Longsdorff, Zatae

The 1886 Junior Oratorical Contest, A Parody

June 21, 1886

A parody on the Junior Oratorical Contest was written in 1886, and taunts Zatae Longsdorff's participation in it. One of the main features of this "event" is  Zatae singing the opening song, "Wait Till the Clouds Roll By." For the purposes of this parody, her oration is renamed from "Hand Workers vs. Head Workers" to "Head Work Verses Pony Work," and that she is labeled as "Our Pride When Absent." Zatae is finally mentioned in "Dramatis Personae" as stating, "I'm a Co-ed; I want a medal."

The F-Word

October 7, 2008

The Extra Features on the Dickinson College website documents the creation and activism of the Feminist Collective. Formerly the Zatae Longsdorff Center for Women, the Feminist Collective is the new student-led women's feminist organization on campus. The first women's center was created in 1984 as a support and research center, named after the first woman to graduate from Dickinson, Zatae Longsdorff.  With this new center, the members can "now focus on an inclusive agenda that addresses gender, race, class, and sexual orientation" because they are a feminist organization.

Ringing of Wedding Bells: Zatae Longsdorff

circa 1891

Taken from the George Edward Reed scrapbook, this newspaper clipping announces the marriage of Zatae Longsdorff (Class of 1997) to A. Gale Straw of New Hampshire. They married at 105 West Louther St., Carlisle, PA, and all of the Dickinson faculty were present. The article goes on to describe the wedding party, dressed in blue with chrysanthemums as well as cream silk dresses for the bridesmaids. Zatae wore a white silk dress with a veil. The Dickinson College Glee Club provided entertainment at the reception.

The Dickinsonian Declares the Wedding of Zatae Longsdorf

November, 1891

The November 1891 Dickinsonian declares in its pages about the prospective wedding of Zatae Longsdorff. She is to be married to a Dr. A Gale Straw on the fourteenth of November, 1891. Zatae's maids of honor were Lenora Whiting (Class of 1891) and Jessica Longsdorff (Class of 1891), her sister. The Dickinsonian "sends congratulations and well wishes after the happy couple."

Photograph Circa 1887 of Early Co-Eds at Dickinson College and Preparatory School

c. 1887

This photograph is a group picture of early female students of both Dickinson College and the Preparatory School from circa 1887. The women included in this picture are Zatae Longsdorff '87, Mary Curran '88, Hildegarde Longsdorff '88, Elizabeth Bender '88, Mary Evans '89, Alice Kronenberg '89, Mary Himes '89, Jennie Taylor '89, Jessica Longsdorff '91, Elizabeth Low '91, Lenora Whiting '91, Wilhemina Scarborough '91, and Sarah Yocum '91.

Dickinsonian Shows Zatae Longsdorff's Participation in the Junior Oratorical Contest

July, 1886

The July 1886 Dickinsonian shows that Zatae Longsdorff was a participant in the Junior Oration Contest. The Dickinsonian states that it could hardly be called a contest because of the fact that "the members of the class organization...refused to take any part whatever in it when the two persons outside of the organization had made known their intention of contesting." One of these two people is of course Zatae Longsdorff. Despite the protests against much of the Junior class participating, the Dickinsonian states that "the contest as a whole was good."

"It's None of Our Business, But..."

December, 1884

The "Locals" section of the December 1884 Dickinsonian once again teases Zatae Longsdorff. The paper poses a question to its audience stating that its "none of our business, but why has Miss L. [Longsdorff] not been wearing the class mortar-board?"

Ask Miss Longsdorff...

October, 1884

In the "Locals" section of the 1884 Dickinsonian, the paper pokes fun already at Zatae Longsdorff, the first female student at Dickinson. The paper questions to its audience to, "Ask Miss Longsdorff, Sr., what she thinks of the Junior class."

An Early Female Student is Teased in Class

March 1885

In March of 1885, the Dickinsonian published a piece illustrating early "co-ed's" experiences in the classroom. The Dickinsonian wrote: "Scene, the German class; Miss L translating, 'Alas! I am only a woman; if I were a man I would do something better than this.' Wild applause from the rest of the class."

First Mention of a Woman in Prep School


The Dickinson College Catalogue from 1880-1881 has the first reference to a female student at the prepatory school. The list of prepatory students includes "Z. L. Longsdorff," presumably Zatae Longsdorff.