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The Story of Wellesley   By: (1871-1967)

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THE STORY OF WELLESLEY

BY

FLORENCE CONVERSE

ALMA MATER

To Alma Mater, Wellesley's daughters, All together join and sing. Thro' all her wealth of woods and water Let your happy voices ring; In every changing mood we love her, Love her towers and woods and lake; Oh, changeful sky, bend blue above her, Wake, ye birds, your chorus wake!

We'll sing her praises now and ever, Blessed fount of truth and love. Our heart's devotion, may it never Faithless or unworthy prove, We'll give our lives and hopes to serve her, Humblest, highest, noblest all; A stainless name we will preserve her, Answer to her every call.

Anne L. Barrett, '86

PREFACE

The day after the Wellesley fire, an eager young reporter on a Boston paper came out to the college by appointment to interview a group of Wellesley women, alumnae and teachers, grief stricken by the catastrophe which had befallen them. He came impetuously, with that light hearted breathlessness so characteristic of young reporters in the plays of Bernard Shaw and Arnold Bennett. He was charmingly in character, and he sent his voice out on the run to meet the smallest alumna in the group:

"Now tell me some pranks!" he cried, with pencil poised.

What she did tell him need not be recorded here. Neither was it set down in the courteous and sympathetic report which he afterwards wrote for his paper.

And readers who come to this story of Wellesley for pranks will be disappointed likewise. Not that the lighter side of the Wellesley life is omitted; play days and pageants, all the bright revelry of the college year, belong to the story. Wellesley would not be Wellesley if they were left out. But her alumnae, her faculty, and her undergraduates all agree that the college was not founded primarily for the sake of Tree Day, and that the Senior Play is not the goal of the year's endeavor.

It is the story of the Wellesley her daughters and lovers know that I have tried to tell: the Wellesley of serious purpose, consecrated to the noble ideals of Christian Scholarship.

I am indebted for criticism, to President Pendleton who kindly read certain parts of the manuscript, to Professor Katharine Lee Bates, Professor Vida D. Scudder, and Mrs. Marian Pelton Guild; for historical material, to Miss Charlotte Howard Conant's "Address Delivered in Memory of Henry Fowle Durant in Wellesley College Chapel", February 18, 1906, to Mrs. Louise McCoy North's Historical Address, delivered at Wellesley's quarter centennial, in June 1900, to Professor George Herbert Palmer's "Life of Alice Freeman Palmer," published by the Houghton Mifflin Co., to Professor Margarethe Muller's "Carla Wenckebach, Pioneer," published by Ginn & Co.; to Dean Waite, Miss Edith Souther Tufts, Professor Sarah F. Whiting, Miss Louise Manning Hodgkins, Professor Emeritus Mary A. Willcox, Mrs. Mary Gilman Ahlers; to Miss Candace C. Stimson, Miss Mary B. Jenkins, the Secretary of the Alumnae Restoration and Endowment Committee, and to the many others among alumnae and faculty, whose letters and articles I quote. Last but not least in my grateful memory are all those painstaking and accurate chroniclers, the editors of the Wellesley Courant, Prelude, Magazine, News, and Legenda, whose labors went so far to lighten mine.

F.C.

CONTENTS

I. THE FOUNDER AND HIS IDEALS II. THE PRESIDENTS AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENT III. THE FACULTY AND THEIR METHODS IV. THE STUDENTS AT WORK AND PLAY V. THE FIRE: AN INTERLUDE VI. THE LOYAL ALUMNAE INDEX [not included]

CHAPTER I

THE FOUNDER AND HIS IDEALS

I.

As the nineteenth century recedes into history and the essentially romantic quality of its great adventures is confirmed by the "beauty touched with strangeness" which illumines their true perspective, we are discovering, what the adventurers themselves always knew, that the movement for the higher education of women was not the least romantic of those Victorian quests and stirrings, and that its relation to the greatest adventure of all, Democracy, was peculiarly vital and close... Continue reading book >>




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