickinson, Kathryn Kerr had been an active member in the religious community as well as staying informed about politics and current events. Both Kathryn Kerr and her husband, Rev. Elmer Williams a 1904 graduate, have "always felt much indebted to Dickinson."

Jane Shenton, an alumnus from 1911, comments upon the required courses for the 1955 Alumni Questionnaire. Even though at the time Jane Shenton complained about the required courses, looking back she remains grateful for taking courses that were out of her line of interest. She was required to take a year of math, philosophy, two laboratory sciences-biology and either chemistry or physics and political science.

Date: August 12, 1955

"Inside Information" is the first guidebook published by the Dean of Women office in 1955.  This guidebook provides rules and regulations for dormitory life, guidelines for social life, proper dress and manners, suggestions for academic success, information on sororities, and independents. "Inside Information" was sent to freshmen students prior to the start of the academic year.

Included in "Inside Information," a guidebook published by the Dean of Women's Office, are a list of dating suggestions for women. According to the guidebook, the way a young woman "regards adults will give her date an idea of the kind of person she is." Suggestions include, using "your best dating manners from the very begining. Start each date on the right note by being prompt, neat and clean.

"Your room" is a section included in "Inside Information" a guidebook for freshman women. This section provides suggestions to freshmen students on the aesthetics of their dorm room, stating "a real transformation occurs in a dormitory room after its residents move in. The room acquires a distinctive atmosphere, almost a personality." Encouraging students to "bring friends pictures and a few special momentos." Also included is information to female students on laundry facilities.

Date: 1956

The 1956 Microcosm presented the "Queens of Campus." The fourteen national Greek letter fraternities on campus nominated ten female students to parade in front of three judges. From these, the judges chose one "Miss Microcosm" and six runners up.

In 1956 the women of Pi Beta Phi strived to uphold the principles of "true democracy, good sportsmanship, and high standards of conduct," according to the Microcosm entry on the organization.  The officers of the organization were Carolyn Menin, president; Carol Odorizzi, vice-president; Joanne Creveling, secretary; and Helen Herr, treasurer.

In 1956 Chi Omega was led by President Sally Anderson, Vice-President Barbara Boffemmeyer, Secretary Sue Thoenenbe, and Treasurer Jean Hampton. Their annual activities included, as in years past, a fashion show and various rummage sales to benefit worthy causes, informal dinners and Sunday morning breakfasts, faculty gatherings, dances, and an alumnae banquet.

In 1956, the officers of Phi Mu were Mary Ann Walter, President; Jan Westcott, Vice-President; Elizabeth Baird, Secretary; and Joan Howell, Treasurer. Phi Mu supported its philanthropies at the Children's Home in Carlisle and the Carlisle Hospital with a variety of activities including selling stationary, cookies, and cowbells at football games. They also hosted Halloween and Christmas parties at the Children's Home. Their social calendar included informal pizza or spaghetti dinners, as well as the pledge and spring formals.

The Beta Beta Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha participated in and sponsored a number of different campus activities, including the annual song fest, which raised money for cerebral palsy. In coordination with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha held a Christmas party for underprivileged children. Their social activities included chapter dinners and teas, formals, and a Founder's Day Luncheon with the Alumnae. The officers of Zeta Tau Alpha in 1956 were Ingrid Reinhold, President; Nancy Schreiber, Vice-President; Lorraine Appleyard, Secretary; and Nancy Kelley, Treasurer.

In 1956 a women's government organization was organized through the establishment of the President's Council. The council was established with the purpose of creating uniformity in rules for all of the dormitories and to act as a link between women students and the administration. According to the Microcosm, in its first year, the President's Council "made great progress in realizing its duties and responsibilities," which included meeting weekly with the Dean of Women.

The list of "women's rules" included in the 1956-57 student handbook was modified from a list of nine rules to seven that freshman students were required to adhere to.

Date: August 10, 1956

In a letter to the incoming freshmen women of 1955, Dean of Women Victoria K. Hann, extends her greetings, congratulations, and offers her support to the incoming female students. This welcoming letter is the first page in "Inside Information," an informational guidebook published by the Dean of Women's office. Dean Hann outlines the contents of the guidebook, writing "this booklet is sent to you in the hope that some of your questions can be answered before you get here." Inside Information was sent to the homes of incoming freshman female students prior to their arrival.

