A page in the 1890 Microcosm lists the officers and members of the Junior class of 1891, denoting three women who were attending Dickinson. These three women were Elizabeth A. Low, Jessica Dale Longsdorff, and Leonora M. Whiting. Under the class officers, Elizabeth A. Low held two positions as secretary and class poet. Along with three other male names, the three women's names were politely spelled out rather than initialed.
"Inside Information" is the first guidebook published by the Dean of Women office in 1955.Â 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.
As World War Two reached its peak in the years following the early 1940's, as Margaret MacGregor recollected in her interview, many Dickinson students supported the war effort by taking time off of school to work in the factories. In the years 1942 and 1943 Margaret recalled that she stayed at home to work in the York Safe and Lock company as a means to manifest her patriotism and save money (York Safe and Lock had defense contracts). She returned to Dickinson in 1945 alongside the other Dickinson students who had gone off to join the war effort overseas.
Frances Vuilleumier (Class of 1924) describes in an interview how she met her husband, Ernest Albert Vuilleumier, in her chemistry class. The current dean placed her in the class, and according to Frances, "being new, I required a good deal of assistance, you know, so somehow or other..." Professor Vuilleumier, who chaperoned dances, sent a note to Frances inviting her to a fraternity dance. Frances explains that it was acceptable for female students to date professor as "it had happened before." Previously, President James Henry Morgan married a student.
Frances Vuilleumier (Class of 1924) explains in an interview that her sorority, Phi Mu, did not extend membership to black or Jewish students, adding that there "was probably some[one] else we didn't allow." Calling Phi Mu exclusive, she explains that these practices were normal during that period. She points to the 1960s as the decade in which "they didn't stand for that anymore," although the national chapter of some sororities, according to Vuilleumer, still prevented the pledging of minority women.
Miriam Riley Weimer (Class of 1940) recalls in an interview that she knew only one student who was thrown out of school: Bes Jones. Weimer calls her "a rebel in her time" who was caught sneaking out of Metzger Hall on multiple occasions. Dean of Women Josephine Brunyate Meredith threw her out of the college. According to Weimer, Jones became a librarian, presumably having finished her education.
Miriam Riley Weimer (Class of 1940) reports in an interview that college relations with the town of Carlisle were "very good." Some "townies" attended Dickinson College, and women in town welcomed students into their homes. She admits, though, that some "town girls" thought the college women were snobs. According to Weimer, town and college boys did not share the same type of relationship as town boys did not like college boys.
Miriam Riley Weimer (Class of 1940) describes student-faculty relations in an interview. She remembers that Professor Mulford Stough, who she paints as "a character, but a nice guy," dropped a note in Miriam's lap during an exam in Bosler Hall. As Miriam recalls, the note read, "With the sun coming in on your hair, it's just the color that I'm sure the hair of all James Fenimore Cooper's heroines had." At the end of the note, the professor asked if Miriam played bridge. According to Miriam, Professor Stough and Dr.
Virginia Weber (Class of 1946) claims in an interview to be the first female editor-in-chief ofÂ The Dickinsonian. Asked if she believed that she became the editor due to the shortage of students during the war, she responded affirmatively, saying that "there was a lot of competition" for the position: applicants submitted editorials and were judged by a faculty committee. Weber recalls that the newspaper ran stories related mostly to campus events and did not usually cover national or international events.
Virginia Weber (Class of 1946) explains in an interview that women who attended Dickinson during World War II did not drink. According to Weber, female students were forbidden to drink whether or not they were 21. Although Seller admits that some women tried to buy drinks, she says that "they would not serve you in town even if you wanted to drink."
"The Academic Side of Life" a section in "Inside Information," a guidebook published by the Dean of Women's office, provides suggestions to academic success for female students. The guidebook encourages students to place academics first, hand assignments and other materials in on time, not wait until roll call to "become concerned about the academic record you are establishing," attend each class "looking for information," and finally avoid wasting time and energy that can never be "restored."
Day Girls is a section in "Inside Information," a guidebook for women, published by the Dean of Women's office. Day Girls was the term used to refer to the female students that commuted to classes.
"Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College," distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, documents the reasons for the appointment of a new dean of women.
Distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, "Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College" calls for the appointment of a new dean of women. The document cites the numerous occasions on which the dean "defamed the character of the women students" by ridiculing them and calling into question their moral judgement.
"Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College," a document distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, claims that the Dean of Women dealt with female students "in bad faith" by breaking promises. The document cites two cases in which the Dean of Women broke promises: in one case, the dean tried to discover who had disobeyed a ruling by promising to revoke disciplinary action for those who confessed.
In "Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College" distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945, students explain the need for the appointment of a new Dean of Women, calling the Dean of Women Josephine B. Meredith "incompetent as a personal advisor." According to the document, she does not give women students sympathy in personal matters and places them on probation without adequate grounds.
A document entitled "Suggestions Considered Requisite by the Students of Dickinson College for the Improvement of the College" was distributed to faculty and trustees on December 15, 1945. The first "suggestion" was the appointment of a "recognized educator" as president to replace the committee of three ruling the college at the time. According to the document, the "lack of individual authority prevents decisions." The second and longest suggestion asks for the appointment of a new dean of women. The document calls Dean Josephine B.
Winona Mensch Gray (Class of 1948) admits in an interview that she helped to instigate Dean of Women Josephine B. Meredith's resignation. Gray recalls that Meredith resigned during her sophomore year (1946). According to Gray, Dean Meredith was strict--her father and husband had both been Methodist ministers--and forbade female students from activities on Sunday.
On June 4, 1923, the Board of Trustees discussed the number of applicants they received. As opposed to further limiting the number of women at Dickinson College, the Trustees decided to stick by their quota and instead limit the number of both men and women admitted to the school.
On June 4, 1923, President James Henry Morgan reported that, "physical training for the young women has been inadequate, though we have made good use of what was available." Thus, President Morgan argued that Dickinson College should look into creating a relationship with the recently established Y.W.C.A. in Carlisle. Such a relationship would give female Dickinsonians access to the Y.W.C.A.'s athletic facilities and Director.