The Story of Wellesley
Florence Converse

Part 4 out of 4

A third committee, bearing a direct relation to the undergraduate,
is one on Vocational Guidance. In order to help students "to find
their way to work other than teaching," and to "present a survey
of all the possibilities open to women in the field of industry
to-day," this committee welcomes the cooperation of Miss Florence
Jackson, a graduate of Smith and for some years a member of the
Department of Chemistry at Wellesley, who is now at the head of
the Appointment Bureau of the Women's Educational and Industrial
Union of Boston. Miss Jackson's practical knowledge of students,
her wide acquaintance with vocational opportunities other than
teaching, and her belief in the "value of the cultural course as
a sound general foundation most valuable for providing the sense
of proportion and vision necessary for the college woman who is
to be a useful citizen," make her an ideal director of this branch
of the Council's activities, and the college gladly promotes her
work among the students; the seniors especially welcome her
expert guidance.

In framing a model constitution for the use of alumnae classes,
the Council has done a piece of work which should arouse the
gratitude of all future historians of Wellesley, for the model
constitution contains an article requiring each class to keep a
record which shall contain brief information as to the members of the
class and shall be published in the autumn following each reunion.
lf these records are accurately kept, and if copies are placed on
file in the College Library, accessible to investigators, the next
historian of Wellesley will be spared the baffling paucity of
information concerning the alumnae which has hampered her predecessor.

With ten members of the Academic Council on the Graduate Council,
and with the president of the college herself an alumna, the
relation between the faculty and the Graduate Council is intimate
and helpful to both, in the best sense. Relations with the
trustees, as a body, were slower in forming. President Pendleton,
at the Council's fifth session,--in the third year of its existence,--
reported the trustees as much interested in its formation. At
the sixth session of the Council, in June, 1914, when the campaign
for the Fire Fund was in full swing, Mr. Lewis Kennedy Morse,
the able and devoted treasurer of the college, and member of
the Board of Trustees, addressed the members upon "The Business
Side of College Administration",--a talk as interesting as it was
frank and friendly. In December, 1914, when the first of the new
buildings was already going up on the site of old College Hall,
the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees invited a joint
committee from the faculty and the alumnae to meet with them to
discuss the architectural plans and possibilities for the "new
Wellesley." The Alumnae Committee consisted of eleven members
and included representatives "from '83 to 1913, and from Colorado
on the west to Massachusetts on the east." Its chairman was
Candace C. Stimson, Wellesley, '92, whose name will always ring
through Wellesley history as the Chairman of the Alumnae Committee
for Restoration and Endowment,--the committee that conducted the
great nine months' campaign for the Fire Fund. The Faculty
Committee, of five members, chose as its chairman, Professor
Alice V.V. Brown, the head of the Department of Art.

Miss Stimson's report to the Graduate Council of this meeting of
the joint committee with the Executive Board, indicates a "strong
sense of good understanding and a feeling of great harmony and
desire for cooperation on the part of Trustees toward the alumnae."
The Faculty Committee and Alumnae Committee were invited to continue
and to hold further conferences with the Trustees' Committee
"as occasion might offer." The episode is prophetic of the future
relations of these three bodies with one another. President Nichols
of Dartmouth is reported as saying that Dartmouth, founded as
the ideal of an individual and governed at first by one man, has
grown to the point where it is no longer to be controlled as
a monarchy or an empire, but as a republic. Such an utterance
does not fail of its effect upon other colleges.


The women who constitute the Wellesley College Alumnae Association,
numbered in 1914-1915 five thousand and thirty-five. The members
are all those who have received the Baccalaureate degree from
Wellesley, and all those who have received the Master's degree and
have applied for membership. But only dues-paying members receive
notices of meetings and have the right to vote. Non-graduates who
pay the annual dues receive the Alumnae Register, and the notices
and publications of the alumnae, but do not vote.