Date: November 2, 1956

This dinner program honors Miss May Morris in Morgan Hall on November 2, 1956, the year of her returement. Born in June 29, 1886, May Morris, Class of 1909, became Dickinson College's librarian in 1927 and revitalized its collection, budget, and general organization. She received her Ph. B. from Dickinson and a degree from the Pratt Institute of Library Science in Brooklyn, NY. When Miss Morris became Dickinson's librarian, there was only one librarian, one assistant, 52,000 volumes and a budget of $6,050.

Date: 1957

The 1957 Microcosm continued its three-year custom of electing a "Miss Microcosm" along with her court. Like in 1956, fourteen national fraternities on campus nominated female students from which the editorial staff selected nine. These nine appeared before three judges who chose them based on their beauty and charm. They elected Barbara James Kline, a married student, as "Miss Microcosm." The runners up were Patricia Townsend, Mary Greensides, Patricia Eshelman, Inge Paul, Joan Brownell, Sue Fooder, Jeanne Thomas, and Nancy Cross.

In 1957 the women of Pi Beta Phi continued their traditional social and service events. Christmas caroling and bridge tournaments were also popular sisterhood events. While in past years officers held their title for the full school year, in 1957, Pi Beta Phi had separate groups of officers for the spring and fall semester. In the fall, the leaders were Wendy Buckler, President; Lee Steinwald, Vice President; Virginia Burgess, Treasurer; and Nancy Carpenter, Secretary.

According to the Microcosm, Chi Omega's activities in 1957 included "outings at Pine Grove, breakfasts in the rooms, and coffee hours with the faculty and other fraternities." Traditional formals and teas were also held. Like Pi Beta Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha, Chi Omega also listed their officers according to spring and fall semesters for the first time. Fall semester's leaders were Pat Eshelman, President; Joan Gallagher, Vice President; Mae Smethurst, Treasurer; and Betsy Reichle, Secretary. Spring semester's leaders were Inge Paul, President; Nancy A.

In 1957, Zeta Tau Alpha continued to serve the community and college. To support their cerebral palsy philanthropy, the women sponsored a songfest where various organizations on campus participated. They also held their annual Christmas party for underprivileged children with the fraternity Phi Delta Theta. Their social activities included pizza and dessert parties, a Pledge Tea, a Founder's Day Luncheon, and formals. Like Pi Beta Phi and Chi Omega, in 1957 Zeta Tau Alpha also began to change the executive board mid-year.

The 1957 Microcosm noted that the women of Phi Mu "strive for the founder's ideals of high scholarship, close sisterhood and noble womanhood." The sisters aimed to follow these goals by volunteering at the Carlisle Hospital and Children's Home and through hosting social events such as pledge and senior formals and "parties in the rooms." The officers of Phi Mu were Pat Anderson, President; Jo Ann Rothermel, Vice President; Elizabeth Elderdice, Secretary; and Joyce Roberts, Treasurer.

In the 1957 edition of the Microcosm, a new local sorority, Sui Generis, made an appearance.  According to the entry, Sui Generis was officially founded on Decemeber 15, 1956 with the goals of forming bonds of loyalty, friendship, and participation.  However, the organization had been on campus for some time before this.  In 1957, plans were still in the works for a constitution, which would give Sui Generis official representation on campus, as well as permanent meeting rooms.  The members' activities in 1957 included providing donations to the campus chest drive and sponsoring a needy chi

Wheel and Chain is a local honor society established in 1924. Membership includes up to nine senior women that exhibit excellence in "scholarship, outstanding leadership and activities, and service to the college." According to the 1957 student handbook, the purpose of Wheel and Chain was to promote fellowship among senior women.

Under the Fraternity Social Functions section under the 1957 student handbook, female students were allowed to attend evening dinners at fraternity houses under the following regulations:

  • one chaperone must be present
  • female students were not allowed to arrive prior than 5:45pm and stay past 7:15pm
  • the dinner must have been registered with the Dean of Women by the Wednesday before the event
  • the president and officers were responsible for "conduct" as well as "maintaining the established hours of arrival and departure"

Date: August 1, 1957

"Sui Generis" is a social club open to all female students that chose not to participate in Greek life. Much like the "Independent Women", Sui Generis required membership at the begining of the second semester.

"Inside Information" is the first guidebook published by the Dean of
Women office. This guidebook provides rules and regulations for
dormitory life, guidelines for social life, proper dress and manners,
suggestions for academic success, information on sororities, and
independents. "Inside Information" was sent to freshmen students prior
to the start of the academic year.

