A Female Graduate Describes Her Experiences in Graduate School, 1922

November 12, 1922

In her letter to President Morgan dated November 12, 1922, Helen Witmer describes her experiences as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Witmer was struck by the sheer size of the University and asserted that there were 30,000 people at the homecoming football game alone. Though she was impressed, Witmer explained that she would "still prefer to see an F&M v. Dickinson game."

As for academics, Witmer described the work load as "easier than Dickinson" because she had fewer hours of study. She was intrigued by the level of specialization at the institution. Conversely, many students were impressed with her variety of subjects. However, because of her liberal arts degree, she explained that she would have to stay for two years to attain her masters in sociology.

Lastly, Witmer described the social seen. She commented on how ethnically diverse the campus was. However, she noted that many people flaunt their wealth and "have their own cars on campus." They also spend money on travel and pranks. This was particularly evident in regard to the fraternity system which she described as "unfortunate." According to Witmer people inducted into the greek system "are picked almost entirely on recommendation." Furthermore, Witmer was disappointed to find that the "anti-studying flapper is here in all her--and his--glory too"

At the conclusion of the letter, Witmer declared that she "liked Wisconsin just loads, but Dickinson is still my first love."


Location of Document in Archives
Morgan Papers - Witmer