Authoritative statistics concerning the occupations of Wellesley
women are not available. About forty per cent of the alumnae
are married. The exact proportion of teachers is not known, but
it is of course large. The Wellesley College Christian Association
is of great assistance to the alumnae recorder in keeping in touch
with Wellesley missionaries, but even the Christian Association
disclaims infallibility in questions of numbers. An article in
the News for February, 1912, by Professor Kendrick, the head
of the Department of Bible Study, states that no record is kept
of missionaries at work in our own country, but there were then
missionaries from Wellesley in Mexico and Brazil, as well as those
who were doing city missionary work in the United States. The
missionary record for 1915 would seem to indicate that there were
then about one hundred Wellesley women at mission stations in
foreign countries, including Japan, China, Korea, India, Ceylon,
Persia, Turkey, Africa, Europe, Mexico, South America, Alaska,
and the Philippines.

From time to time, the alumnae section of the News publishes an
article on the occupations and professions of Wellesley graduates,
with incomplete lists of the names of those who are engaged in
Law, Medicine, Social Work, Journalism, Teaching, Business, and
all the other departments of life into which women are penetrating;
and from this all too meager material, the historian is able to
glean a few general facts, but no trustworthy statistics.

In 1914, the list of Wellesley women, most of whom were alumnae,
at the head of private schools, included the principals of the
National Cathedral School at Washington, D.C.; of Abbot Academy,
Andover, Walnut Hill School, Natick, Dana Hall, the Weston School,
the Longwood School, all in Massachusetts, and two preparatory
schools in Boston; Buffalo Seminary; Kent Place School, and a
coeducational school, both in Summit, New Jersey; Hosmer Hall, in
St. Louis; Ingleside School, Taconic School and the Catherine
Aiken School, in Connecticut; Science Hill, at Shelbyville, Kentucky;
Ferry Hall, at Lake Forest, Illinois; the El Paso School for Girls;
the Lincoln School, in Providence, Rhode Island; Wyoming Seminary,
another coeducational school; as well as schools for American girls
in Germany, France, and Italy. This does not take into account
the many Wellesley graduates holding positions of importance in
colleges, in high schools, and in the grammar and primary schools
throughout the country.

The tentative list of Wellesley women holding positions of importance
in social work, in 1914, is equally impressive. The head workers
at Denison House,--the Boston College Settlement,--at the Baltimore
Settlement, at Friendly House, Brooklyn, and Hartley House, New York,
are all graduates of Wellesley. Probation officers, settlement
residents, Associated Charity workers, Consumers' League secretaries,
promoters of Social Welfare Work, leaders of Working Girls' Clubs,
members of Trade-union Leagues and the Suffrage League, show many
Wellesley names among their numbers. A Wellesley woman is working
at the Hindman School in Kentucky, among the poor whites; another
is General Superintendent of the Massachusetts Commission for
the Blind; another is Associate Field Secretary of the New York
Charity Organization Department of the Russell Sage Foundation;
another is Head Investigator for the Massachusetts Babies' Hospital.
The Superintendent of the State Reformatory for Girls at Lancaster,
Massachusetts, is a Wellesley graduate who is doing work of unusual
distinction in this field. Mary K. Conyngton, Wellesley, '94,
took part in the Federal investigation into the condition of woman
and child wage earners, ordered by Congress in 1907, and has
made a study of the relations between the occupations, and the
criminality, of women. Her book "How to Help", published by
The Macmillan Company, embodies the results of her experience
in organized charities, investigations for improved housing, and
other industrial and municipal reforms. In 1909, Miss Conyngton
received a permanent appointment in the Bureau of Labor at
Washington, D.C.

Wellesley has her lawyers and doctors, her architects, her
journalists, her scholars; every year their tribes increase.
Among her many journalists are Caroline Maddocks, 1892, and
Agnes Edwards Rothery, 1909.

