The Story of Wellesley
Florence Converse

Part 3 out of 4

a gift from Miss Montague's personality, l would rather have
what she in a matter-of-fact way would take for granted, but
what is harder for us who are beginners here to come by,--I mean
her altogether fine and blameless relation to her girls outside
the classroom. She was a presence always heartily responsive,
but never unwary, without the slightest reflection of her
personality upon us, with never a word too much of praise
or blame, of too much intimacy or of too much reserve. She
was a figure of familiar friendliness, ready with sympathy and
comprehension, but wholesome, sound and sane, without trace
of sentimentality. Above all, I felt her a singularly honorable
spirit, toward whom we always turned our best side, to whom
we might never go with talk wanton or idle or unkind or
critical, but always with our very precious thoughts on
whatsoever things are eager, and honest and kindly and of good
report. And so she was able to do us much good and no harm
at all. She can have had no millstones about her neck to
reckon with....

Miss Montague used to have a little class in Plato, and l have
not forgotten how quietly we read together one day at the end
of the Phaedo of the death of Socrates. After Miss Montague
died, I turned to the book and found the place where the servant
has brought the cup of poison, but Crito, unreconciled, wants
to delay even a little:

"For the sun," said he, "is yet on the hills, and many a man
has drunk the draught late."

"Yes," said Socrates, "since they wished for delay. But
I do not think that I should gain anything by drinking the
cup a little later."

In January, 1915, while this story of Wellesley was being written,
Katharine Coman, Professor Emeritus of Economics, went like a
conqueror to the triumph of her death. Miss Coman's power as
a teacher has been spoken of on an earlier page, but she will be
remembered in the college and outside as more than a teacher. Her
books and her active interest in industrial affairs, her noble
attitude toward life, all have had their share in informing and
directing and inspiring the college she loved.

"A mountain soul, she shines in crystal air
Above the smokes and clamors of the town.
Her pure, majestic brows serenely wear
The stars for crown.

"She comrades with the child, the bird, the fern,
Poet and sage and rustic chimney-nook,
But Pomp must be a pilgrim ere he earn
Her mountain look.

"Her mountain look, the candor of the snow,
The strength of folded granite, and the calm
Of choiring pines, whose swayed green branches strow
A healing balm.

* * * * * * *
"For lovely is a mountain rosy-lit
With dawn, or steeped in sunshine, azure-hot,
But loveliest when shadows traverse it,
And stain it not."

[From a poem, "A Mountain Soul," by Katharine Lee Bates, 1904.]



The safest general statement which can be made about Wellesley
students of the first forty years of the college is that more than
sixty per cent of them have come from outside New England, from
the Middle West, the Far West, and the South. Possibly there is
a Wellesley type. Whether or not it could be differentiated from
the Smith, the Bryn Mawr, the Vassar, and the Mt. Holyoke types,
if the five were set up in a row, unlabeled, is a question. Yet
it is true that certain recognizable qualities have developed and
tend to persist among the students of Wellesley.

Wellesley girls are in the best sense democratic. There is no
Gold Coast on the campus or in the village; money carries no
social prestige. More money is spent, and more frivolously, than
in the early days; there are more girls, and more rich girls, to
spend it; yet the indifference to it except as a mechanical
convenience, a medium of exchange and an opportunity for service,
continues to be naively Utopian.

But money is not the only touchstone of democratic sensitiveness.
At Wellesley there has always been uneasiness at the hint of
unequal opportunity. When the college grew so large that membership
in the six societies took on the aspect of special privilege,
restiveness was as marked among the privileged as among the
unprivileged, and more outspoken. The first result was the Barn
Swallows, a social and dramatic society to which every student
in college might belong if she wished. The second was the
reorganization of the six societies on a more democratic and
intellectual basis, to prevent "rushing", favoritism, cliques, and
all the ills that mutually exclusive clubs are heir to. The
agitation for these reforms came from the societies themselves,
and they endured with Spartan determination the months of transitional
misery and readjustment which their generous idealism brought upon
their heads.

Enthusiasm for equality also enters into the students' attitude
toward "the academic", and like most enthusiasts, from the French
Revolution down, they are capable of confusing the issue. In the
early days, they were not allowed to know their marks, lest the
knowledge should rouse an unworthy spirit of competition; and of
all the rules instituted by the founder, this is the one which
they have been most unwilling to see abolished. Silent Time they
relinquished with relief; Domestic Work they abandoned without
a pang; Bible Study shrank from four to three years and from three
to two, and then to one, almost without their noticing it. But
when, in 1901, the Honor Scholarships were established, a storm
of protest burst among the undergraduates, and thundered and
lightened for several weeks in the pages of College News. And
not the least vehement of these protestants were the "Honor girls"
themselves. To see their names posted in an alphabetical list
of twenty or more students who had achieved, all unwittingly, a
certain number of A's and B's throughout their course, seems to
have caused them a mortification more keen than that experienced
by St. Simeon Stylites on his pillar. But that the college ideal
should be "degraded" pained them most.

There was something very touching and encouraging about this
wrong-headed, right-hearted outburst. After the usual Wellesley
fashion, freedom of speech prevailed; everybody spoke her mind.
In the end "sweetness and light" dispersed the mists of sentiment
which had assumed that to acknowledge inequality of achievement
was to abolish equality of opportunity, and burned away the ethical
haziness which had magnified mediocrity; the crusaders realized
that the pseudo-compassion which would conceal the idle and the
stupid, the industrious and the brilliant, in a common obscurity,
is impracticable, since the fool and the genius cannot long be
hid, and unfair, since the ant and the grasshopper would enjoy
a like reward, and no democracy has yet claimed that those who
do not work shall eat. When in 1912 the faculty at last decided
to inform the students as to all their marks, the news was received
with no protest and with an intelligent appreciation of the
intellectual and ethical value of the new privilege.

The college was founded "for the glory of God and the service of
the Lord Jesus Christ, in and by the education and culture of women";
and Wellesley girls are, in the best sense, religious. There has
been no time in the first forty years when the undergraduates
were not earnestly and genuinely preoccupied with religious
questions and religious living. One recognizes this not only by
the obvious and commonplace signs, such as the interest in the
Christian Association, the Student Volunteer Movement, the Missionary
Field, Silver Bay, manifested by the conventional Christian
students; it is evident also in the hunger and thirst of the sincere
rebels, in such signs as the "Heretics' Bible Class" a volunteer
group which existed for a year or two in the second decade of
the century, and which has had its prototypes at intervals throughout
the forty years. One sees it in the interest and enthusiasm of
the students who follow Professor Case's course in the Philosophy
of Hegel; in the reverence and love with which girls of all creeds
and of none speak of the Chapel services, and attend them. When
two thirds of the girls go voluntarily and as a matter of course to
an Ash Wednesday evening service, when Jew and Roman Catholic
alike testify eagerly to the value of the morning Chapel service
in their spiritual development, it is evident that the religious
life is genuine and healthy. And it finds its outlet in the
passion for social service which, if statistics can be trusted,
inspires so many of the alumnae. The old-fashioned Puritan,
if she still exists, may tremble for the souls of the Wellesley
girls who crowd by hundreds into the "matinee train" on Saturday
afternoon, but let us hope that she would be reassured to find
the voluntary Bible and Mission Study classes attended, and even
conducted, by many of these same girls. She might grieve over
the years of Bible Study lost to the curriculum, and over the
introduction of modern methods of Biblical Higher Criticism into
the classroom; but surely she would be comforted to see how the
students have arisen to the rescue of the devotional study of the
Scriptures, with their voluntary classes enthusiastically maintained.
It might even touch her sense of humor.

As the college has grown larger, undoubtedly more and more girls
have come to Wellesley for other than intellectual reasons,--because
it is "the thing" to go to college, or for "the life." But it is
reassuring to find that the reactions of "the life" upon them
always quicken them to a deeper respect for intellectual values.
The "academic" holds first place in the Wellesley life, not
perfunctorily but vitally. The students themselves are swift to
recognize and rebuke, usually in the "Free Press" or the "Parliament
of Fools", of the College News, any signs of intellectual indifference
or laxity. Wellesley, like Harvard and other large colleges, has
its uninspiring level stretches of mediocrity; but it has its
little leaping hills, its soaring peaks as well. Every class has
its band of devoted students for whom the things of the mind
are supreme; every class has its scattering of youthful scholars
to give distinction to the academic landscape.

It would be absurd and useless to deny that Wellesley girls have
their defects; they are of the sort that press for recognition;
defects of manner, and manners, which are not confined to the
students of any one college, or even to college students, but
are due in a measure to the general change in our attitude towards
women, and to the new freedom in which they all alike share. It
is true that, to a degree, the graces and reserves which give
charm and finish to daily living are sacrificed to the more pushing
claims of study and athletics, in college. It is true that the
unmodulated voice, the mushy enunciation, the unrestrained attitude,
the slouchy clothes, too often go unrebuked in classroom and
dormitory, where it seems to be nobody's business to rebuke them;
but it is also usually true that, before they ever came to college,
that voice, that attitude, those clothes, went unrebuked and even
unheeded, at home or in the girls' camp, where it emphatically was
somebody's business to heed and rebuke.

But it is the public which sees the worst of it, especially on
trains, where groups of young voices or extreme fashions in dress
become quite unintentionally conspicuous. Experienced from within,
the life, despite its many little roughnesses, its small lapses in
taste, is gracious and gentle, selfless in unobtrusive ways, and
genuinely kind.

Religious, democratic, intellectually serious is our Wellesley
girl, and last but not least, she is a lover of beauty. How could
she fail to be? How many times, in early winter twilights, has
she come over the stile into the Stone Hall meadow, and stood
long moments, hushed, bespelled, by the tranquil pale loveliness
of the lake, the dusky, rimming hills, the bare, slim blackness
of twig and bough embroidering the silver sky,--the whole luminous
etching? How often, mid-morning in spring, has she sat with her
book in a green shade west of the library, and lifted her eyes
to see above the daffodil-bank of Longfellow's fountain the blue
lake waters laughing between the upspringing trunks of the tall
oak trees? Wherever there are Wellesley women, when spring is
waking,--in Switzerland, in Sicily, in Japan, in England,--they are
remembering the Wellesley spring, that pageant of young green
of lawns and hills and tenderest flushing rose in baby oak leaves
and baby maples, that twinkling dance of birches and of poplars,
that splendor of the youth of the year amid which young maidens
shone and blossomed, starring the campus among the other spring
flowers. And are there Wellesley women anywhere in the autumn
who do not think of Wellesley and four autumns? Of the long russet
vistas of the west woods? Of the army with banners, scarlet and
golden, and bronze and russet and rose, that marched and trumpeted
around Lake Waban's streaming Persian pattern of shadows? When
you speak to a Wellesley girl of her Alma Mater, her eyes widen
with the lover's look, and you know that she is seeing a vision of
pure beauty.


