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.'"
Jane Shenton, an alumnus from 1911, comments upon the required courses for the 1955 Alumni Questionnaire. Even though at the time Jane Shenton complained about the required courses, looking back she remains grateful for taking courses that were out of her line of interest. She was required to take a year of math, philosophy, two laboratory sciences-biology and either chemistry or physics and political science.
Mary A. Ranck, 1907 alumni, recalls her memories on Dickinson College in the 1955 Alumni Questionnaire. Mary Ranck remembers the German Professor, William Prettyman, urged her "to do advanced work in German," which she did while studyting at the University of Berlin in Germany. In 1914, Mary Ranck received an A. B. in German and in 1924 she received an A. B. in History and a teaching degree from Columbia University. She also remembers the Misses Morgan, McIntyre and Mohler who had "a very splendid influence on us girls" due to their "excellent talks at our Y. W. C. A.
Kathryn Kerr, a 1902 graduate, remarks upon her time at Dickinson in the 1955 Alumni questionnaire. She felt that the college's greatest strength was the "moral integrity of the members of the faculty." Ever since graduating from Dickinson, Kathryn Kerr had been an active member in the religious community as well as staying informed about politics and current events. Both Kathryn Kerr and her husband, Rev. Elmer Williams a 1904 graduate, have "always felt much indebted to Dickinson."
From the 1955 Alumni Questionnaire sent out by the Curriculum Committee, Mary Lou Sheets, an alumna from 1901, fondly recalls Dickinson memories. The greatest strength of the college, to Mary Lou Sheets, was the faculty who were "wonderful men in every respect and great teachers all of whom I remember with sincere admiration and love." On a more negative note, Mary Lou felt that the college'sÂ emphasis on extra-curricular activities has been too great and that the college's present emphasis on vocational preparation is too slight.
In 1955, the Curriculum Committee sent out an Alumni Questionnaire for the graduates from the years 1885-1957. Out of the 7,000 questionnaires that were sent out, only 1,050 or about 15% were returned. The President of the College, William W. Edel, asked for favorable or unfavorable responses, based on the varied experiences of all the alumni of the college, in order to get the most truthful evidence on what needs to be done for the college's improvement.