Of her poets, novelists, short story writers, and essayists, the
names of Katharine Lee Bates, Estelle M. Hurll, Abbie Carter
Goodloe, Margarita Spalding Gerry, Florence Wilkinson Evans,
Florence Converse, Martha Hale Shackford, Annie Kimball Tuell,
Jeannette Marks, are familiar to the readers of the Atlantic,
the Century, Scribner's and other magazines; and the more technical
publications of Gertrude Schopperle, Laura A. Hibbard, Eleanor
A. McC. Gamble, Lucy J. Freeman, Eloise Robinson, and Flora Isabel
McKinnon, have won the suffrages of scholars.

Her most noted woman of letters is Katharine Lee Bates, Wellesley,
'80, the beloved head of the Department of English Literature.
Miss Bates's beautiful hymn, "America", has achieved the distinction
of a national reputation; it has been adopted as one of America's
own songs and is sung by school children all over our country.
The list of her books includes, besides her collected poems,
"America the Beautiful and Other Poems", published by the Thomas
Y. Crowell Company, volumes on English and Spanish travel, on the
English Religious Drama, a Chaucer for children, an edition of
the works of Hawthorne, and a forthcoming edition of the Elizabethan
dramatist, Heywood. Since her undergraduate days, when she wrote
the poems for Wellesley's earliest festivals, down all the years
in which she has been building up her Department of English
Literature, this loyal daughter has given herself without stint to
her Alma Mater. In Wellesley's roll call of alumnae, there is no
name more loved and honored than that of Katharine Lee Bates.


"Hear the dollars dropping,
Listen as they fall.
All for restoration
Of our College Hall."

These words of a college song fitly express the breathless attitude
of the alumnae between March 17, 1914, and January 1, 1915, the
nine months and a half during which the campaign was being carried
on to raise the fund for restoration and endowment, after the fire.
And they did more than listen; they shook the trees on which the
dollars grew, and as the dollars fell, caught them with nimble
fingers. They fell "thick as leaves in Vallombrosa."

Between June, 1913, and June, 1915, $1,267,230.53 was raised by
and through Wellesley women.

In 1913, a campaign for a Million Dollar Endowment Fund had been
started, to provide means for increasing the salaries of the
teachers. Salaries at Wellesley were at that time lower than
those paid in every other woman's college, but one, in New England.
The fund had been started with an anonymous gift of one hundred
thousand dollars, and the committee, with Candace C. Stimson as
chairman, planned to secure the one million dollars in two years.
By March, 1914, a second anonymous gift of one hundred thousand
dollars had been received, the General Education Board had pledged
two hundred thousand dollars conditioned on the raising of the
whole amount, Wellesley women had given fifteen thousand dollars,
and there had been a few other gifts from outsiders. The amount
still to be raised on the Million Dollar Fund at the time of the
fire was five hundred and seventy thousand dollars.

President Pendleton, in a letter to Wellesley friends, printed
in the News on March 28, 1914, ten days after the fire, writes:
"Our Campaign for the Million Dollar Endowment Fund must not be
dropped... we have between five and six hundred thousand dollars
still to raise. All the new buildings must be equipped and
maintained. The sum that our Alma Mater requires for immediate
needs is two million dollars. But this is not all. Another million
will soon be needed, properly to house our departments of Botany
and Chemistry, and to provide a Student-Alumnae building, and
sufficient dormitories to house on the campus the more than five
hundred students now living in the village. We are facing a
great crisis in the history of the College. The future of our
Alma Mater is in our hands. Crippled by this loss, Wellesley
cannot continue to hold in the future its place in the front rank
of colleges, unless the response is generous and immediate.

"To sum up, Alma Mater needs three million dollars, two million
of which must be raised immediately. Shall we be daunted by
this sum? We are justly proud of the courage and self-control
of those dwellers in College Hall, both Faculty and Students.
Shall we be outdone by them in facing a crisis? Shall we be less
courageous, less resourceful? The public press has described
the fire as a triumph, not a disaster. Shall we continue the
triumph, and make our College in equipment what it has proved
itself in spirit--The College Beautiful? We can and we must."