In 1876, the students, shocked and grieved by the discovery of
one of those cases of cheating with which every college has to deal
from time to time, met together, and made a very stringent rule
to be enforced by themselves. This "law", enacted on February 18,
1876, marks the first step toward Student Government at Wellesley;
it reads as follows:

"The students of Wellesley College unanimously decree as a perpetual
law of the college that no student shall use a translation or key
in the study of any lesson or in any review, recitation, or
examination. Every student who may enter the college shall be
in honor bound to expose every violation of this law. If any
student shall be known to violate this law, she shall be warned
by a committee of the students and publicly exposed. If the
offense be repeated the students shall demand her immediate
expulsion as unworthy to remain a member of Wellesley College."
It is signed by the presidents of the two classes, 1879 and 1880,
then in college.

Until 1881, when the Courant, the first Wellesley periodical, gave
the students opportunity to express their minds concerning matters
of college policy, we have no definite record of further steps
toward self-government on the part of the undergraduates. The
disciplinary methods of those early years are amusingly described
by Mary C. Wiggin, of the class of '85, who tells us that authority
was vested in four bodies, the president, the doctor, the corridor
teacher and the head of the Domestic Department.

"The president was responsible for our going out and our coming
in. The 'office' might give permission to leave town, but all
tardiness in returning must be explained to the president. How
timidly four of us came to Miss Freeman in my sophomore year to
explain that the freshman's mother had kept us to supper after
our 'permitted' drive on Monday afternoon! What an occasion it
gave her to caution us as to sophomore influence over freshmen!

"Very infrequent were our journeys to Boston in those days, theaters
were forbidden. Once during my four years I saw Booth in 'Macbeth'
during a Christmas vacation, salving my conscience with a liberal
interpretation of the phrase, 'while connected with the college',
trying to forget the parting injunction, 'Remember, girls, that
You are Wellesley College.'...

"In the old days we were seated alphabetically in church and
chapel, where attendance was kept in each 'section' by one of
its members. A growing laxity permitted you to sit out of place
on Sunday evenings, provided that you reported to your section
girl. Otherwise you would be called to the office to explain your

"Very slowly did the idea dawn upon me that there was a faculty
back of all these very pleasant personal relations."

But in the late '80's, the advance toward student self-government
begins to be traceable, slowly but surely. In the spring of 1887,
on the initiative of the faculty, the first formal conference
between representatives of faculty and students was called, to
consider questions of class organization. Other conferences took
place at irregular intervals during the next seven years, as
occasion arose, and these often led to new legislation. The
subjects discussed were, the Magazine, the Legenda, Athletics,
the Junior Prom. In the autumn of 1888, students were first
allowed to hand in excuses for absence from college classes; the
responsibility for giving a "true, valid and signed excuse" resting
with the individual student. In this same autumn the law forbidding
eating between meals was repealed, but students were still not
permitted to keep eatables in their rooms.

Articles on college courtesy, quiet in the library, articles for
and against Domestic Work, begin to appear in the Courant and
the Prelude in 1888 and 1889. In May, 1890, we learn of a
Students' Association, which was the means of obtaining class
bulletin boards in the autumn of 1890. From this time also,
agitation on all topics of interest to the students is more openly
active. In September, 1891, the faculty consent to allow library
books to be taken out of the library on Saturday afternoon for
use over Sunday. In October, 1891, we find that the Students'
Association is to offer a medium for discussion and to foster a
scholarly spirit. In December, 1891, a plea appears in the Prelude
for occasional conferences between faculty and students on problems
of college policy. In 1892, we read that the individual students
are allowed to choose a church in the village and attend it on
Sundays, if they so desire, instead of attending the College
Chapel. In 1892 also, we have the agitation, in the Wellesley
Magazine, for the wearing of cap and gown, and in this year senior
privileges are extended, and the responsibility for absence from
class appointments rests with the student. In November, 1892,
the Magazine prints an article on Student Government by Professor
Case of the Department of Philosophy. And the cap and gown census
and discussion go gayly on. Early in 1893, there is a discussion
of Student Government. In the spring of this year, there is an
agitation for voluntary chapel. In September, the seniors begin
to wear the cap and gown throughout the year. The year 1894 sees
Silent Time abolished; and agitation,--always courteous and
friendly,--goes on for Student Government, for the opening of the
library on Sunday, for the abolition of Domestic Work. In 1893
or 1894, Professor Burrell, as head of College Hall, introduces
the custom of having students sign for overtime when they wish
to study after ten o'clock at night. In 1894, excuses for absence
from chapel and classes are no longer required. In the spring
of 1894, at the request of undergraduates, a conference with the
faculty, in a series of meetings, considers matters of interest in
student life. Beginning with May, 1895, the library is opened
on Sundays.

It is significant to note, in looking over these old files of
college magazines, that when the students' interest waned, the
faculty were always ready to administer the necessary prod. Not
all the articles in favor of Student Government are written by
students. President Shafer herself gave the strongest early
impetus to the movement, although not through the press. In 1899,
Professor Woolley, as head of College Hall, instituted a House
Organization, which as an experiment in Student Government among
the students then living in College Hall was a complete success.
In June, 1900, we find arrangements made for a Faculty-Student
Conference, to be held during the autumn months; and this body
met five times. Its establishment did a great deal in paving the
way to mutual understanding and trust when the definite question
of Student Government was approached.

On March 6, 1901, at a mass meeting of the students, and after
a spirited discussion, it was voted that the Academic Council be
petitioned to give self-government to the students in all matters
not academic. This date is kept every year as the birthday of
Student Government. At another mass meeting, on April 9, Miss
Katharine Lord, the President of the Student Association of
Bryn Mawr, spoke to the college on Student Government, and on
April 23, there was still another mass meeting. The student
committee appointed to confer with the committee from the faculty
had for its chairman Mary Leavens, of the class of 1901, student
head of College Hall; Miss Pendleton, at that time secretary of
the college, was the chairman of the faculty committee. Student
Government found in her, from the beginning, a convinced and able
champion. In April, the constitution was submitted to the committee
of the faculty, and in May the constitution and the agreement, after
careful consideration, were submitted to the Executive Committee
of the Board of Trustees. On May 29, an all day election for
president was held, resulting in the choice of Frances L. Hughes,
1902, as first president of the Student Government Association of
Wellesley College. On June 6, the report was adopted and the
agreement was signed by the president and secretary of the Board
of Trustees and the president of the college. On June 7, in the
presence of the faculty and the whole student body, in chapel, the
agreement was read and signed on behalf of the faculty by the
secretary of the college. The ceremony was impressive and memorable
in its simplicity and solemnity. After Miss Pendleton had signed
her name, the students rose and remained standing while the agreement
was signed by Frances L. Hughes, President of the Association for
1901 and 1902, May Mathews, President of the Class of 1902,
Margaret C. Mills, President of the Class of 1901, and Mary Leavens,
President of the House Council of College Hall. The Scripture
lesson was taken from I. Corinthians, "Other foundation can no
man lay than that is laid," and the recessional was, "How firm
a foundation."

The Association is organized with a president and vice president,
chosen from the senior class, and a secretary and a treasurer from
the juniors; these are all elected by the whole undergraduate body.
There is an Executive Board whose members are the president,
vice president, secretary and treasurer of the association, the
house presidents and their proctors, and a representative from
each of the four classes, elected by the class. The government
is in all essentials democratic. The rules are made and executed
by the whole body of students; but all legislation of the students
is subject to approval by the college authorities, and if any
question arises as to whether or not a subject is within the
jurisdiction of the association, it is referred to a joint committee
of seven, made up of a standing committee of three appointed by
the faculty, a standing committee of three appointed by the
association, and the president of the college.

In intrusting to the association the management of all matters
not strictly academic concerning the conduct of students in their
college life, the College authorities reserve the right to regulate
all athletic events and formal entertainments, all societies, clubs
and other organizations, all Society houses, and all publications,
all matters pertaining to public health and safety and to household
management and the use of college property. The students are
responsible for all matters of registration and absence from college,
for the regulation of travel, permission for Sunday callers, rules
governing chaperonage, the maintenance of quiet, the general
conduct of students on the campus and in the village. It is they
who have abolished the "ten-o'clock-bedtime rule"; it is they who
have decreed that students shall not go to Boston on Sundays, but
this rule is relaxed for seniors, who are allowed two Boston
Sundays, in which they may attend church or an afternoon sacred
concert in the city. If a student wishes to spend Sunday away
from college, she must go away on Saturday and remain until Monday.

Questions of minor discipline, such as the enforcing of the rule
of quiet in the dormitories, are handled by the students; not yet,
it must be confessed, with complete success, as the quiet in the
dormitories--especially the freshman houses--falls short of that
holy calm which studious girls have a right to claim. Serious
misdemeanors are of course in the jurisdiction of the president
of the college and the faculty. One very important college duty,
the proctoring of examinations, which would seem to be an entirely
legitimate function of the Student Government Association, the
students themselves have not as yet been willing to assume. During
the years when the freshmen, sometimes as many as four hundred,
were housed in the village because of the crowded conditions on
the campus, the burden upon the Student Government Association,
and especially upon the vice president and her senior assistants
who had charge of the village work, was, in the opinion of many
alumnae and some members of the faculty, heavier than they should
have been expected to shoulder; for, when all is said, students do
come to college primarily to pursue the intellectual life, rather
than to be the monitors of undergraduate behavior. Fortunately,
with the endowment of the college and the building of new dormitories
on the campus, the village problem will be eliminated. The students
themselves are unanimously enthusiastic concerning Student Government,
and the history of the association since its establishment reveals
an earnest and increasingly intelligent acceptance of responsibility
on the part of the student body. From the beginning the ultimate
success of the movement has been almost unquestioned, and the
association is now as stable an institution, apparently, as the
Academic Council or the Board of Trustees.


The most important of the associations which bring Wellesley
students into touch with the outside world are the Christian
Association and the College Settlements Association. These two,
with the Consumers' League and the Equal Suffrage League--also
flourishing organizations--help to foster the spirit of service
which has characterized the college from its earliest days.

The Christian Association did not come into existence until 1884,
but in the very first year of the college a Missionary Society was
formed, which gave "Missionary concerts" on Sunday evenings in
the chapel, and adopted as its college missionary, Gertrude Chandler
(Wyckoff) of the class of 1879, who went out to the mission field
in India in 1880. In the first decade also a Temperance Society
was formed, and noted speakers on temperance visited the college.
But in 1883, in order to unify the religious work, a Christian
Association was proposed. The initiative seems to have come from
the faculty, and this was natural, as the little group of teachers
from the University of Michigan--President Freeman, Professor
Chapin of the Department of Greek, Professor Coman of Economics,
Professor Case of Philosophy, Professor Chandler of Mathematics,--
had had a hand in developing the Young Women's Christian Association
at Ann Arbor.

The first meeting of this Association was held in College Hall
Chapel, October 8, 1884, and we read that it was formed "for the
purpose of promoting Christian fellowship as a means of individual
growth in character, and of securing, by the union of the various
societies already existing, a more systematic arrangement of the
work to be done in college by officers and students, for the cause
of Christ."

