A woman is like a rose

February 8, 1963

Some quotations featured in The Dickinsonian's "Quotes of the Week" reveal what professors at the college were saying about women. An anonymous English professor supposedly said that a "woman is like a rose because she appeals to the sense of taste and the sense of touch as well as the sense of sight." Another English professor purportedly said, "You look at her lips and wish to use them in certain rites but you can't until she says, 'I'm ready.'"

Social Opinion Survey and the Women's Lib Movement

August 29, 1972

President of the College Howard L. Rubendall responded to Samuel W. Witwer's letter in regards to the Social Opinion Survey of the Women's Group. He assures Witwer that Dean of Women Mary F. Carson had nothing to do with the survey and was offended by it. He adds that the Women's Group is not part of the mainstream or the sorority group at Dickinson College and was considered by peers to be "stupid and ridiculous." The president also tells the story of a Commencement speaker who inquired after the presence of the Women's Liberation Movement on campus.

Women's Group Calls for More Female Professors

March 7, 1972

The members of the Women's Group composed a letter to professors calling for more female faculty at Dickinson College. The Women's Group writes that the foundation of coeducation  presupposes that it is valuable to have both men and women students participate in the educational experience. They explain that this concept should be applied to faculty as well and cite the ratio of male to female faculty of 10:1. The male to female student ratio, by contrast, was 4:3.

Another leave of absence for Dean of Women

June 1, 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.

Dean Follmer marries and takes a leave of absence

December 10, 1950

President William W. Edel mentioned in his report to the Board of Trustees that Phoebe Follmer married John F. Bacon on November 11, 1950 and was granted a leave of absence without pay for the rest of the academic year. The college appointed Mary-Margaret Kellogg as Acting Dean of Women with the Rank of Instructor for part-time service at a salary of $125.00 per month. He requested the board's approval for this action.

Josephine B. Meredith Becomes Professor Emerita of English

June 4, 1948

President William W. Edel's annual report to the college recommended the retirement of Josephine Brunyate Meredith and her election as Professor Emerita of English. In response to her retirement and others, the college filled the vacancies with part-time instructors.

The Housing Crisis

June 6, 1947

President William W. Edel reported the inadequate housing situation to the Board of Trustees. The president explained that the lack of housing in Carlisle made it difficult to attract prospective professors. Due to the fact that male students would not occupy the Gibbs House during the next academic year, the college planned to use it to house 20 female students. This change would mean that women students would reside in Metzger Hall, East College, and the Gibbs House.

"I was a Co-ed": A Memoir by Elizabeth A. Low


In her 1951 memoir, Elizabeth A. Low recounts her time at Dickinson College as an early "co-ed." Low's memoir traces her career as a student in the preparatory school through to her latter years as a college student. Her story not only highlights Dickinson campus culture in the late nineteenth-century, but it also discusses what it was like to be an early female student at Dickinson College. Due to the large amount of information included in the piece, the document has been broken up into several posts with several themes including:

President's Report to the Board of Trustees on the Implementation of Coeducation

June 26, 1883

On June 26th, 1883, President McCauley presented his report on the 1883 school year, announcing the faculty desicion to admit women to Dickinson College. He explained that it was, "Resolved that the faculty recommend to the Board of Trustees that ladies be admitted to the classes of the College upon the same conditions as gentlemen." The following year, women were admitted to the sophomore and freshman classes.

Professor strongly recommends women's dorm


Professor Russell I. Thompson strongly urges Board of Trustees President Boyd Lee Spahr to lobby aggressively for the construction of a new women's dormitory, arguing that "Metzger Hall has long since served its purpose." He suggests the building should be sufficient to house 125 to 150 students.