The response of the alumnae to this stirring appeal was instant
and ardent. The committee for the Million Dollar Endowment Fund,
with its valiant chairman, Miss Stimson, shouldered the new
responsibility. "It is a big contract," they said, "it comes at
a season of business depression, and the daughters of Wellesley
are not rich in this world's goods. All this we know, but we know,
too, that the greater the need the more eagerly will love and
loyalty respond."

Then came the offer of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars
by the Rockefeller Foundation, if the college would raise an
additional million and a quarter by January 1, 1915. The intrepid
Committee of Alumnae added to its numbers, merged the two funds,
and adopted the new name of Alumnae Committee for Restoration
and Endowment.

Mary B. Jenkins, Wellesley, '03, the committee's devoted secretary,
has described the plan of the campaign in the News for March, 1915.
As the Wellesley clubs present the best chance of reaching both
graduate and non-graduate members, a chairman for each club was
appointed, and made responsible for reaching all the Wellesley women
in her geographical section, whether they were members of the club
or not. In states where there were no clubs, state committees
rounded up the scattered alumnae and non-graduates. Fifty-three
clubs appear in the report, twenty-four state committees, and eight
foreign countries,--Canada, Mexico, Porto Rico, South America,
Europe, Turkey, India, and Persia. Every state in the Union was
heard from, and contributions also came from clubs in Japan and
China. The campaign actually circled the globe. By June, 1914,
Miss Jenkins tells us, the appeals to the clubs and state committees
had been sent out, and many had been heard from, but in order
to make sure that no one escaped, the work was now taken up through
committees from the thirty-six classes, from 1879 to 1914. In
March, 1915, when Miss Jenkins's report was printed in the News,
3823 of Wellesley's daughters had contributed, and belated
contributions were still coming in. In June, 1915, 3903, out of
4840, graduates had responded. Every member of the classes of
'79, '80, '81, '84, '92, sent a contribution, and the class gift from '79,
$520,161.00 was the largest from any class; that of '92, $208,453.92,
being the next largest. The class gifts include not only direct
contributions from alumnae, and from social members who did not
graduate with the class, but gifts which alumnae and former students
have secured from interested friends. Of the remaining classes,
five show a contributing list of more than ninety per cent of the
members; eleven show between eighty and ninety per cent; and
fifteen between seventy and eighty per cent. Besides the alumnae,
1119 non-graduates had contributed. None of Wellesley's daughters
have been more loyal and more helpful than the non-graduates.

An analysis of the amount, $1,267,230.53, given by and through
Wellesley women between June, 1913, and June, 1915, shows four
gifts of fifty thousand dollars and over, all of which came through
Wellesley women, thirty gifts of from two thousand dollars to
twenty-five thousand dollars, three quarters of which came from
Wellesley women, and many gifts of less than two thousand dollars,
"only a negligible quantity of which came from any one but alumnae
and former students."

Throughout the nine months of the campaign, the Alumnae Committee
and the trustees were working in close touch with each other.
Doctor George Herbert Palmer, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at
Harvard, was the chairman of the committee from the trustees, and
he describes himself as chaperoned by alumnae at every point of
the tour which he so successfully undertook in order to interview
possible contributors. To him, to Bishop Lawrence, the President
of the Board of Trustees, and to Mr. Lewis Kennedy Morse, the
treasurer, the college owes a debt of gratitude which it can never
repay. No knight of old ever succored distressed damsel more
valiantly, more selflessly, than these three twentieth-century
gentlemen succored and served the beggar maid, Wellesley, in the
cause of higher education. Through the activities of the trustees
were secured the provisional gifts of seven hundred and fifty
thousand dollars from the Rockefeller Foundation, and two hundred
thousand dollars from the General Education Board, Mr. Andrew
Carnegie's $95,446.27, to be applied to the extension of the library,
and gifts from Mrs. Russell Sage, Mrs. David P. Kimball, and many
others. Mrs. Lilian Horsford Farlow, a trustee, and the daughter
of Prof. Eben N. Horsford, to whom Wellesley is already deeply
indebted, gave ten thousand dollars toward the Fire Fund; and
through Mrs. Louise McCoy North, trustee and alumna, an unknown
benefactor has given the new building which stands on the hill
above the lake. Because of the modesty of donors, it has been
impossible to make public a complete list of the gifts.

