Browse documents by date

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Date: 1916

This photo depicts female graduates of the class of 1916 being welcomed by the class of 1896.

Date: September 1916

The portraits of Helen Jones, President of the Young Women's Christian Association, and Ethel Schellinger, Vice-president, are included in the 1916-17 student handbook, marking the second consecutive year that portraits of Y.W.C.A officers are included. The secretary position was held by Iva Fisher and Constance Springer held the title as treasurer. Also included on pages 28-33 of the student handbook is the organizations mission statement as well as the full constitution.

Date: 1917

This image depicts two Red Cross nurses collecting donations at the 1917 Doll Dance.

The photo depicts the dolls collected from the annual Doll Dance. The dolls were sent to underprivileged children in New York.

Date: September 1917

Included in the 1917-18 student handbook, published by the Christian
associations, is the full constitution of the Young Women's Christian
Association. Prior to 1913 only parts of the YWCA constitution were
printed in the student handbook. The constitution included information
on membership, meetings, Bible study, mission study, missionary work,
conventions, student conferences, and its mission statement. Article II
of the constitution states that the object of the organization "shall

Date: 1918

This photo depicts to female Dickinsonians who were participating in the 1918 May Day celebration.

Isabel Endslow, the first president of Women's Student Government, is captured in this photograph from 1918.

Date: May 11, 1918

On motion of Trustee Frank Lynch in 1918, the president of the College was allowed to hire female faculty members. The president was allowed to do so if, "it seems to the President of the College that better service can be secured by the employment of one or more women as instructors."

Date: June 1918

The literature regarding the Association of Collegiate Alumnae sent to President Morgan from Mary Evans Rosa included a brochure listing schools with membership to the organization. The list included nearly 70 American schools as well as institutions in Europe.

Date: September 1918

Included in the 1917-18 student handbook, published by the Christian
associations, is the full constitution of the Young Women's Christian
Association. Prior to 1913 only parts of the YWCA constitution were
printed in the student handbook. The constitution included information
on membership, meetings, Bible study, mission study, missionary work,
conventions, student conferences, and its mission statement. Article II
of the constitution states that the object of the organization "shall
be the development of Christian character in its members and the

Date: 1919

Esther Popel, the first known African American woman to graduate from Dickinson College, was listed in the 1919-1920 yearbook. Described as quiet and "a true scholar," Popel commuted from Harrisburg to Dickinson every day. The Microcosm wrote, "We see her but we seldom hear her." Popel went on to become a poet of the Harlem Renaissance movement.

Date: June 2, 1919

After accepting the position as both house mother and instructor at Dickinson College, S. Louise de Vilaine wrote to President Morgan and expressed her disappointment. She wrote, "I accept your offer although it is not as generous as I had expected. My work is worth more and still count on your raising it to $1400 before the year is over."

Date: June 21, 1919

On June 21, 1919, Trustee Boyd Lee Spahr moved that, "beginning with the academic year 1919-1920, the number of women students admitted to each incoming Freshman Class shall not exceed 25% of the total number of Freshman of the preceding year." Trustess L.W. Johnson and E.M. Biddle Jr. moved to amend the motion by waiting until the 1920-1921 school year. James H Morgan and Frank. B. Lynch moved to table the whole matter. After a vote, the resolution was tabled.

Date: June 28, 1919

In a letter dated June 28, 1919, S. Louise de Vilaine, a French instructor at Dickinson College, accepts the house mother position at Metzger Hall. She wrote President Morgan requesting more information regarding the position, house rules, her teaching agenda, and whether or not she will recieve room and board.

Date: July 31, 1919

In a letter to Mrs. Josephine B. Meredith, a candidate for the Dean of Women, President Morgan agrees with Meredith and advises her to meet with him to further discuss the position.

Date: August 11, 1919

In a telegram dated August 11, 1919, Josephine B. Meredith accepted the position as the Dean of Women Students at Dickinson College.

Date: August 12, 1919

In her letter to President Morgan dated August 12, 1919, Dean Meredith formally accepts the position of Dean of Women after being freed from her contract at the Woodbury School. She immediately begins to discuss the changes she hopes to make at Dickinson College as the new Dean of Women. Her plans include turning an old chapel into a gymnasium for women and turning a room into her office so she can watch the women come and go. She also discusses supplies for the women's dorm as well as the staff at Metzger Hall.

Date: August 16, 1919

In a letter dated August 16, 1919, President Morgan urges Dean Meredith to come to campus as soon as she can. He writes that he hopes "that you can arrange to come to us pretty soon - not intendeing this to hurry you, but saying what I think you yourself also feel, that the sooner you can get here and in touch with the various elements of the situation, the better it will be." According to Morgan, there is much to do to prepare for her position.