Date: September 1957

Mrs. Helen Douglass Gallagher, of the class of 1926, becomes the first female Dickinson alumna to become a member of the Board of Trustees.

Victoria Hann, of the class of 1950 and the Dean of Women at Dickinson College, was given a promotion by the Board of Trustees.  Hann was promoted to the rank of assistant professor.  Dean Hann graduated from Dickinson Phi Beta Kappa in 1950, and went on to earn a masters degree at Columbia University.  She was appointed dean of women in 1964.

Mrs. Howard G. Watson, formerly Helen Fooks Wright, of the class of 1903, died on May 31, 1957.  She was the principal of a high school in Perryville, MD, and the mother of one.  She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and of Pi Beta Phi, along with the Harmon Literary Society, the Navy League, and the Women's College Club of Cecil County, MD.  She was a also a former president of the Retired Teachers of Marylnd.  Miss Ruth E.

Date: December 1957

The December 1957 issue of the Dickinson Alumnus documents the college's acquisition of Mathew's House for the use as a women's dormitory. Mathews House was the home of Col. Philip Mathews and his sister, Anne. The house would provide rooms for 26 female students. Mathews House would be the fourth small residence for women, along with Gibbs, Biddle and McIntire Houses.

Date: 1958

Continuing the four-year tradition of electing a "Miss Microcosm" from Dickinson's coeds, the 1958 editorial staff of the Microcosm selected nine students from the nominations of fourteen national fraternities. The staff submitted photos of these women to three judges, who chose one Miss Microcosm, which the yearbook presented "as Dickinson's finest in grace, beauty, and charm."

Zeta Tau Alpha's members maintained an active schedule of social and philanthropic activities in 1958.  They continued to support their traditional philanthropy dedicated to cerebral palsy through the annual Songfest and they additionally held Christmas party with Phi Delta Theta for underprivileged children.  Social activities included a bazaar called "Santa's Workshop," Big and Little Sisterhood events, as well as teas and formals for the seniors and pledges.  The Beta Beta chapter also entertained a national officer during her week-long visit to the college.

The 1958 Microcosm entry on Sui Generis, a new local sorority established in 1956, noted that the group "formed a close bond of friendship and have made this the 'coming out' year."  The women worked with their faculty advisor, Miss Christian Royer, to create their pin, decorate their new rooms in the basement of Biddle, draw up their constitution, and choose their official colors of dark blue and light blue.  Sui Generis was also became a voting member of the college Pan-Hellenic Council this year.  Like other women's fraternities on campus, Sui Generis supported various campus philanthrop

In 1958, The Dickinsonian was led by a female editor-in-chief, Doris Weigel. According to the Microcosm, the editor-in-chief and her staff deserves "credit for this faithful picture of Dickinson's daily life." While the managing editor was a male student, the feature editor, news editor, copy editor, and business manager were all female.

In 1958, Chi Omega members contributed to the Tri-County-Crippled Children's Home and supported Christmas and Easter Seal envelopes. According to the Microcosm entry, Chi Omegas had a "heavily laden" social calendar involving activities such as Frisbee matches against Sigma Chi, hockey games against Phi Kaps during the fall sports season, dessert parties, "raking" parties, and other socials with men's fraternities. Seniors were honored at their "High Society" formal, and pledges at the pledge formal dance.

In 1957 Phi Mu maintained an active schedule of philanthropic and social activities.  Members visited the United Brethren Children's Home in Carlisle every week, and often held parties or took the children on outings.  They also continued to maintain their toy cart at the Carlisle Hospital.  Social and sisterhood activities included cocktail parties with fraternities,  traditional formals and teas, and two retreats to Camp Shand.

Members of Pi Beta Phi continued to support and participate in traditional social and philanthropic activities.  This included supporting the Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and underprivileged children who were local to the Carlisle area.  Additionally, members were expected to "achieve a high level of scholarship and to serve the college by participating in most campus activities."  The social calendar included traditional formals and teas as well as bridge and dessert parties with fraternities.

Date: February 1958

Elizabeth Bowen, noted British author, is slated to receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at a special April convocation ceremony.  Since her first work, Encounters, Bowen has published a book every two years.  She is the recipient of the Commander of the British Empire award for excellence in literature.  She is also very engaged in reviewing contemporary literature, and takes an interest both in all genres of reading and in various social hobbies, including cinema, painting, and social planning.