Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States

By Linda Eisenmann | Go to book overview

U

University of Chicago. The University of Chicago, site of many advances and challenges in women's higher education, was founded in 1892 in the developing city of Chicago, Illinois. The university was the intersection of a vision for a premier academic institution by two men, William Rainey Harper and John D. Rockefeller. Over time, the vision was more than fulfilled as the University of Chicago became one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the United States.

William Rainey Harper was the first president of the new university. Harper had ready access to huge sums of Rockefeller wealth (close to $35 million by 1919) to build college buildings, hire a prestigious faculty, and recruit the best students. While Rockefeller saw Chicago as a college created in the image of the Baptist religion and providing educational opportunity to the rapidly growing Midwest, Harper saw it as an opportunity to build an institution primarily dedicated to graduate education* and research equal to any on the East Coast.

Harper's oversight of the new university knew no limits. He personally oversaw as much of the design and direction as he possibly could. Harper's megalomania also extended to hiring faculty. He made frequent visits to many of the top institutions in the Northeast, literally recruiting faculty away from institutions such as Cornell, Harvard, Yale, and others with unparalleled promises of large salaries, spacious offices, and research opportunities. With the assurance of the Rockefeller fortune as collateral, Harper was very successful but incurred the wrath of numerous college presidents who accused him, quite accurately, of raiding their campuses of their best faculty. In fact, among Harper's first faculty were nine former college presidents.

One of Harper's recruits was Alice Freeman Palmer,* the very popular and successful former president of Wellesley College* in Massachusetts. Chicago was to include coeducation from its inception, and Harper was determined to have a significant, national figure in women's education as its first dean of

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Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction xi
  • A 1
  • B 29
  • C 65
  • D 111
  • E 136
  • F 146
  • G 163
  • H 188
  • I 217
  • J 225
  • K 229
  • L 232
  • M 256
  • N 287
  • O 312
  • P 317
  • Q 331
  • R 336
  • S 349
  • T 408
  • U 443
  • V 446
  • W 456
  • Y 494
  • Appendix: Timeline of Women's Educational History in the United States 503
  • Selected Bibliography 507
  • Index 511
  • About the Editor and Contributors 525
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