Josephine B. Meredith's positions on campus


The 1941 Microcosm catalogues Josephine B. Meredith as the Dean of Women, the only female dean at Dickinson College. Meredith was also one of two female professors currently teaching on campus, the other being Mary Ganoe Rehfuss, the Director of Physical Education for Women. The Microcosm notes that Meredith, an Associate Professor of English, was known on campus for her "forceful personality and executive ability" which "shaped the Dickinson collegiate world".

Physical Culture Instructor Hired

October 1895

Miss Martha Barbour was hired as an instructor in physical culture (read, P.E.) for the female students at Dickinson. She was a graduate of the Boston School of Oratory and was not an alumna.

Miss Elizabeth Bender, World Traveler

November 1896

The November 1896 Dickinsonian mentions in the 'Alumni' section the goings-on of Elizabeth Bender '88. After graduating from Dickinson, she taught at the Carlisle Indian School and then decided to leave the country in 1890. Elizabeth Bender traveled to Japan in order to work for the Women's Foreign Missionary Society and is now the principal of the Girls' High School in Awoyama, Tokio. Miss Bender is mentioned as being "one of the first ladies to receive a diploma from Dickinson...capturing the honors of her class."

Miss Amy Fisher '95: First Regular Female Dickinson Teacher

January 1896

Miss Amy Fisher, class of 1895, was the first "regular lady teacher" associated with "this historic old institution." She had been in charge of the study halls at the Prep School, but in Spring 1896 began to teach regular classes at Dickinson. The rest of this entry in the Dickinsonian lauds the College on its liberal views:

May Morris Honored at Dinner

November 2, 1956

This dinner program honors Miss May Morris in Morgan Hall on November 2, 1956, the year of her returement. Born in June 29, 1886, May Morris, Class of 1909, became Dickinson College's librarian in 1927 and revitalized its collection, budget, and general organization. She received her Ph. B. from Dickinson and a degree from the Pratt Institute of Library Science in Brooklyn, NY. When Miss Morris became Dickinson's librarian, there was only one librarian, one assistant, 52,000 volumes and a budget of $6,050.

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.

Progress Report: Commission on the Status of Women at Dickinson College

May 4, 1973

This Progress Reports includes changes and plans to change College policy regarding female students. Most notably is the mention of the 1973 Spring semester and the success of the movements to "rescind the 'sex quota,' by action of the Board of Trustees, so that henceforth Dickinson College will strive for an approximate ratio of 1:1 in admissions of male and female students; and to omit singing at College functions the last verse of the Alma Mater, with its references to 'men' and 'sons.'"

Second Annual Report of the President's Commission on the Status of Women at Dickinson College (1973-1974)

June 1974

In this report, the possibility of a Women's Center is mentioned. Opponents believed that this would be discrimination against men. While no center existed at the time, the Commission garnered its own bulletin board in the basement of Old West. , had an "open house" for its members and others, luncheons in HUB siderooms, and stressed the importance of getting all the Service Support Personnel who were women to be a part of the Commission.

Female Student Receives Summer Job Offer

March 29, 1921

Miss Eslinger received notice of a job offer from Girard College as an "experienced substitute dietitian" for the summer of 1921. She would assist 500-600 boys and would be paid $137.50 for 1 month's work. $137.50 dollars in 1921 had roughly the same buying power as $1638 in 2009. There is no information in the scrapbook that implies that Miss Eslinger took the job for the receipt stub at the bottom, which notifies the Bureau of Occupations for Trained Women that the job offer had been accepted or denied, is still attached.

Letter from the Bureau of Occupations for Trained Women

February 23, 1921

Written from Rachel Pflaum of the Bureau of Occupations for Trained Women in Philadelphia in response to Miss Margaret Eslinger's request for information, this letter explains the process of becoming a member. In the post script, it indicates that Miss Eslinger had been looking for a position at hotels or summer resorts. The Bureau suggests that she apply directly to those hotels. If she needs any further help, she will need to register and have an interview. This sort of placement service for women appears to help to assist educated women find employment.