Those who joined the association pledged themselves to declare
their belief in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and to
dedicate their lives to His service. They promised to abide by
the laws of the association and seek its prosperity; ever to strive
to live a life consistent with its character as a Christian
Association, and, as far as in them lay, to engage in its activities;
to cultivate a Christian fellowship with its members, and as
opportunity offered, to endeavor to lead others to a Christian life.
Wellesley is rightly proud of the Christian simplicity and
inclusiveness of this pledge.

The work of the association included Bible study, devotional
meetings, individual work, and the development of missionary
interest. Three hundred and seventy signed as charter members,
and Professor Stratton of the Department of Rhetoric was the first
president. The students held most of the offices, but it was not
until 1894 that a student president,--Cornelia Huntington of the
class of 1895--was elected. Since then, this office has always
been held by a student. From its inception the association received
the greatest help and inspiration from Mrs. Durant, for many years
the President of the Boston Young Women's Christian Association,
which was one of the first of its kind.

Early in its career, the Wellesley Association adopted, besides
its foreign missionary, a home missionary, and later a city
missionary who worked in New York. An Indian committee was
formed, and Thanksgiving entertainments were given at the Woman's
Reformatory in Sherborn and the Dedham Asylum for released prisoners.
In this prison work, the college always had the fullest help and
sympathy of Mrs. Durant. The Wellesley Student Volunteer Band
was organized May 26, 1890, and in 1915 there were known to be
about one hundred Wellesley girls in the foreign field, and there
were probably others of whom the college was uninformed. It is
a noble and inspiring record.

In 1905, after the union of many of the Young Women's Christian
Associations and the formation of the National Board, Wellesley
was urged to affiliate herself with the National Association, but
she was unwilling to narrow her own pledge, to meet the conditions
of the National Board. She felt that she better served the cause
of Christian Unity by admitting to her fellowship a wider range of
Christians, so-called, than the National Board was at that time
prepared to tolerate; and she was also more or less fearful of too
much dictation. It was not until 1913, at the Fourth Biennial
Convention of the Young Women's Christian Associations, held at
Richmond, Virginia, that Wellesley was received into the National
organization; and she came retaining her own pledge and her own

In the old days, the Christian Association was the stronghold of
the dying Evangelicalism, and was looked on with distaste by many
of the radical students; but of late years, its tone and its method
have changed to meet the needs of the modern girl, and it has
become a power throughout the college. The annual report for
1913-1914 shows a total membership of 1297. The association
carries on Mission Study Classes; Bible Classes which the students
teach, under the direction of volunteers from the faculty, in such
subjects as "The Social Teachings of Jesus", "The Ideals of Israel's
Leaders as Forces in Our Lives", "Christ in Everyday Life";
"General Aid" work, for girls who need to earn money in college.
Its Social Committee is active among freshmen and new students.
Of its special committees, the one on Conferences and Conventions
plays an important part in quickening the interest in Silver Bay,
and the one on "the College in Spain" presents the needs and
claims of the International Institute for Girls at Madrid. Besides
its regular meetings, the Christian Association now has charge
of the Lenten services, and this effort to deepen the devotional
life of the college has met with a swift response from the students.
During 1913-1914, in Lent, the chapel was open every afternoon
for meditation and prayer, and cards with selected prayers for each
day were furnished to all who cared to use them. Unquestionably,
Wellesley possesses no student organization more living and more
life-giving than its Christian Association.

Four years after the foundation of the Christian Association,
Wellesley had opened her heart and her mind to the College Settlement
idea. The movement, as is well known, originated in the late '80's
in America. At the same time that Jane Addams and Ellen Gates
Starr were starting Hull House in Chicago, a group of Smith College
alumnae, chief among whom were Vida D. Scudder, Clara French,
Helen Rand (Thayer), and Jean Fine (Spahr), was pressing for the
establishment of a house in the East. And the idea was understood
and fostered by Wellesley about as soon as by Smith, for it was
interpreted at Wellesley by Professor Scudder, who became a member
of the college faculty, as instructor in English Literature, in
the autumn of 1887. In 1889, the Courant printed an article on
College Settlements, and students of the later '80's and early '90's
will never forget the ardor and excitement of those days when
Wellesley was bearing her part in starting what was to be one
of the important movements for social service in the nineteenth
century. All her early traditions and activities made the college
swift to understand and welcome this new idea.

From the beginning, the social impulse has been inherent in
Wellesley, and settlement work was native to her. Professor Whiting
tells us that there used to be a shoe factory in Wellesley Village,
about where the Eliot now stands; that the students became interested
in the girl operatives, most of whom lived in South Natick, and
that they started a factory girls' club which met every Saturday
evening for years, and was led by college girls. In Charles River
Village, also at that time a factory town, Mr. Durant held
evangelistic services during one winter, and "teacher specials"
used to help him, and to teach in the Sunday School.

In 1890-1891, probably because of the settlement impulse, work
among the maids in the college was set going by the Christian
Association. A maids' parlor was furnished under the old gymnasium,
and classes for the maids were started.

In 1891, the Wellesley Chapter of the College Settlements Association
was organized. It was Professor Katharine Lee Bates (Wellesley '80)
who first suggested the plan for an intercollegiate organization,
with chapters in the different colleges for women; and her friend
Adaline Emerson (Thompson), a Wellesley graduate of the class
of '80, was the first president of the association. Wellesley women
have ever since taken a prominent part in the direction of the
association's policy and in the active life of the settlement houses
in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Wellesley has
given presidents, secretaries, and many electors to the association
itself, and head-workers and a continuous stream of efficient and
devoted residents, not only to the four College Settlements, but
to Social Settlement houses all over the country. The College
Chapter keeps a special interest in the work of the Boston
Settlement, Denison House; students give entertainments occasionally
for the settlement neighbors, and help in many ways at Christmas
time; but practical social service from undergraduates is not the
ideal nor the desire of the College Settlements Association. It
aims rather at the quickening of sympathy and intelligence on
social questions, and the moral and financial support which the
College Chapter can give its representatives out in the world.
Such by-products of the settlement interest as the Social Study
Circle, an informal group of undergraduates and teachers which
met for several years to study social questions, are worth much
more to the movement than the immature efforts of undergraduates
in directing settlement clubs and classes.

Already the historic perspective is sufficiently clear for us to
realize that the College Settlement Movement is the unique, and
perhaps the most important organized contribution of the women's
colleges to civilization during their first half century of existence.
Through this movement, in which they have played so large a part,
they have exerted an influence upon social thought and conscience
exceeded, in this period, by few other agencies, religious,
philanthropic or industrial, if we except the Trade-union Movement
and Socialism, which emanate from the workers themselves. The
prominent part which Wellesley has played in it will doubtless be
increasingly understood and valued by her graduates.


Let it be frankly acknowledged: the ordinary adult is usually
bored by the undergraduate periodical--even though he may, once
upon a time, have edited it himself. The shades of the prison-house
make a poor light for the Gothic print of adolescence. But the
historian, if we may trust allegory, bears a torch. For him no
chronicle, whether compiled by twelfth-century monk or twentieth-century
collegian, can be too remote, too dull, to reflect the gleam. And
some chronicles, like the Wellesley one, are more rewarding than

No one can turn over the pages of these fledgling journals, Courant,
Prelude, Magazine, News, without being impressed by the unconscious
clarity with which they reflect not merely the events in the college
community--although they are unusually faithful and accurate
recorders of events--but the college temper of mind, the range
of ideas, the reaction to interests beyond the campus, the general
trend of the intellectual and spiritual life.

The interest in social questions is to the fore astonishingly
early. In Wellesley's first newspaper, the Courant, published in
the college year 1888-1889, we find articles on the Working Girls
of Boston, on the Single Tax, and notes of a prize essay on
Child Labor. And throughout the decade of the '90's, the dominant
note in the Prelude, 1889-1892, and its successor, the Wellesley
Magazine, 1892-1911, is the social note. Reports of college
events give prominent place to lectures on Woman Suffrage, Social
Settlements, Christian Socialism. In 1893, William Clarke of the
London Chronicle, a member of the Fabian Society, visiting America
as a delegate to the Labor Congress in Chicago, gave lectures at
Wellesley on "The Development of Socialism in England", "The
Government of London", "The London Working Classes." Matthew
Arnold's visit came too early to be recorded in the college paper,
but he was perhaps the first of a notable list of distinguished
Englishmen who have helped to quicken the interest of Wellesley
students along social lines. Graham Wallas, Lowes-Dickinson,
H. G. Wells, are a few of the names found in the pages of the
Magazine and the News. The young editors evidently welcomed
papers on social themes, such as "The Transition in the Industrial
Status of Women, by Professor Coman"; and the great strikes of
the decade, The Homestead Strike, the Pennsylvania Coal Strike,
the New Bedford Strike, are written up as a matter of course. It
is interesting to note that the paper on the Homestead Strike,
with a plea for the unions, was written by an undergraduate,
Mary K. Conyngton, who has since won for herself a reputation
for research work in the Labor Bureau at Washington.

Political articles are only less prominent than social and industrial
material. As early as 1893 we have an article on "The Triple Alliance"
and in the Magazine of 1898 and 1899 there are papers on "The Colonial
Expansion of the Great European Powers", "The Italian Riots of
May, 1898", "The Philippine Question", "The Dreyfus Incident."
This preoccupation of young college women of the nineteenth century
with modern industrial and political history is significant when
we consider the part that woman has elected to play in politics
and reform since the beginning of the twentieth century.

In the first years of that new century, the Magazine and the weekly
News begin to reflect the general revival of religious interest
among young people. The Student Volunteer Movement, the increased
activities in the Christian Associations for both men and women,
find their response in Wellesley students. Letters from missionaries
are given prominence; the conferences at Silver Bay are written
up enthusiastically and at great length. Social questions never
lapse, at Wellesley, but during the decade 1900 to 1910, the
dominant journalistic note is increasingly religious. Later, with
the activity of the Social Study Circle, an informal club for the
study of social questions, and its offspring the small but earnest
club for the study of Socialism, the social interests regained
their vitality for the student mind.

Besides the extra mural problems, the periodicals record, of course,
the events and the interests of the little college world. Through
the "Free Press" columns of these papers, the didactic, critical,
and combative impulses, always so strong in the undergraduate
temperament, find a safe vent. Mentor and agitator alike are
welcomed in the "Free Press", and many college reforms have been
inaugurated, and many college grievances--real and imagined--have
been aired in these outspoken columns. And not the least readable
portions of the weeklies have been the "Waban Ripples" in the
Prelude, and the "Parliament of Fools" in the News. For Wellesley
has a merry wit and is especially good at laughing at herself,-- yes,
even at that "Academic" of which she is so loyally proud. Witness
these naughty parodies of examination questions, which appeared
in a "Parliament of Fools" just before the mid-year examinations
of 1915.

"Translate the following into Kant, Spencer, Perry, Leibnitz,
Hume, Calkins (not more than one page each allowed).

"'Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean, and a pleasant land.'

"The remainder of the time may be employed in translating
into Kantian terminology, the title of the book: 'Myself and I.'"