Date: September 1919

The object of "The Student Government Association of the women of Dickinson College" (as refered to in the student handbook of 1919) was to "enact and enforce laws in accordance with the charter granted to the association by the President and Dean of Dickinson; to transact business pertaining to the whole body of women students in so far as it lies within its power." This association was comprised of officers and an executive board that made all final decisions.

Alta Kimmel kept in her personal scrapbook a newspaper clipping regarding new rushing rules for the 1919-1920 academic year.  The rules mainly documented special dates and regulations for when rushing events were to take place. 

Date: October 2, 1919

Taken from Alta Kimmel's personal scrapbook is this handwritten invitation, or bid rather, to the Pi Beta Phi fraternity for women.  The letter is written by the Greek organization's president, Helen Purvis, and gives instruction for acceptance or rejection of the bid. 

Date: October 3, 1919

On October 3, 1919 The Dickinsonian published an article comparing the histories of Dickinson's three literary societies, one of them being the Harman Literary Society, which was created as an all female group in 1896. The organization was open to all interested women, and at the time, was highly praised by the Dean of Women, Mrs. Meredith. 

Shortly after college opened in the fall of '96, Dickinson women began to consider how they might obtain the training, which is best furnished by active work in a Literary Society.  After consulting with the President, they met October 21, to formally consider the question, with sixteen present.  After effecting a temporary organization, a committee on constitution was appointed.  It was then suggested that the society be named in honor of Dr. Harman.  On November 18, 1896, the constitution, together with the name was formally adopted.

Date: October 10, 1919

The activities of Harman Literary Society are in full swing.  Interesting plans for the year have been worked out by the Program Committee with the help of the President of the Society and Mrs. Meredith, Dean of Women.

Date: October 17, 1919

Date: October 27, 1919

In a letter dated October 27, 1919, President Morgan wrote Dean Meredith concerned about what he termed "class interference," also known as hazing. Such incidence occurred between sophomore and freshmen women in Metzger Hall.  He asked Dean Meredith to remind the women that a similar situation happened thirteen years earlier and that such behavior would not be tolerated. According to Morgan, such activity would result in expulsion.

President J. H. Morgan wrote to the Dean of Women, Josephine Meredith, about an instance of "class interference" at Metzger Hall informing her of what her actions should be. The President informs Dean Meredith that an incident of the sophomore and freshman classes terrorizing each other had occurred before, about thirteen years ago, and announced that no such interferences would be allowed. Any young woman who would participate in such events would be considered "Wise to withdraw from the College" because it is in the College's interest to keep up a good reputation.

Date: November 4, 1919

In a letter dated November 4, 1919, President Morgan writes to Dean Meredith regarding the rules of conduct for women at Metzger Hall after viewing them in a copy of the yearbook. Morgan argues that the present system of self-governance among the women is most desireable. However, he is concernd that the rules in place are lax and "too loosely drawn." This is particularly evident in reference to the rules regarding Hall absences.

President J. H. Morgan writes to the Dean of Women, Josephine Meredith, regarding the revision of the Self-Government rules for the young women at Metzger Hall. The President strongly feels that the revision of these new rules should be mostly designed by the young women of the college, but with Dean Meredith's discretion on the direction of the rules.

Date: November 12, 1919

In a letter dated November 12, 1919, a Professor of Forestry at Penn State College (now Penn State University) wrote to Dean Josephine Meredith in reference to her letter regarding trees for the Women's Dorm. The Penn State College offered to donate the trees and deliver them in the spring.

Date: circa 1920

This document lists the last  names of 88 women who lived in Metzger Hall. The date of the document is unknown.

This is a "Notice of Social Event Form" for Metzger Hall. One had to fill in the type of social event, time, day, number of people, character of the event, names of chaperons, and the committee in charge.

Sent to President Morgan by Mary Evans Rosa in 1920, this brochure outlines the mission of the Assocaition of Collegiate Alumnae. According to the literature "the organization is a national organization composed of women graduates from some seventy-five American colleges and univerisites whose Bachelor's degree, and the eight American universities who higher degree, entitle them to membership." Moreoever, the ACA explained that the association was founded in 1882. The primary purpose of the organization was to unite alumnae from different institutions for "practical educational work."

In a letter to President Morgan, Dean Meredith explained how she prohibited the women of Dickinson College from attending the Leap Year Dance. According to the letter, the dance was not held on Dickinson College's campus and was in the evening. For these reasons, Dean Meredith opposed the event. In the end, Miss. Mildred Conklin (Class of 1920) spoke with the women and they decided not to go and hold to the rules of the Student Government.

In a letter to Dean Filler, Dean Meredith explained the College's policy on female students' relations with men of the War College. According to Dean Meredith, the female students often go to the War College to entertain the soldiers. However, there is a strict rule that prohibits women from "entertaining a young man not of the student body without special permission from the Dean of Women." She further explains that such a ruling is not "against the Uniform" but rather against a "chance acquaintance."

