got me a college girl

in celebration of formal education in the life of the Christian girl

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Treading in her Footsteps (Camille)

On February 17, 1905, a new memorial was placed in Washington D. C.'s Statuary Hall in the Capitol to represent the citizens of Illinois. Every state preceding this time had chosen one of their sons. Illinois, however, was the first and the only to honor one of its daughters. Pictured standing next to a pulpit as if about to preach, Frances Willard*teacher, college president, first Dean of Women at Northwestern University, temperance activist*was easily recognized at her death as the one of the most influential women in the world.

She became the first woman President of the Evanston College for Ladies and defined it as "the paradise of women" with women "for the first time, recognized and proved as the peers of men in administrative power"(Willard, Glimpses 199). She instituted co-educational literary societies with Northwestern University in order to "break down prejudice against women's public speech and work. . .[and to] refine the young men and develop intellectual power in girls"(Willard, Glimpses 207). She established complete self-government: "Our Self-governed do as they please, have all the privileges of teachers, subject only to general order of exercises, such as go to bed at 9:30, to rise at 6:45," and, of course, mandatory church attendance (Willard, Glimpses 215).

In June, 1872, Evanston College had its first and only Commencement. The Chicago Fire eight months earlier ruined any hopes for future financial help from local business interests. Therefore, the Evanston College for Ladies became part of Northwestern University with the Evanston faculty still in complete charge of their students (Willard, Glimpses 227). Miss Willard became Professor of Aesthetics and the first Dean of Women teaching Freshman Rhetoric and Composition (Willard, Glimpses 229-30).

Isn't it interesting that this moral Christian lady saw education for women as a way to refine men? What happens when we leave the educational system then?


  • At 8:53 AM, Blogger greenemama said…

    who wrote this? :)

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    This is all quite imteresting.

    A couple years ago I did quite a bit of reading about the temperance movement, abolitionism, and the views of women in the south in the mid 1800's. What struck me was that those same women who worked hard to bring an end to slavery were also the ones who worked in the temperance movement and who pioneered women's sufferage. What do we see here, folks?

  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger Camille said…

    What do we see? I think we see that education is the means to seeing solutions to moral problems, seeing beyond your provincial backyard.

    And we see that I need to author my posts better. ::blush::

  • At 12:41 PM, Blogger college girl said…

    i fixed it. :)

    i think that we also see that, perhaps, education is a means to a modern reformation?

  • At 1:06 PM, Blogger Camille said…

    Why do you think education is a means to reforming? What is it about ed. that does that?

  • At 1:51 PM, Blogger greenemama said…

    sorry, that was me again . . . :|

    reformation: changing something for the better. in this context i would say that the education of the people makes the country better morally, socially, politically, economically, and possibly spiritually, emotionally and physically. educations as a means to "solutions to moral problems" is a way of reformation, kwim?

    what do i sound like i mean? :)

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Camille said…

    Oh, I'm just being teachery. . . .

    I just think there's something to the education as empowerment idea. ::think:: There's something about education that shows you how to make lemonade out of the cultural lemons we've been given.


Post a Comment

<< Home