English Literature:
"Give dates and significance of the following; and state whether
they are persons or books: Stratford-on-Avon, Magna Charta,
Louvain, Onamataposa, Synod of Whitby, Bunker Hill, Transcendentalism,
Mesopotamia, Albania, Hastings.

"Write an imaginary conversation between John Bunyan and
Myrtle Reed on the Social significance of Beowulf.

"Do you consider that Browning and Carlyle were influenced by
the Cubist School? Cite passages not discussed in class to
support your view.

"Trace the effects of the Norman strain in England in the works
of Tolstoi, Cervantes, and Tagore."

English Composition:
"Write a novelette containing:
(a) Plot; (b) two crises; (c) three climaxes; (d) one character.

"Write a biography of your own life, bringing out distinctly
reasons pro and con. Outline form."

Biblical History:
"Trace the life of Abraham from Genesis through Malachi.

"Quote the authentic passages of the New Testament. Why or
why not?

"Where do the following words recur? Verily, greeting, begat,
therefore, Pharisee, holy, notacceptedbythescholars."

Excellent fooling, this; and it should go far to convince a
skeptical public that college girls take their educational advantages
with sanity.

As literary magazines, these Wellesley periodicals are only
sporadically successful. Now and again a true poet flashes through
their pages; less often a true story-teller, although the mechanical
excellence of most of the stories is unquestionable,--they go
through the motions quite as if they were the real thing. But
the appeals of the editors for poetry and literary prose; their
occasional sardonic comments upon the apathy of the college reading
public,--especially during the waning later years of the Magazine,
before it was absorbed into the monthly issue of the News,--would
seem to indicate that the pure, literary imagination is as rare at
Wellesley as it is in the world at large. Yet there are shining
pages in these chronicles, pages whose golden promise has been fulfilled.

In 1911, the Alumnae Association discussed the advisability of
publishing an alumnae magazine, but it was decided that the time
was not yet ripe for the new enterprise, and instead an agreement
was entered into with the News, by which a certain number of
pages each month were to be at the disposal of the alumnae editor,
for articles and essays on college matters which should be of
interest to the alumnae. The new department has been marked
from the beginning by dignity and interest, and the papers contributed
have been unusually valuable, especially from the point of view
of college history.

In 1889 Wellesley's Senior Annual, the Legenda, came into being.
In general it has followed the conventional lines of all college
annuals, but occasionally it has departed from the beaten path,
as in 1892, when it was transformed into a Wellesley Songbook;
in 1894, when it printed a memorial sketch of Miss Shafer, and
a biographical sketch of Mrs. Durant; in 1896, when it became
a storybook of college life.

In October, 1912, The Wellesley College Press Board was organized
by Mrs. Helene Buhlert Magee, of the class of 1903. The board
is the outgrowth of an attempt by the college authorities, in 1911,
to regulate the work of its budding journalists. Up to this time
the newspapers had been supplied, more or less intermittently and
often unsatisfactorily, with items of college news by students
engaged by the newspapers and responsible only to them. The
college now appoints an official reporter from its own faculty,
who sends all Wellesley news to the newspapers and is consulted
by the regular reporters when they desire special information.
The Press Board, organized by this official reporter, consists of
seven students reporting for Boston papers and two for those in
New York. At the time of the Wellesley fire, this board proved
itself particularly efficient in disseminating accurate information.


But it is not the workaday Wellesley, tranquilly pursuing her
serious and semi-serious occupations, that the outsiders know
best. To them, she is wont to turn her holiday face. And no
college plays with more zest than Wellesley. Perhaps because
no college ever had such a perfect playground. Every hill and
grove and hollow of the beautiful campus holds its memories of
playdays and midsummer nights.

Those were the nights when Rosalind and Orlando wandered out of
Arden into a New England moonlight; when flitting Ariel forsook
Prospero's isle to make his nest in Wellesley's bowering rhododendrons
--in blossom time he is always hovering there, a winged bloom,
for eyes that are not holden. Those were the nights when Puck came
dancing up from Tupelo with Titania's fairy rout a-twinkle at his
heels; when the great Hindu Raj floated from India in his canopied
barge across the moonlit waters of Lake Waban; when Tristram and
Iseult, on their way to the court of King Mark, all love distraught,
cast anchor in the little cove below Stone Hall and played their
passion out; when Nicolette kilted her skirts against the dew and
argued of love with Aucassin. Those were the nights when the
Countess Cathleen--loveliest of Yeats's Irish ladies--found Paradise
and the Heavenly Host awaiting her on a Wellesley hilltop when
she had sold her soul to feed her starving peasants.

But the glamour of the sun is as potent as the glamour of the
moon at Wellesley. High noon is magical on Tree Day, for then
the mythic folk of ancient Greece, the hamadryads and Dian's nymphs,
Venus and Orpheus and Narcissus, and all the rest, come out and
dream a dance of old days on the great green billows of the lawn.
To see veiled Cupid, like a living flame, come streaming down
among the hillside trees, down, swift as fire, to the waiting
Psyche, is never to forget. No wood near Athens was ever so
vision-haunted as Wellesley with the dancing spirits of past
Tree Days.

On that day in early June the whole college turns itself into a
pageant of spring. From the long hillside above which College Hall
once towered, the faculty and the alumnae watch their younger
sisters march in slow processional triumph around and about the
wide green campus. Like a moving flower garden the procession
winds upon itself; hundreds and hundreds of seniors and juniors
and sophomores and freshmen,--more than fourteen hundred of them
in 1914. Then it breaks ranks and plants itself in parterres
at the foot of the hill, masses of blue, and rose, and lavender,
and golden blossoming girls. Contrary Mistress Mary's garden was
nothing to it. And after the procession come the dances. Sometimes
a Breton Pardon wanders across the sea. The gods from Olympus
are very much at home in these groves of academe. Once King Arthur's
knight came riding up the wide avenue at the edge of the green.
The spirits of sun and moon, the nymphs of the wind and the rain,
have woven their mystical spells on that great greensward. And
in the fairy ring around Longfellow fountain, gnomes and fays and
freshmen play hide-and-seek with the water nixies.

The first Tree Day was Mr. Durant's idea; no one was more awake
than he, in the old days, to Wellesley's poetic possibilities.
And the first trees were gifts from Mr. Hunnewell; two beautiful
exotics, Japanese golden evergreens--one for 1879 and one for
1880. The two trees were planted on May 16, 1877, the sophomore
tree by the library, the freshman tree by the dining room. An
early chronicler writes, "Then it was that the venerated spade
made its first appearance. We had confidently expected a trowel,
had written indeed 'Apostrophe to the Trowel' on our programs,
and our apostrophist (do not see the dictionary), a girl of about
the same height as the spade, but by no means, as she modestly
suggested, of the same mental capacity, was so stricken with
astonishment when she had mounted the rostrum and this burly
instrument was propped up before her, that she nearly forgot her
speech.... And then it was there was introduced the more questionable
practice of planting class trees too delicate to bear the college
course. Although a foolish little bird built her nest and laid
her eggs in the golden-leaved evergreen of '79, and although a
much handsomer nest with a very much larger egg appeared immediately
in the Retinospora Precipera Aurea of '80, yet the rival 'nymphs
with golden hair' were both soon forced to forsake their withered
tenements; Mr. Hunnewell's exotics, after another trial or two,
being succeeded by plebeian hemlocks."

The true story of the Wellesley spade and how it came to be handed
down from class to class, is recorded in Florence Morse Kingsley's
diary, where we learn how the "burly instrument" of 1877 was
succeeded by a less unwieldy and more ladylike utensil. Under
the date, April 3, 1878, we find:

Our class (the class of '81) had a meeting last night.
We held it in one of the laboratories on the fifth floor,
quite in secret, for we didn't want the '80 girls to find it
out. The class of '80 is thought to be extraordinarily brilliant,
and they certainly do look down on us freshmen in haughty
disdain as being correspondingly stupid. I don't say very
much against them, since I____ is an '80 girl: besides,
if l work hard I can graduate with '80, but at present my
lot is cast with '81. We have decided to have a tree planting,
and it is to be entirely original and the first of a series.
Mr. Durant has given a Japanese Golden Evergreen to '79 and
one to '80. They are precisely alike and they had been planted
for quite a while before he thought of turning them into class
trees. We heard a dark rumor yesterday to the effect that
Mr. Durant is intending to plant another evergreen under the
library window and present it to us. But we voted to forestall
his generosity. We mean to have an elm, and we want to plant
it out in front of the college, in the center or just on the
other side of the driveway. The burning question remained
as to who should acquaint Mr. Durant with our valuable ideas.
Nobody seemed ravenously eager for the job, and finally l was
nominated. "You know him better than we do," they all said,
so l finally consented. I haven't a ghost of an idea what to
say; for when one comes to think of it, it is rather ungrateful
of '81 not to want the evergreen under the library window.

April 10. Alice and I went to Mr. Durant to-day about the
tree planting; but Alice was stricken with temporary dumbness
and never opened her lips, though she had solemnly promised
to do at least half the talking; so I had to wade right into
the subject alone. I began in medias res, for l couldn't think
of a really graceful and diplomatic introduction on the spur
of the moment. Mr. Durant was in the office with a pile of
papers before him as usual; he appeared to be very preoccupied
and he was looking rather severe. The interview proceeded
about as follows:

He glanced up at us sharply and said, "Well, young ladies,"
which meant, "Kindly get down to business; my time is valuable."
I got down to it about as gracefully as a cat coming down a
tree, like this: "We have decided to have a regular tree-planting,
Mr. Durant." Of course I should have said, "The class of '81
would like to have a tree-planting, if you please."

Mr. Durant appeared somewhat startled: "Eh, what's that?"
he said, then he settled back in his chair and looked hard at us.
His eyes were as keen as frost; but they twinkled--just a little,
as I have discovered they can and do twinkle if one isn't
afraid to say right out what one means, without unnecessary
fuss and twaddle.

"Alice and I are delegates from the Class of '81," I explained,
a trifle more lucidly. "The class has voted to plant an elm
for our class tree, and we would like to plant it in front of
the college in a prominent spot." We had previously decided
gracefully to ignore the evergreen rumor.

Mr. Durant looked thoughtful. "Hum," he said, "I'd planned
to give you girls of '81 a choice evergreen, and as for a place
for it: what do you say to the plot on the north side, just
under the library window?"

l looked beseechingly at Alice. She was apparently very much
occupied in a meek survey of the toes of her boots, which she
had stubbed into premature old age scrambling up and down
from the boat landings.

Meanwhile Mr. Durant was waiting for our look of pleased
surprise and joyful acquiescence. Then, without a vestige
of diplomacy, l blurted right out, "Yes, Mr. Durant; we heard
so; but we don't think, that is, we don't want an evergreen
under the library window; we would like a tree that will live
a long, long time and grow big like an elm, and we want it
where everybody will see it."

Mr. Durant looked exceedingly surprised, and for the space
of five seconds I was breathless. Then he smiled in the
really fascinating way that he has. "Well," he said, and
looked at me again, "what else have you decided to do?"