This essay by Dean Meredith outlined the problems faced when women attended fraternity dances. She argued that such dances were chaperoned however, before and after the dance was not. Often women would to travel to such events and it was impossible to watch them all the time. Thus, improper behavior occured between men and women.

This photograph depicts the Women's Athletic Association on an outing in the country. The women are clad in trousers, a fashion not allowed at the school.

Date: 1920-1921

This document lists the names and addresses of women who lived in Metzger Hall during the 1920-1921 school year. The list includes Names and home addresses. The women come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Date: c1920

This postcard depicts an image of Metzger Hall, one of Dickinson College's early female dorms.

This postcard depicts an image of Metzger Hall, c1920. Metzger Hall housed female students until 1963.

Date: 1920

From the Eslinger Scrapbook, there are three small pamphlets on Good Manners and Good Form: Courtesy of To-Day Between Men and Women, At the Table, and Entertaining. At the Table, men should seat women first from oldest to youngest. One's waist should remain 5 inches from the table's edge. Don't eat with your mouth open. Elbows, while eating ,should be no more than 6 inches away from the body on either side.

Date: January 15, 1920

In a letter addressed to Dean Meredith, an unidentified woman discussed the rules regarding dance chapersones. The woman argued that the female staff of the college must chaperone the dances. They will take turns doing so and must be notified by the organization or indivdual hosting the dance. Morevoer, she argues that women who do not live in Metzger Hall should be subject to the same rules as the women living on campus. She suggests that their parents could be notified and should enforce such rules.

Date: January 20, 1920

In a letter dated January 20, 1920, Mary Evans Rosa, an early female graduate of Dickinson College, sent literature regarding the Association of Collegiate Alumnae to President Morgan. The organization was for college women who graduated from coed and single sex institutions. Evans Rosa encouraged President Morgan to advocate for Dickinson College's membership into the organization.

Date: January 22, 1920

In a lengthy letter to President Morgan, Dean Meredith discussed chaperons, the inadequacy of Metzger Hall Staff, the running of Metzger Hall, and her family's situation. Most interestingly, Meredith wrote about a woman she met in Harrisburg named Dr. Taylor. According to the letter, Dr. Taylor is willing to give "six to eight talks" to Female Dickinsonians on "the care of the health and sex hygiene." Dean Meredith explained that "Our girls here are very much in need of such instruction.

In her letter to President Morgan dated January 22, 1920, Dean Meredith discusses the running of the household at Metzger Hall. According to Meredith, in order to run the Hall, "two cooks, two house maids, two waitresses, a dishwasher, and George [a janitor]" are needed. The Dean of Women is concerned that the current staff, hired by Sarah K. Ege (the "Lady in charge of Metzger College"), are stealing from the college. Moreover, she argues that they do not do their jobs.

Date: February 12, 1920

In a letter dated February 12, 1920, President Morgan responds to Mary Evans Rosa's letter regarding the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. According to President Morgan, he contacted the ACA a few years earlier and found that they required that women be on the faculty on equal footing as their male counterparts. He explained that "We had at that time no women in our faculty and could not, of course, meet conditions. I doubt very much whether we will meet them now. Women are not in our faculty on par with men.

Date: February 16, 1920

A letter between the Dean of Women, Josephine Meredith, and Dean Filler discusses the allowance, or denial, of female students requesting to go to certain local dances. Gertrude Chrisman was noted as requesting to go to a dance in Harrisburg with a Mr. Duffy, but is to be denied by Dean Meredith because "no men in that Fraternity are regular callers at this house." Another dance that Dean Meredith makes mention of is Mrs. Parker's dance, where about eighteen of the female students were invited.

Date: February 18, 1920

An unsigned letter, dated February 18, 1920, to Dean Meredith comments on her communication with Dean Filler about the decision to allow, or not, the female students to go to the public dance. The unnamed writer criticizes Dean Meredith on her decision to possibly allow the ladies to go on the fact that the girls had in the past been allowed to go to such dances.

Date: March 20, 1920

In a letter dated March 20, 1920, F. Louise Nardin of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae informs President Morgan that Dickinson request for admission into the organization would likley be declined. She explains that "I find several points on which yur institutions does not satisfy the requirements of our Association. There are no women with professorial rank in the faculty; there is only one woman as an instructor." Moreover, women at Dickinson did not receive and equal salary and are not given equal opportunities. 

Date: March 24, 1920

In a letter dates March 24, 1920, President Morgan wrote to F. Louise Nardin of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae in regard to Dickinson's application for admssion to the organization. In a previous letter, F. Louise Nardin explained that Dickinson would not be eligible for admission due the inequality that existed between female and male faculty. Morgan defends Dickinson's stance on female employees and expains that "Until recent years there were no women in our faculty.