From the four undergraduate classes, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, and
from general undergraduate gifts and activities, came $60,572.04,
raised in all sorts of ways,--from the presentation of "Beau
Brummel" before a Boston audience, to the polishing of shoes
at ten cents a shine. One 1917 girl earned ten dollars during
the summer vacation by laughing at all her father's jokes, whether
old or new, during that period of recreation. Other enterprising
sophomores "swatted" flies at the rate of one cent for two, darned
stockings for five cents a hole, shampooed, mended, raked leaves.
Members of the class of 1916 sold lead pencils and jelly, scrubbed
floors, baked angel cake, counted knot holes in the roof of a
summer camp. Besides "Beau Brummel", 1915 gave dancing lessons
and sold vacuum cleaners. One student who was living in College Hall
at the time of the fire is said to have made ten dollars by charging
ten cents for every time that she told of her escape from the
building. The class of 1918, entering as freshmen in September,
after the fire, raised $5,540.60 for the fund when they had been
organized only a few weeks.

The methods of the alumnae were no less varied and amusing.
The Southern California Club started a College Hall Fund, and
notices were sent out all over the country requesting every alumna
to give a dollar for every year that she had lived in College Hall.
Seven hundred and fifty dollars came in. There were thes dansants,
musicales, concerts, of which the Sousa concert in Boston was
the most important, operettas, masques, garden parties, costume
parties, salad demonstrations, candy sales, bridge parties; a
moving-picture film of Wellesley went the rounds of many clubs,
from city to city, through New England and the Middle West.
An alumna of the class of 1896 "took in" $949.20 for subscriptions
to magazines, with a profit of $175.75 for the fund. She comments
on Wellesley taste in magazines by revealing the fact that the
Atlantic Monthly "received by far the largest number of subscriptions."
One girl in Colorado baked bread, "but forsook it to give dancing
lessons, as paying even better!" In New York, Chicago, and other
cities, the tickets for theatrical performances were bought up
and sold again at advanced prices. A book of Wellesley recipes
was compiled and sold. An alumna of '92 made a charming etching
of College Hall and sold it on a post card; another, also of '92,
wrote and sold a poem of lament on the loss of the dear old building.
The Cincinnati Wellesley Club held a Wellesley market for three
Saturdays in May, 1914, and netted somewhat over seventy-five
dollars a day for the three days. One Wellesley club charged ten
cents for the privilege of shaking hands with its "fire-heroine."

On Easter Monday, 1914, when the college had just come back to
work, after the fire, the "Freeman Fowls" arranged an egg hunt,
with egg-shaped tickets at ten cents, for the fund. The students
from Freeman Cottage, dressed as roosters, very scarlet as to
topknot and wattles, very feather dustery as to tail, waylaid
the unwary on campus paths and lured them to buy these tickets
and to hunt for the hundreds of brightly colored eggs which these
commercially canny fowls had hidden on the Art Building Hill.
After the hunt was successfully over, the hunters came down to
the front of the new, very new, administration building, already
called the Wellesley Hencoop, where they were greeted by the
ghosts and wraiths and other astral presentments of the vanished
statues of College Hall, and where the roosters burst into an
antiphonal chant:

"Come see the Wellesley Chicken-coop, the
Chicken-coop, the Chicken-coop.
Come see the Wellesley Chicken-coop,
(It isn't far from Chapel!)
Come get your tickets for a roost, and give
Your chicken-hearts a boost,
Come see our Wellesley Chicken-roost,
(It isn't far from Chapel!)