Then I told him all about the program we had planned, which
is to include an address to the spade (which we hope will be
preserved forever and ever), a class song, a procession, and
a few other inchoate ideas. Mr. Durant entered right into
the spirit of it, he said he liked the idea of a spade to be
handed down from class to class. He asked us if we had the
spade yet, and l told him "no," but Alice and l were going to
buy it for the class in the village that afternoon.

"Well, mind you get a good one," he advised. We said we would,
very joyfully. Then he told us we might select any young elm
we wanted, and tie our class colors on it, and he would order
it to be transplanted for us. After that he put on his hat
and all three of us went out and fixed the spot right in front
of the college by the driveway. Mr. Durant himself stuck a
little stick in the exact place where the elm of '81 will wave
its branches for at least a hundred years, I hope.

The hundred years are still to run, and old College Hall has
vanished, but the '81 elm stands in its "prominent" place, a tree
of ancient memories and visions ever young.

It was not until 1889 that the pageant element began to take
a definite and conspicuous place in the Tree Day exercises.
The class of '89 in its senior year gave a masque in which tall
dryads, robed in green, played their dainty roles; and that same
year the freshmen, the class of 1892, gave the first Tree Day
dance: a very mild dance of pink and white English maidens around
a maypole--but the germ of all the Tree Day dances yet unborn.
In its senior year, 1892 celebrated the discovery of America by
a sort of kermess of Colonial and Indian dances with tableaux,
and ever since, from year to year, the wonder has grown; Zeus,
and Venus, and King Arthur have all held court and revel on the
Wellesley Campus. Every year the long procession across the green
grows longer, more beautiful, more elaborate; the dancing is more
exquisitely planned, more complex, more carefully rehearsed. In
the spring, Wellesley girls are twirling a-tiptoe in every moment
not spent in class; and in class their thoughts sometimes dance.
Indeed, the students of late years have begun to ask themselves
if it may not be possible to obtain quite as beautiful a result
with less expense of effort and time and money; for Tree Day,
the crowning delight of the year, would defeat its own end, which
is pure recreation, if its beauty became a tyrant.

This multiplication of joys--and their attendant worries--is
something that Wellesley has to take measures to guard against,
and the faculty has worked out a scheme of biennial rotatory
festivities which since 1911-1912 has eased the pressure of revelry
in May and June, as well as throughout the winter months.

Wellesley's list of societies and social clubs is not short, but
the conditions of membership are carefully guarded. As early
as the second year of the college, five societies came into
existence: of these, the Beethoven Society and the Microscopical
--which started with a membership of six and an exhibition under
three microscopes at its first meeting--seem to have been open
to any who cared to join; the other three--the Zeta Alpha and
Phi Sigma societies founded in November, 1876, and the Shakespeare
in January, 1877--were mutually exclusive. The two Greek letter
societies were literary in aim, and their early programs consisted
in literary papers and oral debates. The Shakespeare Society,
for many years a branch of the London Shakespeare Society, devoted
itself to the study and dramatic presentation of Shakespeare. Its
first open-air play was "As You Like It", given in 1889; and until
1912, when it conformed to the new plan of biennial rotation,
this society gave a Shakespearean play every year at Commencement.

In 1881, Zeta Alpha and Phi Sigma were discontinued by the faculty,
because of pressure of academic work, but in 1889 they were
reorganized, and gradually their programs were extended to include
dramatic work, poetic plays, and masques. The Phi Sigma Society
gives its masque--sometimes an original one--on alternate years
just before the Christmas vacation; and Zeta Alpha alternates with
the Classical Society at Commencement. The Zeta Alpha Masque
of 1913, a charming dramatization in verse of an old Hindu legend
by Elizabeth McClellan of the class of 1913, was one of the notable
events of Commencement time, a pageant of poetic beauty and oriental
dignity; and in 1915 Florence Wilkinson Evans's adaptation of the
lovely old poem "Aucassin and Nicolette", was given for the
second time.

In 1889, the Art Society--known since 1894 as Tau Zeta Epsilon--
was founded; and, alternating with the Shakespeare play, it gives
in the spring a "Studio Reception", at which pictures from the
old masters, with living models, are presented. The effects of
lighting and color are so carefully studied, and the compositions
of the originals are so closely followed that the illusion is
sometimes startling; it is as if real Titians, Rembrandts, and
Carpaccios hung on the wails of the Wellesley Barn. In 1889,
also, the Glee and Banjo clubs were formed.

In 1891, the Agora, the political society, came into existence.
The serious intellectual quality of its work does honor to the
college, and its open debates, at which it has sometimes represented
the House of Commons, sometimes one or the other of the American
Chambers of Congress, are marked events in the college calendar.

In 1892, Alpha Kappa Chi, the Classical Society, was organized,
and of late years its Greek play, presented during Commencement
week, has surpassed both the senior play and the Shakespeare play
in dramatic rendering and careful study of the lines. Gilbert
Murray's translation of the "Medea", presented in 1914, was a
performance of which Wellesley was justly proud. Usually the
Wellesley plays are better as pageants than as dramatic productions,
but the Classical Society is setting a standard for the careful
literary interpretation and rendering of dramatic texts, which
should prove stimulating to all the societies and class organizations.

The senior play is one of the chief events of Commencement week,
but the students have not always been fully awake to their dramatic
opportunity. If college theatricals have any excuse for being, it
is not found in attempts to compete with the commercial stage and
imitate the professional actor, but rather in dramatic revivals
such as the Harvard Delta Upsilon has so spiritedly presented,
or in the interpretation of the poetic drama, whether early or late,
which modern theaters with their mixed audiences cannot afford
to present. The college audience is always a selected audience,
and has a right to expect from the college players dramatic caviare.
That Wellesley is moving in the right direction may be seen by
reading a list of her senior plays, among which are the "Countess
Cathleen", by Yeats, Alfred Noyes's "Sherwood", and in 1915
"The Piper" by Josephine Peabody Marks.

But Wellesley's recreation is not all rehearsed and formal.
May Day, when the seniors roll their hoops in the morning, and
all the college comes out to dance on the green and eat ice-cream
cones in the afternoon, is full of spontaneous jollity. Before the
burning of College Hall, the custom had arisen of cleaning house
on May Day, and six o'clock in the morning saw the seniors out
with pails and mops, scrubbing and decorating the many statues
which kept watch in the beloved old corridors.

One of these statutes had become in some sort the genius of
College Hall. Of heroic size, a noble representation of womanly
force and tranquillity, Anne Whitney's statue of Harriet Martineau
had watched the stream of American girlhood flow through "the Center"
and surge around the palms for twenty-eight years. The statue
was originally made at the request of Mrs. Maria Weston Chapman,
the well-known abolitionist and dear friend of Miss Martineau;
but after Mrs. Chapman's death, it was Miss Whitney's to dispose
of, and, representing as it did her ideal modern woman, she gave
it in 1886 to Wellesley, where modern womanhood was in the making.
In later years, irreverent youth took playful liberties with
"Harriet", using her much as a beloved spinster aunt is used by
fond but familiar young nieces. No freshman was considered properly
matriculated until she had been dragged between the rungs of
Miss Martineau's great marble chair; May Day always saw "Aunt Harriet"
rise like Diana fresh from her bath, to be decked with more or less
becoming furbelows; and as the presiding genius in the lighter
columns of College News, her humor--an acquired characteristic--
was merrily appreciated. Of all the lost treasures of College Hall
she is perhaps the most widely mourned.

The pretty little Society houses, dotted about the campus, also
give the students opportunity to entertain their guests, both
formally and informally, and during the months following the fire,
when Wellesley was cramped for space, they exercised a generous
hospitality which put all the college in their debt.

As the membership in the Shakespeare and Greek letter societies
is limited to between forty and fifty members in each society,
the great majority of the students are without these social
privileges, but the Barn Swallows, founded in 1897, to which
every member of the college may belong if she wishes, gives
periodic entertainments in the "Barn" which go far to promote
general good feeling and social fellowship. The first president
of the Barn Swallows, Mary E. Haskell, '97, says that it arose
as an Everybody's Club, to give buried talents a chance. "Suddenly
we adjured the Trustees by Joy and Democracy to bless our charter,
to be gay once a week, and when they gave the Olympic nod we
begged for the Barn to be gay in--and they gave that too.

"It was a grim joy parlor; rough old floor, bristly with splinters,
few windows, no plank walk, no stage, no partitions, no lighting.
We hung tin reflectored lanterns on a few of the posts,--thicker
near the stage end,--and opened the season with an impromptu
opera of the Brontes'." To Professor Charlotte F. Roberts,
Wellesley '80, the Barn Swallows owe their happy name.

Besides these more formal organizations there are a number of
department clubs, the Deutsche Verein, the Alliance Francaise,
the Philosophy Club, the Economics Club, and informal groups such
as the old Rhymesters' Club, which flourished in the late nineties,
the Scribblers' which seems to have taken its place and enlarged
its scope, the Social Study Circle, the little Socialist Club, and
others through which the students express their intellectual and
social interests.

Of Wellesley's many festivities and playtimes it would take too
long to tell: of her Forensic Burnings, held when the last junior
forensic for the year is due; of her processional serenades, with
Chinese lanterns; of her singing on the chapel steps in the evenings
of May and June. These well-beloved customs have been establishing
themselves year by year more firmly in undergraduate hearts, but
it is not always possible to trace them to their "first time."
Most of them date back to the later years of the nineteenth century,
or the first of the twentieth. Wellesley's musical cheer seems
to have waked the campus echoes first in the spring of 1890, as
a result of a prize offered in November, 1889, although as far
back as 1880 there is mention of a cheer. The musical cheer has
so much beauty and dignity, both near at hand and at a distance,
that many of the early alumnae and the faculty wish it might some
time quite supersede the ugly barking sounds, imitated from the
men's colleges, with which the girls are fain to evince their
approval and celebrate their triumphs. They invariably end their
barking with the musical cheer, however, keeping the best for the
last, and relieving the tortured graduate ear.

Formal athletics at Wellesley developed from the gymnasium practice,
the rowing on the lake, and the Tree Day dancing. In the early
years, the class crews used to row on the lake and sing at sunset,
in their heavy, broad-bottomed old tubs; and from these casual
summer evenings "Float" has been evolved--Wellesley's water
pageant--when Lake Waban is dotted with gay craft, and the crews
in their slim, modern, eight-oared shells, display their skill.
This is the festival which the public knows best, for unlike
Tree Day, to which outsiders have been admitted on only three
occasions, "Float" has always been open to friendly guests. Year
by year the festival grows more elaborate. Chinese junks, Indian
canoes, Venetian gondolas, flower boats from fairyland, glide over
the bright sunset waters, and the crews in their old traditional
star pattern anchor together and sing their merry songs. There
are new songs every spring, for each crew has its own song, but
there are two of the old songs which are heard at every Wellesley
Float, "Alma Mater", and the song of the lake, that Louise Manning
Hodgkins wrote for the class of '87.

