American College for Girls (Istanbul, Turkey)

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The American College for Girls was an outgrowth of an educational experiment called The Home School founded in 1871 in Istanbul by the Woman's Board of Missions and a group of women educators from Boston. Under the leadership of May Mills Patrick, and with the support of Sarah L. Bowker, Caroline Borden and other Boston women, the school was granted an act of incorporation as an educational institution in 1890 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Home School had been gradually adding post-high school course work over the years and in June 1891 conferred Bachelor of Arts degrees on its first seven graduates. As in the case of Robert College, ACG enrolled the Christian minorities within the Ottoman Empire. The first Turkish women attended surreptitiously, but more openly and in increasing numbers following the Young Turk uprising of 1908.

The American College for Girls was an outgrowth of an educational experiment called The Home School founded in 1871 in Istanbul by the Woman's Board of Missions* and a group of women educators from Boston. Under the leadership of May Mills Patrick, and with the I support of Sarah L. Bowker, Caroline Borden and other Boston women, the school was granted an act of incorporation as an educational institution in 1890 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Home School had been gradually adding post-high school course work over the years and in June 1891 conferred Bachelor of Arts degrees on its first seven graduates. As in the case of Robert College, ACG enrolled the Christian minorities within the Ottoman Empire. The first Turkish women attended surreptitiously, but more openly and in increasing numbers following the Young Turk uprising of 1908.

The process of recruiting faculty members was a difficult one and some instructors pursued graduate work while they taught. In December 1905 a disastrous fire destroyed Barton Hall, the main instructional building, but fortunately no lives were lost. In the next few years Dr. Patrick increased her efforts to expand the college's facilities and by 1914 property had been purchased at Arnavutköy and four new buildings constructed. A fifth, Bingham Hall, was added in 1924. In the meantime the college had secured a second charter from the Massachusetts legislature in 1908 allowing it to develop independently from the restrictions of the Woman's Board of Missions.

The dedication of the new campus was followed in the same year by the outbreak of World War I. Remarkably, the college survived the privations of wartime Istanbul and the Turkish government permitted it to function even after the U.S. declared war on Turkey's allies, the Central Powers. Although some students represented nationalities at war with each other they continued to pursue their education side by side during the four years of the conflict.

One of Dr. Patrick's strongest convictions was that medical education be available to women. In 1920 a medical department was opened at ACG together with the founding of The American Hospital (subsequently known as the Admiral Bristol Hospital). By 1924, however, the trustees of the college concluded that they could not continue to fund the medical department. Shortly afterward the Turkish government decided to limit such professional training to its own educational institutions.

In 1924 Dr. Patrick retired and was succeeded by Kathryn Newell Adams, who had headed the English Department since 1920. She served until 1931.

Prior to the appointment of Paul Monroe in 1932 as the president of both Robert College and the American College for Girls, the two institutions had begun sharing instructors for certain elective classes. The stringencies imposed by the depression led to further consolidation.

When ill health compelled the retirement of Dr. Monroe in 1935, he was succeeded as head of the two institutions by Dr. Walter Livingston Wright, Jr., an Ottoman scholar whose extensive knowledge of the Near East served the colleges well during an era of profound change in Turkey. President Wright faced the continuous task of maintaining academic standards in the face of financial stringency. The curriculum underwent revision as the college strove to adapt to the needs of a nation undergoing modernization.

As Europe's crises of the late 1930s brought war in 1939, it became increasingly difficult to attract qualified teachers. Moreover, when the U.S. became involved in 1941, President Wright was called to Washington to serve as an advisor on Near Eastern affairs. Dean Harold L. Scott, who had served Robert College in several capacities since 1911, guided the institutions through most of the war years acting as president. In 1944 Floyd Henson Black was appointed president of the college. His first teaching position had been as a tutor at Robert College in 1911. In 1914 he had returned to the United States and after completing his doctorate at Harvard he it returned in 1919 to teach Latin. In 1926 he was appointed president of the American College in Sofia where he served for the next eighteen years. By 1944, however, the war forced the closing of the college in Sofia and Floyd Black returned, this time to a combined Robert College and American College for Girls, to lead it into the postwar years. By the war's end the college was highly respected in Turkey and there was no difficulty attracting students. The problems centered on a shortage of faculty and the college's aging physical facilities. Financial constraints and an overburdened faculty threatened an erosion of academic standards, even while extracurricular activities, drama, and athletics flourished. The college found itself at a crossroads and with the impending retirement of Dr. Black in 1955, the faculty sought to re-evaluate the academic needs of the institution while the trustees undertook to seek new sources of funding.

