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May 25

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
from the draft of an unpublished book based on
Irene Stuber's files on women of achievement and herstory.
The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
will be published here in the future.


Mills and Other Women's Colleges


QUOTES by Dr. Virginia Smith and Elizabeth T. Kennan.

Mills and Other Women's Colleges

      T-shirts are the women movement's billboards.
      For example, t-shirts worn during the 1990 fight to keep Mills College an all-women's college read
"Mills College: Better Dead Than Coed," or "Mills College: Not a girls' school without men, but a women's college without boys." The campaign was successful.
      At the time Mills had 777 undergraduates, Mount Holyoke 1,939, and Wellesley 2,145. The male chairman of the Mills board claimed that going coed was the only way to increase the undergraduate census necessary to keep the college solvent.
      Dr. Mary S. Metz, who was president of Mills since 1981 cited statistics showing that nearly half the women in the 101st Congress and one-third of those on the boards of the 1,000 largest American corporations attended women's colleges. She said studies showed women getting less attention and being more frequently interrupted in coeducational classes.
      Mills College, a privately endowed college, stayed a women's college.
      A 1998 study by the AAUW showed little educational advantage to all-women's schools but they gave a great boost to women's self-sufficiency and self-esteem.
      Mills opened in 1871 and was formed from the Young Ladies' Seminary (1852).

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B. 05-25-1841, Eliza Orzeszkowa , highly popular Polish novelist who emphasized equality and justice in her novels that dissected small town life for such diverse people as Jews, fishermen and poor gentility. Her novels has been translated into many languages including English.

B. 05-25-1842, Helen Blackburn, pioneer in the British women's rights movement whose several books record the movement and the importance of industrial employment to women.

B. 05-25-1886, Leta Hollingsworth, pioneer in clinical psychology and advocate of women's rights.

B. 05-25-1925, Jeanne Crain, film actor nominated for an Academy Award for her work in Pinky (1949), the story of a black girl who passes for white.

B. 05-25-1928, Mary Wells Lawrence, founded highly sucessful Wells, Rich, and Green advertising agency

B. 05-25-1929, Beverly Sills, premier coloratura soprano with the New York City Opera for 25 years. She became its director 1979-89, and in 1994 was named director of Lincoln Center.
      Sills sang in more than 50 different operas and was a highly respected musician.
      Although always seen as a very upbeat woman - her nickname is Bubbles - her life was filled with tragedy. Meredith (Muffy), her first born child was almost deaf and never heart her sing and her second child was born retarded.

B. 05-25-1943 Leslie Uggams, U.S. pop singer.

B. 05-25-1949, Jamaica Kincaid, writer who appears to favor the breaking of the mother-daughter bond in her novels. Authored At the Bottom of the River.

Event: 05-25-1950: Lucy Maciay Alexander receives the first U.S. Agriculture Gold Medal for her research and practical applications on the cooking of meat and poultry.

B. 05-25-1955 Connie Sellecca, U.S. actor.

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     "Most schools are not really coeducational because they are male-dominated. If women are to be served well in a coeducational setting, there may have to be more awareness by teachers and administrators that women may have to be given more support."
            -- Dr. Virginia Smith as president of Vassar College.

      "I do think that women benefit enormously from an environment which understands their ambitions, the circumstances of their lives and which also builds the confidence that they need to take on the many roles that they have in life after they graduate."
            -- Elizabeth T. Kennan as president of Mount Holyoke College.

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