Lake of gray at dawning day,
In soft shadows lying,--
Waters kissed by morning mist,
Early breezes sighing,--
Fairy vision as thou art,
Soon thy fleeting charms depart.
Every grace that wins the heart,
Like our youth is flying.

Lake of blue, a merry crew,
Cheer of thee will borrow.
Happy hours to-day are ours,
Weighted by no sorrow.
Other years may bring us tears,
Other days be full of fears,
Only hope the craft now steers.
Cares are for the morrow.

Lake of white at holy night,
In the moonlight gleaming,--
Softly o'er the wooded shore,
Silver radiance streaming,--
On thy wavelets bear away
Every care we've known to-day,
Bring on thy returning way
Peaceful, happy dreaming.

After the singing, the Hunnewell cup is presented for the crew
competition; and with the darkness, the fireworks begin to flash
up from the opposite shore of the lake.

Besides the rowing clubs, in the first decade, there were tennis
clubs, and occasional outdoor "meets" for cross-country runs, but
apparently there was no regular organization combining in one
association all the separate clubs until 1896-1897, when we hear
of the formation of a "New Athletic Association." There is also
record of a Field Day on May 29, 1899. In 1902, we find the
"new athletics"--evidently a still newer variety than those of
1897--"recognized by the trustees"; and the first Field Day under
this newest regime occurred on November 3, 1902. All the later
Field Days have been held in the late autumn, at the end of the
sports season, which now includes a preliminary season in the
spring and a final season in the autumn. An accepted candidate
for an organized sport must hold herself ready to practice during
both seasons, unless disqualified by the physical examiner, and
must confine herself to the one sport which she has chosen. During
both seasons the members may be required to practice three times
a week.

The Athletic Association, under its present constitution, dates
from March, 1908. All members of the college are eligible for
membership, all members of the organized sports are ipso facto
members of the association, and the Director of Physical Training
is a member ex officio. An annual contribution of one dollar is
solicited from each member of the association, and special funds
are raised by voluntary contribution. In the year 1914-1915, the
association included about twelve hundred members, not all of them
dues-paying, however.

The president of the Athletic Association is always a senior; the
vice president, who is also chairman of the Field Day Committee,
and the treasurer are juniors; the secretary and custodian are
sophomores. The members of the Organized Sports elect their
respective heads, and each sport is governed by its own rules and
regulations and by such intersport legislation as is enacted by
the Executive Board, not in contravention to regulations by the
Department of Physical Training and Hygiene. In this way the
association and the department work together for college health.

The organized sports at Wellesley are: rowing, golf, tennis,
basket ball, field hockey, running, archery, and baseball. The
unorganized sports include walking, riding, swimming, fencing,
skating, and snowshoeing. Each sport has its instructor, or
instructors, from the Department of Physical Training. The members
are grouped in class squads governed by captains, and each class
squad furnishes a class team whose members are awarded numerals,
before a competitive class event, on the basis of records of
health, discipline, and skill. Honors, blue W's worn on the
sweaters, are awarded on a similar basis. Interclass competitions
for trophies are held on Field Day, and the association hopes,
with the development of outdoor baseball, to establish interhouse
competitions also. The gala days are, besides Field Day in the
autumn, the Indoor Meet in the spring at the end of the indoor
practice, "Float" in June, and in winter, when the weather permits,
an Ice Carnival on the lake.

Through the Athletic Association, new tennis courts have been laid
out, the golf course has been remodeled, and the boathouse repaired.
In 1915, it was making plans for a sheltered amphitheater, bleachers,
and a baseball diamond; and despite the fact that dues are not
obligatory, more and more students are coming to appreciate the
work of the Association and to assume responsibility toward it.

Wellesley does not believe in intercollegiate sports for women.
In this opinion, the women's colleges seem to be agreed; it is
one of the points at which they are content to diverge from the
policy of the men's colleges. Wellesley's sports are organized
to give recreation and healthful exercise to as many students as
are fit and willing to take part in them. Some students even
disapprove of interclass competitions, and it is thought that
the interhouse teams for baseball will serve as an antidote to
rivalry between the classes.

The only intercollegiate event in which Wellesley takes part is
the intercollegiate debate. In this contest, Wellesley has been
twice beaten by Vassar, but in March, 1914, she won in the debate
against Mt. Holyoke, and in March, 1915, in the triangular debate,
she defeated both Vassar and Mt. Holyoke.

In September, 1904, the college was granted a charter of the
Phi Beta Kappa Society, and the Wellesley Chapter,--installed
January 17, 1905, is known as the Eta of Massachusetts.



On the morning of March 17, 1914, College Hall, the oldest and
largest building on the Wellesley campus, was destroyed by fire.
No one knows how the fire originated; no one knows who first
discovered it. Several people, in the upper part of the house,
seem to have been awakened at about the same time by the smoke,
and all acted with clear-headed promptness. The night was thick
with fog, and the little wind "that heralds the dawn" was not strong
enough to disperse the heavy vapors, else havoc indeed might have
been wrought throughout the campus and the sleeping village.

At about half past four o'clock, two students at the west end of
College Hall, on the fourth floor, were awakened and saw a fiery
glow reflected in their transom. Getting up to investigate, they
found the fire burning in the zoological laboratory across the
corridor, and one of them immediately set out to warn Miss Tufts,
the registrar, and Miss Davis, the Director of the Halls of
Residence, both of whom lived in the building; the other girl
hurried off to find the indoor watchman. At the same time, a
third girl rang the great Japanese bell in the third floor center.
In less than ten minutes after this, every student was out of
the building.

The story of that brief ten minutes is packed with self-control
and selflessness; trained muscles and minds and souls responded
to the emergency with an automatic efficiency well-nigh unbelievable.
Miss Tufts sent the alarm to the president, and then went to the
rooms of the faculty on the third floor and to the officers of the
Domestic Department on the second floor. Miss Davis set a girl
to ringing the fast-fire alarm. And down the four long wooden
staircases the girls in kimonos and greatcoats came trooping,
each one on the staircase she had been drilled to use, after she
had left her room with its light burning and its corridor door shut.
In the first floor center the fire lieutenants called the roll of
the fire squads, and reported to Miss Davis, who, to make assurance
doubly sure, had the roll called a second time. No one said the
word "fire"--this would have been against the rules of the drill.
For a brief space there was no sound but "the ominous one of
falling heavy brands." When Miss Davis gave the order to go out,
the students walked quietly across the center, with embers and
sparks falling about them, and went out on the north side through
the two long windows at the sides of the front door.

And all this in ten minutes!

Meanwhile, Professor Calkins, who does not live at the college
but had happened to spend the night in the Psychology office on
the fifth floor, had been one of the earliest to awake, had wakened
other members of the faculty and helped Professor Case and her
wheel-chair to the first floor, and also had sent a man with an ax
to break in Professor Irvine's door, which was locked. As it
happened, Professor Irvine was spending the night in Cambridge,
and her room was not occupied. Most of the members of the faculty
seem to have come out of the building as soon as the students did,
but two or three, in the east end away from the fire, lingered to
save a very few of their smaller possessions.

The students, once out, were not allowed to re-enter the building,
and they did not attempt to disobey, but formed a long fire line
which was soon lengthened by girls from other dormitories and
extended from the front of College Hall to the library. Very
few things above the first floor were saved, but many books,
pictures, and papers went down this long line of students to find
temporary shelter in the basement of the library. Associate
Professor Shackford, who wrote the account of the fire in the
College News, from which these details are taken, tells us how
Miss Pendleton, patrolling this busy fire line and questioning the
half-clad workers, was met with the immediate response, even from
those who were still barefooted, "l'm perfectly comfortable,
Miss Pendleton", "l'm perfectly all right, Miss Pendleton." Miss
Shackford adds:

"At about five o'clock, a person coming from the hill saw
College Hall burning between the dining-room and Center,
apparently from the third floor up to the roof, in high, clear
flames with very little smoke. Suddenly the whole top seemed
to catch fire at once, and the blaze rushed downward and upward,
leaping in the dull gray atmosphere of a foggy morning. With
a terrific crash the roof fell in, and soon every window in the
front of College Hall was filled with roaring flames, surging
toward the east, framed in the dark red brick wall which served
to accentuate the lurid glow that had seized and held a building
almost one eighth of a mile long. The roar of devastating fury,
the crackle of brands, the smell of burning wood and melting iron,
filled the air, but almost no sound came from the human beings who
saw the irrepressible blaze consume everything but the brick walls.

"The old library and the chapel were soon filled with great billows
of flame, which, finding more space for action, made a spectacle
of majestic but awful splendor. Eddies of fire crept along the
black-walnut bookcases, and all that dark framework of our beloved
old library. By great strides the blaze advanced, until innumerable
curling, writhing flames were rioting all through a spot always
hushed 'in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.' The
fire raged across the walls, in and around the sides and the
beautiful curving tops of the windows that for so many springs
and summers had framed spaces of green grass on which fitful
shadows had fallen, to be dreamed over by generations of students.
In the chapel, tremendous waves swelled and glowed, reaching
almost from floor to ceiling, as they erased the texts from the
walls, demolished the stained-glass windows, defaced, but did not
completely destroy the college motto graven over them, and, in
convulsive gusts swept from end to end of the chapel, pouring in
and out of the windows in brilliant light and color. Seen from
the campus below, the burning east end of the building loomed up
magnificent even in the havoc and desolation it was suffering."

At half past eight o'clock, four hours after the first alarm was
sounded, there stood on the hill above the lake, bare, roofless
walls and sky-filled arches as august as any medieval castle
of Europe. Like Thomas the Rhymer, they had spent the night
in fairyland, and waked a thousand years old. Romance already
whispered through their dismantled, endless aisles. King Arthur's
castle of Camelot was not more remote from to-day than College Hall
from the twentieth-century March morning. Weeks, months, a little
while it stood there, vanishing--like old enchanted Merlin--into
the impenetrable prison of the air. There will be other houses
on that hilltop, but never one so permanent as the dear house
invisible; the double Latin cross, the ten granite columns, the
Center ever green with ageless palms, the "steadfast crosses,
ever pointing the heavenward way",--to eyes that see, these have
never disappeared.

At half past eight o'clock, in the crowded college chapel, President
Pendleton was saying to her dazed and stricken flock, "We know
that all things work together for good to them that love God,--who
shall separate us from the love of Christ?" And when she had
given thanks, in prayer, for so many lives all blessedly safe,
there came the announcement, so quiet, so startling, that the
spring term would begin on April 7, the date already set in the
college calendar. This was the voice of one who actually believed
that faith would remove mountains. And it did. By the faith of
President Pendleton, Wellesley College is alive to-day. She did
literally and actually cast the mountain into the sea on that
seventeenth of March, 1914. St. Patrick himself never achieved
a greater miracle.

