Two New Trustees Include First Woman Grad

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.

Esther Popel Shaw's Alumni Questionnaire

January 15, 1955

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.'"

Elizabeth Anna Low Agrees to write her Personal Account of Early Coeducation at Dickinson College

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.

Elizabeth Anna Low Writes her Memoir "I was a Coed"

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."

The Student Handbook Describes the Doll Dance, 1951-52

January 1, 1951

In the 1951-52 Student Handbook describes the annual Doll Dance in its "Social Events" section. The handbook explains that the dance is held on the last night before Christmas Vacation. It was started by female Dickinsonians in 1901 when they promised Mrs. Maude Ballington Booth that they would "make and collect dolls to be given to the children of New York prisoners." Dancing and skits by students were central to the activities of the evening.

Hockey goes Varsity


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. 



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. 

Mary Buckley Taintor, Dickinson's 3rd Female Full Professor Retires

July 9, 1959

A portrait taken the year of her retirement, Mary Buckley Taintor joined the Dickinson faculty in 1928 after receiving her B.A. from Ripon College in 1911, her M.A. from both Ripon and Stanford in 1915 and 1918 respectfully. She also taught French as a member of the Ripon College faculty in 1919.  She studied at Oxford University, at the Sorbonne in Paris, at the University of Grenoble in France, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the American Classical School in Rome.

Mathews House Becomes Dormitory for Women

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.