"Just see our brand new Collegette, it's
College yet, it's College yet,
With sixty-six new rooms to let,
(They're practicing in Billings).
The Collegette is very tall,
It isn't far from Music Hall,
Our neighbors can't be heard at all
(They learn to sing at Billings).

"Oh, statues dear from College Hall, from
College Hall, from College Hall,
Don't hesitate to come and call
On Hen-House day at Wellesley.
Niobe sad, and Harriet, and Polly Hym and Dian's pet
On Hen-House day,--on Hen-House day,
O! Hen-House day at Wellesley.
Come walk right through the big front door,
Each hour we love you more and more,
There's fire-escapes from every floor
Of the new Hen-house at Wellesley."

Having thus formally adopted the new building, whose windows and
doors were already wreathed in vines and crimson (paper) roses
which had sprung up and blossomed over night, the college now
hastened to the top of College Hall Hill, whence, at the crowing
of Chanticleer, the egg-rolling began. The Nest Egg for the fund,
achieved by these enterprising "Freeman Fowls", was about
fifty-two dollars.

Far off in Honolulu there were "College Capers" in which eight
Wellesley alumnae, helped by graduates of Harvard, Cornell,
Bryn Mawr, and other colleges, earned three hundred dollars.

The News has published a number of letters whose simple revelation
of feeling witnesses to the loyalty and love of the Wellesley
alumnae. One writes:

"A month ago, because of obligations and a very small salary,
I thought I could give nothing to the Endowment Plan. By Saturday
morning (after the fire) l had decided l must give a dollar a month.
By night I had received a slight increase in salary, therefore l
shall send two dollars a month as long as I am able. I wish it
were millions, my admiration and sympathy are so unbounded."

Another says: "Perhaps you may know that when I was a Senior
I received a scholarship of (I think) $350. It has long been my
wish and dream to return that money with large interest, in return
for all I received from my Alma Mater, and in acknowledgment of
the success I have since had in my work because of her. I have
never been able to lay aside the sum I had wished to give, but
now that the need has come l can wait no longer, I am therefore
sending you my check for $500, hoping that even this sum, so small
in the face of the immense loss, may aid a little because it comes
at the right moment. It goes with the wish that it were many,
many times the amount, and with the sincerest acknowledgment of
my indebtedness to Wellesley."

From China came the message: "In an indefinite way I had intended
to send five or ten dollars some time this year (to the Endowment
Fund), but the loss of College Hall makes me realize afresh what
Wellesley has meant to me, and I want to give till l feel the pinch.
I am writing (the treasurer of the Mission Board) to send you
five dollars a month for ten months."

From nearer home: "My sister and I intend to go without spring
suits this year in order to give twenty-five dollars each toward
the fund; this surely will not be sacrifice, but a great privilege.
Then we intend to add more each time we receive our salary....
I cannot say that I was so brave as the girls at the college, who
did not shed a tear as College Hall burned--I could not speak,
my voice was so choked with tears, and that night I went supperless
to bed. But though it seems impossible to believe that College Hall
is a thing of the past, yet one cannot but feel that from this
so great calamity great good will come--a broader, higher spirit
will be manifested; we shall cease to think in classes, but all
unite in great loving thought for the good and the upbuilding--in
more senses than one--of our Alma Mater."

And the messages and money from friends of the college were no
less touching. The children of the Wellesley Kindergarten, which
is connected with the Department of Education in the college,
held a sale of their own little handicrafts and made fifty dollars
for the fund.

One who signed himself, "Very respectfully, A Working Man," wrote:
"The results of your college's work show that it is of the best.
The Student Government is one of the finest things in American
education. The spirit shown at the fire and since is superb."