She knew that two hundred and sixteen people were houseless;
that the departments of Zoology, Geology, Physics, and Psychology,
had lost their laboratories, their equipment, their lecture rooms;
that twenty-eight recitation rooms, all the administrative offices,
the offices of twenty departments, the assembly hall, the study
hall, had all been swept away. Yet, in a little less than three
weeks, there had sprung up on the campus a temporary building
containing twenty-nine lecture and recitation rooms, thirteen
department offices, fifteen administrative offices, three dressing
rooms, and a reception room. Plumbing, steam heat, electricity,
and telephone service had been installed. A week after college
opened for the spring term, classes were meeting in the new building.
During that first week, offices and classes had been scattered all
over the campus,--in the Society houses, in the basements of
dormitories, the Art Building, the Chemistry Building, the Gymnasium,
the basement of the Library, the Observatory, the Stone Hall Botany
Laboratories, Billings Hall; all had opened their doors wide. The
two hundred and sixteen residents of old College Hall had all been
housed on the campus; it meant doubling up in single rooms, but
the doublets persuaded themselves and the rest of the college
that it was a lark.

This spirit of helpfulness and cheer began on the day of the fire,
and seems to have acquired added momentum with the passing months.
Clothes, books, money, were loaned as a matter of course. By
half past nine o'clock in the morning, the secretary of the dean
had written out from memory the long schedule of the June examinations,
to be posted at the beginning of the spring term. Members of
the faculty were conducting a systematic search for salvage among
the articles that had been dumped temporarily in the "Barn" and the
library; homes had been found for the houseless teachers, most
of whom had lost everything they possessed; several members of
the faculty had no permanent home but the college, and their worldly
goods were stored in the attic from which nothing could be saved.
It is said that when President Pendleton, in chapel, told the
students to go home as soon as they had collected their possessions,
"an unmistakable ripple of girlish laughter ran through the
dispossessed congregation." This was the Franciscan spirit in
which Wellesley women took their personal losses. For the general
losses, all mourned together, but with hope and courage. In the
Department of Physics, all the beautiful instruments which Professor
Whiting had been so wisely and lovingly procuring, since she first
began to equip her student-laboratory in 1878, were swept away;
Geology and Psychology suffered only less; but the most harrowing
losses were those in the Department of Zoology, where, besides
the destruction of laboratories and instruments, and the special
library presented to the department by Professor Emeritus Mary A.
Willcox, "the fruits of years of special research work which had
attracted international attention have been destroyed.... Professor
Marion Hubbard had devoted her energies for six years to research
in variation and heredity in beetles.... In view of the increasing
interest in eugenics, scientists awaited the results with keen
anticipation, but all the specimens, notes, and apparatus were
swept away." Professor Robertson, the head of the department,
who is an authority on certain deep-sea forms of life, had just
finished her report on the collections from the dredging expedition
of the Prince of Monaco, which had been sent her for identification;
and the report and the collections all were lost.

Among the few things saved were some of the ivies and the roses
which the classes had planted year by year; these the fire had not
injured; and a slip from the great wistaria vine on the south side
of College Hall has proved to be alive and vigorous. The alumnae
gavel and the historic Tree Day spade were also unharmed. But
that no life was lost outweighs all the other losses, and this was
due to the fire drill which, in one form or another, has been
carried on at Wellesley since the earliest years of the college.
Doctor Edward Abbott, writing of Wellesley in Harper's Magazine
for August, 1876, says:

"Whoever heard of a fire brigade manned by women? There is one at
Wellesley, for it is believed that however incombustible the
college building may be, the students should be taught to put out
fire,... and be trained to presence of mind and familiarity with
the thought of what ought to be done in case of fire." From time
to time the drill has been strengthened and changed in detail, but
in 1902, when Miss Olive Davis, Director of Houses of Residence,
was appointed by Miss Hazard to be responsible for an efficient
fire drill, the modern system was instituted. An article in
College News explains that "the organization of the present
fire-drill system is much like the old one. With the adoption of
Student Government, it was put into the hands of the students.
Each year a fire chief is elected from the student-body, by the
students. This girl is a senior. She is counted an officer of
the Student Government Association, and is responsible to Miss Davis.
Then at meetings held at the beginning of the fall term, each
dormitory elects one fire captain, who in turn appoints lieutenants
under her,--one for every twenty or twenty-five girls.

"The directions for a fire drill are:

"Upon hearing the alarm (five rings of the house bell),

"1. Close your windows, doors, and transoms.

"2. Turn on the electric lights.

"3. March in single file, and as quickly as possible, downstairs,
and answer to your roll call.

"Each lieutenant is responsible for all the girls on her list.
After the ringing of the alarm, she must look into every room
in her district and see that the directions have been complied
with and the inmates have gone downstairs. If the windows and
doors have not been shut, she must shut them. Then she goes
downstairs and calls her roll (some lieutenants memorize their
lists). When the lieutenants have finished, the captain calls
the roll of the lieutenants, asking for the number absent in each
district, and the number of windows and doors left open or lights
not lighted, if any.

"The captains are required to hold two drills a month. At the
regular meetings of the organization at which the fire chief
presides and Miss Davis is often present, the captains report the
dates of their drills, the time of day they were held, the number
of absentees and their reasons, the time required to empty the
building, and the order observed by the girls.

"Drills may be called by the captain at any time of the day or
night. Frequently there were drills at College Hall when it was
crowded with nonresident students, there for classes. In that
case no roll was called, but merely the time required and the
order reported. The penalty for non-attendance at fire drills
is a fine of fifty cents, and a serious error credited to the absentee.

"There are devices such as blocking some of the staircases to train
the girls for an emergency. It was being planned, just about the
time College Hall burned, to have a fire drill there with artificial
smoke, to test the girls. The system is still being constantly
changed and improved. On Miss Davis's desk, the night of the
fire, was the rough draft of a plan by which property could be
better saved in case of fire, without more danger to life."

A few weeks after the burning of College Hall, a small fire broke
out at the Zeta Alpha House, but was immediately quenched, and
Associate Professor Josephine H. Batchelder, of the class of 1896,
writing in College News of the self-control of the students, says:

"Perhaps the best example of 'Wellesley discipline since the fire,'
occurred during the brief excitement occasioned by the Zeta Alpha
House fire. A few days before this, a special plea had been made
for good order and concentrated work in an overcrowded laboratory,
where forty-six students, two divisions, were obliged to meet at
the same time. On this morning, the professor looked up suddenly
at sounds of commotion outside. 'Why, there's a fire-engine going
back to the village!' she said. 'Oh, yes' responded a girl near
the window. 'We saw it come up some time ago, but you were busy
at the blackboard, so we didn't disturb you.' The professor looked
over her roomful of students quietly at work. 'Well,' she said,
'I've heard a good deal of boasting about various things the girls
were doing. Now I'm going to begin!'"

And this self-control does not fail as the months pass. The
temporary administration building, which the students have dubbed
the Hencoop, tests the good temper of every member of the college.
Like Chaucer's wicker House of Rumors it is riddled with vagrant
noises, but as it does not whirl about upon its base, it lacks the
sanitary ventilating qualities of its dizzy prototype. On the
south it is exposed to the composite, unmuted discords of Music Hall;
on the north, the busy motors ply; within, nineteen of the twenty-six
academic departments of the college conduct their classes, between
walls so thin that every classroom may hear, if it will, the
recitations to right of it, recitations to left of it, recitations
across the corridor, volley and thunder. Though they all
conscientiously try to roar as gently as any sucking dove. The
effect upon the unconcentrated mind is something like--The cosine
of X plus the ewig weibliche makes the difference between the
message of Carlyle and that of Matthew Arnold antedate the Bergsonian
theory of the elan vital minus the sine of Y since Barbarians,
Philistines and Populace make up the eternal flux wo die citronen
bluhn--but fortunately the Wellesley mind does concentrate, and
uncomplainingly. The students are working in these murmurous
classrooms with a new seriousness and a devotion which disregard
all petty inconveniences and obstacles.

And the fire has kindled a flame of friendliness between faculty
and students; it has burned away the artificial pedagogic barriers
and quickened human relations. The flames were not quenched
before the students had begun to plan to help in the crippled
courses of study. They put themselves at the disposal of the
faculty for all sorts of work; they offered their notes, their own
books; they drew maps; they mounted specimens on slides for the
Department of Zoology. In that crowded, noisy, one-story building
there are not merely the teachers and the taught, but a body of
tried friends, moving shoulder to shoulder on pilgrimage to truth.




Ever since we became a nation, it has been our habit to congratulate
ourselves upon the democratic character of our American system of
education. In the early days, neither poverty nor social position
was a bar to the child who loved his books. The daughter of the
hired man "spelled down" the farmer's son in the district school;
the poor country boy and girl earned their board and tuition at
the academy by doing chores; American colleges made no distinctions
between "gentlemen commoners" and common folk; and as our public
school system developed its kindergartens, its primary, grammar, and
high schools, free to any child living in the United States,
irrespective of his father's health, social status, or citizenship,
we might well be excused for thinking that the last word in
democratic education had been spoken.

But since the beginning of the twentieth century, two new voices
have begun to be heard; at first sotto voce, they have risen
through a murmurous pianissimo to a decorous non troppo forte,
and they continue crescendo,--the voice of the teacher and the
voice of the graduate. And the burden of their message is that
no educational system is genuinely democratic which may ignore
with impunity the criticisms and suggestions of the teacher who is
expected to carry out the system and the graduate who is asked to
finance it.

The teachers' point of view is finding expression in the various
organizations of public school teachers in Chicago, New York,
and elsewhere, looking towards reform, both local and general;
and in the movement towards the formation of a National Association
of College Professors, started in the spring of 1913 by professors
of Columbia and Johns Hopkins. At a preliminary meeting at
Baltimore, in November, 1913, unofficial representatives from
Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Clark,
and Wisconsin were present, and a committee of twenty-five was
appointed, with Professor Dewey of Columbia as chairman, "to arrange
a plan of organization and draw up a constitution." President
Schurman, in a report to the trustees of Cornell, makes the situation
clear when he says:

"The university is an intellectual organization, composed essentially
of devotees of knowledge--some investigating, some communicating,
some acquiring--but all dedicated to the intellectual life.... The
Faculty is essentially the university; yet in the governing boards
of American universities the Faculty is without representation."
President Schurman has suggested that one third of the board
consist of faculty representatives. At Wellesley, since the
founder's death, the trustees have welcomed recommendations from
the faculty for departmental appointments and promotions, and this
practice now obtains at Yale and Princeton; the trustees of Princeton
have also voted voluntarily to confer on academic questions with
a committee elected by the faculty.

An admirable exposition of the teachers' case is found in an
article on "Academic Freedom" by Professor Howard Crosby Warren
of the Department of Psychology at Princeton, in the Atlantic Monthly
for November, 1914. Professor Warren says that "In point of fact,
the teacher to-day is not a free, responsible agent. His career is
practically under the control of laymen. Fully three quarters
of our scholars occupy academic positions; and in America, at
least, the teaching investigator, whatever professional standing
he may have attained, is subject to the direction of some body of
men outside his own craft. As investigator he may be quite
untrammeled, but as teacher, it has been said, he is half tyrant
and half slave....

"The scholar is dependent for opportunity to practice his calling,
as well as for material advancement, on a governing board which
is generally controlled by clergymen, financiers, or representatives
of the state....

