Woman's Education Begins: The Rise of the Women's Colleges

Woman's Education Begins: The Rise of the Women's Colleges

Woman's Education Begins: The Rise of the Women's Colleges

Woman's Education Begins: The Rise of the Women's Colleges

Excerpt

This study was undertaken as an attempt to understand the social conditions which brought about the education of women. The occasion is the hundredth anniversary of Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts. Founded in 1834, opened in 1835, Wheaton Female Seminary became in 1912 Wheaton College.

This book, however, does not attempt to solve the question of the "first endowed seminary," "first incorporated seminary," "first woman's college." It has been the tendency of anniversary volumes to make these claims for many institutions, some still in existence, others surviving only in loving memory. Questions of priority are almost impossible to settle satisfactorily. Often a school incorporated at its inception; often only after years of successful and honored existence. The date of incorporation is, therefore, misleading.

The matter of endowment is another puzzle. Did the gift of a house and the land on which it stood constitute endowment? or the gift of a sum of money sufficient to erect a recitation hall? or a recitation hall, a dormitory, and a laboratory? or, if income bearing endowment alone be considered, did the gift of one or five thousand dollars constitute endowment? how large an income from invested capital is to be counted as the minimum endowment?

Again, some schools started as co-educational academies, later excluding boys, and continuing as "female" schools. Are these to be dated from their founding? or from their change of policy?

A discussion of priority becomes a mere academic argu-

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