Another man, who wished that he "had a daughter to go to Wellesley,
the college of high ideals," said, "I should be ashamed even to
ride by in the train without contributing this mite to your
Rebuilding Fund."

A woman in Tasmania sent a dollar, "for you are setting a great
ideal for the broad education of women.... We (in Australia) have
much to thank the higher democratic education of America for."

From many little children money came: from little girls who hoped
to come to Wellesley some day, and from the sons and daughters
of Wellesley students.

The business men of Wellesley town subscribed generously. Many
men as well as women have expressed their admiration of the college
in a tangible way.

And from Vassar, Smith, Bryn Mawr, Mt. Holyoke, Radcliffe, Barnard,
Wells, Simmons, and Sweet Briar, contributions came pouring in
unsolicited. Harvard, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts, and others had
already loaned equipment and material for the impoverished
laboratories, and direct contributions to the fund came from the
University of Idaho, the Musical Clubs of Dartmouth and the
Institute of Technology; from Hobart College, in cooperation with
Wellesley alumnae, in Geneva, New York; from the Emerson College
of Oratory, the College Club of Tucson, Arizona, the Boston and
Connecticut branches of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae,
the Fitchburg Smith College Club, and the Cornell Woman's Club
of New York City. To Smith College, which had so lately raised
its million, Wellesley was also indebted for helpful suggestions
in planning the campaign.

When the great war broke out in August, 1914, wise unbelievers
shook their heads and commiserated Wellesley; but the dauntless
Chairman of the Alumnae Restoration and Endowment Committee
continued to press on with her campaign--to draw dilatory clubs
into line, to prod sluggish classes into activity, to remind
individuals of their opportunity.

The pledges for the last forty thousand dollars of the fund came
snowing in during Christmas week, and eleven o'clock of the evening
of December 31, 1914, found Miss Stimson's committee in New York
counting at top speed the sheaves of checks and pledges which had
been arriving all day. The remarkable thing about the campaign was
the great number of small amounts which came in, and the number
of alumnae--not the wealthy ones--who doubled their pledges at
the last minute. It was the one dollar and the five-dollar pledges
which really saved the day and made it possible for the college
to secure the large conditional gifts. On the morning of January 1,
1915, the amount was complete.


With 1915, Wellesley enters upon the second phase of her history,
but the early, formative years will always shine through the fire,
a memory and an inspiration. Nothing that was vital perished in
those flames. Yet already the Wellesley that looks back upon
her old self is a different Wellesley. All her repressed desires,
spiritual, intellectual, aesthetic, are suddenly set free. Her
lovers and her daughters feel the very campus kindle and quicken
beneath their feet to new responsibilities.

"The New Wellesley!"

No one knows what that shall be, but the words are vision-filled:
prophetic of an ordered beauty of architecture, a harmony of
taste, that the old Wellesley, on the far side of the fire, strove
after but never knew; prophetic of a pinnacled and aspiring
scholarship whose solid foundations were laid forty years deep
in Christian trust and patience; prophetic of a questing spirit
freed from the old reproach of provincialism; of a ministering
spirit in which the virtue of true courtesy is fulfilled.

The end of her first half century will see the campus flowering
with the outward and visible signs of the new Wellesley; and even
as the old fire-hallowed bricks have made beautiful the new walls,
so the beauty of the old dreams shall shine in the new vision.

"Pageant of fretted roofs that cluster*
On hill and knoll in the branches green,
Ye are but shadows, and not the luster,
Garment, ye, of a grace unseen.

"All our life is confused with fable,
Ever the fact as the phantasy seems:
Yet the world of spirit lies sure and stable,
Under the shows of the world of dreams.

"Not an idle and false derision
The rocks that crumble, the stars that fail;
Meaning caskets within the vision,
Shaping the folds of the woven veil."

* Katharine Lee Bates: from a poem, "The College Beautiful," 1886.


Back to Full Books