Longsdorff, Zatae

Hurrah for Coeducation! Exhibit Opens

Winter 2010

Dickinson Magazine reports the creation and opening of Hurrah for Coeducation!, an exhibit in Dickinson's Archives & Special Collections chronicling and celebrating the 125th anniversary of women studying at the college.  In the summer of 2009 interns Allyson Glazier, Cassidy Dermott, Alli Schell - all of the class of 2011 - teamed up under the guidance of special collections librarian Malinda Triller to compile artifacts of many types relating to the history of women at Dickinson.  The exhibit displayed photographs, letters, maps, and various other artifacts organized in cases

Zatae Longsdorff Receives Plaque

April 2010

Dickinson's first female graduate, Zatae Longsdorff, class of 1887, was commemorated by an alcove and plaque in Rector Science Complex.  The plaque was unveiled March 9th, 2010.

Chaplain Morefield on Being a Woman at Dickinson

circa fall 1980

Talk to female freshmen students by Chaplain Mary Anne Morefield on "Being a Woman at Dickinson."  Briefly summarizes the history of coeducation and changes in the male-female balance of the college.  Argues "that though at present there are more females than males on the campus, the historic maleness of the tradition outweigh the reality of the present situation."  Discusses the significance of the using the term "feminist" to describe oneself, the use of "girls" to describe female students, the influence of the fraternity system on campus, and guidelines from Ms.

Women's Resource Center Newsletter, Vol. 1, No, 1

October 11, 1977

The first newsletter of the "revived" Women's Resource Center.  Includes articles by Jocelyn Daniels ("Protecting Ourselves Against Rape"), Ellen Palzer ("Assert Yourself!"), and Elizabeth Pincus ("Interesting Women in History - Zatae Longsdorff (Straw): First Woman Student at Dickinson").

Zatae Longsdorff Recieves an Honorary Degree from Dickinson College, 1937

June 7, 1937

Fifty years following her graduation from Dickinson College as the first female student, Zatae Longsdorff Straw received an honorary degree from her alma mater. The award was bestowed upon Zatae due to her position as "the first woman graduate of Dickinson College, a pioneer among women in the field of medicine, combining with a professional career the duties of motherhood and the demands of public service..."



Zatae Longsdorff Proclaims: "All I wanted was a square deal"


In her speech delivered during a 1937 Commencementt Week Dinner, Zatae Longsdorff Straw remembers her time at Dickinson College. In the beginning of the speech, Straw admits that this was her first time back to Dickinson since she graduated in 1887. Thus, her mind flooded with memories of Dickinson during her 1937 visit. As the first female graduate, Straw described the harassment she received from her male counterparts. She described many of the faculty including Dr. Rittenhouse whose "eyes filled with tears" when male students treated her unkindly. Dr.

Zatae Longsdorff's Childhood Diary, 1874

January 1, 1874

At the age of 8, Zatae Longsdorff began a diary. Her diary documented her young life and describes her time playing outdoors, her passion for reading, as well as her love of animals. Zatae kept the diary from January 1, 1874 until February 28, 1874.

Zatae Longsdorff Earns her Degree from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania

March 8, 1892

In a letter to Zatae Longsdorff, Dean Clara Marshall M.D. informs Zatae that she sucessfully passed her examinations and was recommended for a Degree of Doctor of Medicine. Longsdorff, the first female graduate of Dickinson College, graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and practiced medicine throughout her life.

A Toast from Elizabeth Anna Low

May 24, 1961

In a letter to the class of 1891, Elizabeth Anna Low toasts her class and wrote, "A toast to the days at Dickinson, manhood and womanhood developed on principles so sound that they have served a lifetime." Low goes on to mention Zatae Longsdorff and what interesting experiences she must have had.

It is unclear for what occasion Low wrote this letter.

Beta Theta Pi Considers Admitting Zatae Longsdorff into their Fraternity

April 17, 1885

Beta Theta Pi, one of Dickinson's earliest fraternities, considered admitting Zatae Longsdorff into their fraternity. According to the minutes of April 17, 1885, "Miss Zata Longsdorf was discussed as a fit subject for the bond of fellowship but her case was dismissed." The discussion of her admittance was brief.