"The absence of true professional responsibility, coupled with
traditional accountability to a group of men devoid of technical
training, narrows the outlook of the average college professor and
dwarfs his ideals. Any serious departure from existing educational
practice, such as the reconstruction of a course or the adoption
of a new study, must be justified by a group of laymen and their
executive agent....

"In determining the professional standing of a scholar and the
soundness of his teachings, surely the profession itself should be
the court of last appeal."

The point of view of the graduate has been defining itself slowly,
but with increasing clearness, ever since the governing boards of
the colleges made the very practical discovery that it was the duty
and privilege of the alumnus to raise funds for the support of
his Alma Mater. It was but natural that the graduates who banded
together, usually at the instigation of trustees or directors and
always with their blessing, to secure the conditional gifts
proffered to universities and colleges by American multimillionaires,
should quickly become sensitive to the fact that they had no power
to direct the spending of the money which they had so efficiently
and laboriously collected. An individual alumnus with sufficient
wealth to endow a chair or to erect a building could usually give
his gift on his own terms; but alumni as a body had no way of
influencing the policy of the institutions which they were helping
to support.

The result of this awakening has been what President Emeritus
William Jewett Tucker of Dartmouth has called the "Alumni Movement."
More than ten years ago, President Hadley of Yale was aware of
the stirrings of this movement, when he said, "The influence of
the public sentiment of the graduates is so overwhelming, that
wherever there is a chance for its organized cooperation, faculties
and students... are only too glad to follow it."

It would be incorrect, however, to give the impression that graduates
had had absolutely no share in the government of their respective
colleges before the Alumni Movement assumed its present proportions.
Representatives of the alumni have had a voice in the affairs of
Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Self-perpetuating boards of trustees
have elected to their membership a certain number of mature alumni.
In some instances, as at Wellesley, the association of graduates
nominates the candidates for graduate vacancies on these boards.

The benefits of alumnae representation on the Board of Trustees
seem to have occurred to the alumnae and the trustees of Wellesley
almost simultaneously. As early as June, 1888, the Alumnae
Association of Wellesley appointed a committee to present to
the trustees a request for alumnae representation on the Board;
but as the Association met but once a year, results could not
be achieved rapidly, and in June, 1889, the committee reported
that it had not presented the petition as it had been informed
unofficially that the possibility of alumnae representation was
already under consideration by the trustees. In fact, the trustees,
at a meeting held the day before the meeting of the Alumnae
Association, this very June of 1889, had elected Mrs. Marian
Pelton Guild, of the class of 1880, a life member of the Board.

But the alumnae, although appreciating the honor done them by
the election of Mrs. Guild, still did not feel that the question
of representation had been adequately met, and in June, 1891,
a new committee was appointed with instructions to inform itself
thoroughly as to methods employed in other colleges to insure
the representation of the graduate body on governing boards, and
also to convey to the trustees the alumnae's strong desire for
representation of a specified character. And a second time the
trustees forestalled the committee and, in a letter addressed
to the Association and read at the annual meeting in June, 1892,
made known their desire "to avail themselves of the cooperation
of the Association" and to "cement more closely the bond" uniting
the alumnae to the college by granting them further representation
on the Board of Trustees. A committee from the Association was
then appointed to discuss methods with a committee from the Board,
and the results of their deliberations are given by Harriet Brewer
Sterling, Wellesley, '86, in an article in the Wellesley Magazine
for March, 1895. By the terms of a joint agreement between the
Board and the Association, the Association has the right to nominate
three members from its own number for membership on the Board.
These nominees must be graduates of seven years' standing, not
members of the college faculty. Graduates of less than three
years' standing are not qualified to vote for the nominees. The
nominations must be ratified by the Board of Trustees. The term
of service of these alumnae trustees is six years, but a nominee
is chosen every two years. In order to establish this method of
rotation, two of the three candidates first nominated served for
two and four years respectively, instead of six. The first election
was held in the spring of 1894, the nominations were confirmed
by the Board in November, and the three new trustees sat with
the Board for the first time at the February meeting of 1895.

But as graduate organizations have increased in size, and membership
has been scattered over a wider geographical area, it has become
correspondingly difficult to get at the consensus of graduate opinion
on college matters and to make sure that alumni, or alumnae,
representatives actually do represent their constituents and carry
out their wishes. And the Alumni Movement has arisen to meet
the need for "greater unity of organization in alumni bodies."

In an article on Graduate Councils, in the Wellesley College News
for April, 1914, Florence S. Marcy Crofut, Wellesley, '97, has
collected interesting evidence of the impetus and expansion of
this new factor in the college world. She writes, "More clearly
than generalization would show, proofs lie in actual organization
and accomplishments of the 'Alumni Movement' which has worked
itself out in what may be called the Graduate Council Movement....
Since the organization of the Graduate Council of Princeton
University in January, 1905, the Secretary, Mr. H. G. Murray,
to whom Wellesley is deeply indebted, has received requests from
twenty-nine colleges for information in regard to the work of
Princeton's Council."

Among these twenty-nine colleges was Wellesley, and the plan
for her Graduate Council, presented by the Executive Board of
the Alumnae Association to the business meeting of the Association
on June 21, 1911, and voted at that meeting, is a legitimate
outgrowth of the ideals which led to the formation of the Alumnae
Association in 1880. The preamble of the Association makes this
clear when it says:

"Remembering the benefits we have received from our alma mater,
we desire to extend the helpful associations of student life, and
to maintain such relations to the college that we may efficiently
aid in her upbuilding and strengthening, to the end that her
usefulness may continually increase."

In an article describing the formation of the Wellesley Graduate
Council, in the Wellesley College News for October 5, 1911, it
is explained that, "From the time since the 1910-12 Executive
Board (of the Alumnae Association) came into office, it has felt
that there was need for a bond between the alumnae and the college
administration; and it believes that this need will be met by a
small representative (i.e. geographical) definitely chosen graduate
body, which shall act as a clearing-house for the larger Alumnae
Association. The Executive Board recognized also as an additional
reason for organizing such a graduate body, that it was necessary
to do so if the Wellesley Alumnae Association is to keep abreast
of the activities in similar organizations." The purpose of the
Council, as stated in 1911, is a fitting expansion of the Association's
preamble of 1880:

"That, as our alumnae are increasing in large numbers and are
scattered more and more widely, it will be of advantage to them
and to the college that an organized, accredited group of alumnae
shall be chosen from different parts of the country to confer with
the college authorities on matters affecting both alumnae and
undergraduate interests, as well as to furnish the college, by
this group, the means of testing the sentiment of Wellesley women
throughout the country on any matter."

There are advantages in not being a pioneer, and Wellesley has
been able to profit by the experience of her predecessors in this
movement, particularly Princeton and Smith. Membership in the
Councils of Wellesley and Smith is essentially on the same
geographical basis, but Wellesley is unique among the Councils
in having a faculty representation. The relation between faculty
and alumnae at Wellesley has always been markedly cordial, and
in welcoming to the Council representatives of the faculty who
are not graduates of the college, the alumnae would seem to indicate
that their aims and ideals for their Alma Mater are at one with
those of the faculty.

The membership of the Wellesley Graduate Council is composed
of the president and dean of the college, ex officio; ten members
of the Academic Council, chosen by that body, no more than two
of whom may be alumnae; the three alumnae trustees; the members
of the Executive Board of the Alumnae Association; and the councilors
from the Wellesley clubs. As there were more than fifty Wellesley
clubs already in existence in 1915, and every club of from twenty-five
to one hundred members is allowed one councilor, and every club of
more than one hundred members is allowed one councilor for each
additional hundred, while neighboring clubs of less than twenty-five
members may unite and be represented jointly by one councilor,
it will be seen that the Council is a large and constantly growing
body. Clubs such as the Boston Wellesley Club, and the New York
Wellesley Club, which already had a large membership, received
a tremendous impetus to increase their numbers after the formation
of the Council. All members of the Council, with the exception of
the president of the college and the dean, who are permanent,
serve for two years.

The officers of the Graduate Council are the corresponding officers
of the Alumnae Association, and also serve for two years. The
Executive Committee of five members includes the president and
secretary of the Council, an alumna trustee chosen annually from
their own number by the three alumnae trustees, and two members
at large.

The Council meets twice during the academic year, at the college;
in February, for a period of three days or less, following the
mid-year examinations, and in June, when the annual meeting is
held at some time previous to the annual meeting of the Alumnae
Association. In this respect the Wellesley Council again differs
from that of Smith, whose committee of five makes but one official
annual visit to the college,--in January. The "Vassar Provisional
Alumnae Council", like the Wellesley Graduate Council, must hold
at least two yearly meetings at the college, but unlike Wellesley,
it elects a chairman who may not be at the same time the President
of the Vassar Associate Alumnae. Bryn Mawr, we are told by
Miss Crofut, has no Graduate Council corresponding exactly to
the Councils of other colleges; but her academic committee of seven
members meets "at least once a year with the President of the College
and a committee of the faculty to discuss academic affairs."

The possibilities which lie before the Wellesley Council may be
better understood if we enumerate a few of the activities undertaken
by the Councils of other colleges. At Princeton, since 1905, more
than two million five hundred thousand dollars has been raised
by the Council's efforts. The Preceptorial System has been
inaugurated and is being slowly developed. The university has been
brought more prominently before preparatory schools. All the
colleges are feeling the need of keeping in touch with the
preparatory schools, not for the sake of mere numbers, but to
secure the best students. Doctor Tucker has suggested that
Dartmouth alumni endow outright, "substantial scholarships in
high schools with which it is desirable to establish relations,"
and the suggestion is well worth the consideration of Wellesley
women. The Yale Alumni Advisory Board has distributed to the
"so-called Yale Preparatory Schools" and to schoolboys in many
cities, a pamphlet on "Life at Yale." And Yale has also turned its
attention to tuition charges, "academic-Sheffield relations", the
future of the Yale Medical School, the Graduate Employment Bureau.

All of these Councils are concerned with the intellectual and moral
tone of the undergraduates. Wellesley's Graduate Council has
a Publicity Committee, one of whose functions is to prevent wrong
reports of college matters from getting into the press. Mrs. Helene
Buhlert Magee, Wellesley, '03, who was made Chairman of the
Intercollegiate Committee on Press Bureaus, in 1914, and was at
that time also the Manager of the Wellesley Press Board, reminds
us that Wellesley is the only college trying to regulate its
publicity through its alumnae clubs in different parts of the
country, and gives us reason to hope that in time we shall have
publicity agents trained in good methods, "since the members of
each year's College Press Board, as they go forth, naturally become
the press representatives of their respective clubs."

The Council has also a Committee on Undergraduate Activities,
whose duty it is to "obtain information regarding the interests
of the undergraduates and from time to time to make suggestions
concerning the conduct of the same as they affect the alumnae or
bring the college before the general public." This committee
proposes a Rally Day and a Freshman Forum, to be conducted each
year by a representative alumna equipped to set forth the ideals
and principles held by the alumnae.


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