In 1955 Dr. Duncan Ballantine, President of Reed College, was appointed by a joint presidential search committee composed of RC and ACG trustees. His mandate was to revitalize the academic programs at the college. After a year-long study sweeping changes were made. The orta, which trained eleven to fourteen-year-old youngsters, was phased out. The four-year lise was made comparable to the three-year Turkish lise and designated Robert Academy. The collegiate division was granted permission by the Turkish Government to award Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as Masters degrees in both fields. The college program was reorganized into three departments, the Engineering School, the School of Business Administration, and the School of Science and Foreign Languages. All three departments were to be coeducational.

From the description of American College for Girls records, 1880s-1979. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 299031027

BIOGHIST REQUIRED The American College for Girls was an outgrowth of an educational experiment called The Home School founded in 1871 in Istanbul by the Woman's Board of Missions and a group of women educators from Boston. Under the leadership of May Mills Patrick, and with the support of Sarah L. Bowker, Caroline Borden and other Boston women, the school was granted an act of incorporation as an educational institution in 1890 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Home School had been gradually adding post-high school course work over the years and in June 1891 conferred Bachelor of Arts degrees on its first seven graduates. As in the case of Robert College, ACG enrolled the Christian minorities within the Ottoman Empire. The first Turkish women attended surreptitiously, but more openly and in increasing numbers following the Young Turk uprising of 1908.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED The American College for Girls was an outgrowth of an educational experiment called The Home School founded in 1871 in Istanbul by the Woman's Board of Missions* and a group of women educators from Boston. Under the leadership of May Mills Patrick, and with the I support of Sarah L. Bowker, Caroline Borden and other Boston women, the school was granted an act of incorporation as an educational institution in 1890 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Home School had been gradually adding post-high school course work over the years and in June 1891 conferred Bachelor of Arts degrees on its first seven graduates. As in the case of Robert College, ACG enrolled the Christian minorities within the Ottoman Empire. The first Turkish women attended surreptitiously, but more openly and in increasing numbers following the Young Turk uprising of 1908.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED The process of recruiting faculty members was a difficult one and some instructors pursued graduate work while they taught. In December 1905 a disastrous fire destroyed Barton Hall, the main instructional building, but fortunately no lives were lost. In the next few years Dr. Patrick increased her efforts to expand the college's facilities and by 1914 property had been purchased at Arnavutköy and four new buildings constructed. A fifth, Bingham Hall, was added in 1924. In the meantime the college had secured a second charter from the Massachusetts legislature in 1908 allowing it to develop independently from the restrictions of the Woman's Board of Missions.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED The dedication of the new campus was followed in the same year by the outbreak of World War I. Remarkably, the college survived the privations of wartime Istanbul and the Turkish government permitted it to function even after the U.S. declared war on Turkey's allies, the Central Powers. Although some students represented nationalities at war with each other they continued to pursue their education side by side during the four years of the conflict.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED One of Dr. Patrick's strongest convictions was that medical education be available to women. In 1920 a medical department was opened at ACG together with the founding of The American Hospital (subsequently known as the Admiral Bristol Hospital). By 1924, however, the trustees of the college concluded that they could not continue to fund the medical department. Shortly afterward the Turkish government decided to limit such professional training to its own educational institutions.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1924 Dr. Patrick retired and was succeeded by Kathryn Newell Adams, who had headed the English Department since 1920. She served until 1931.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Prior to the appointment of Paul Monroe in 1932 as the president of both Robert College and the American College for Girls, the two institutions had begun sharing instructors for certain elective classes. The stringencies imposed by the depression led to further consolidation.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED When ill health compelled the retirement of Dr. Monroe in 1935, he was succeeded as head of the two institutions by Dr. Walter Livingston Wright, Jr., an Ottoman scholar whose extensive knowledge of the Near East served the colleges well during an era of profound change in Turkey. President Wright faced the continuous task of maintaining academic standards in the face of financial stringency. The curriculum underwent revision as the college strove to adapt to the needs of a nation undergoing modernization.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED As Europe's crises of the late 1930s brought war in 1939, it became increasingly difficult to attract qualified teachers. Moreover, when the U.S. became involved in 1941, President Wright was called to Washington to serve as an advisor on Near Eastern affairs. Dean Harold L. Scott, who had served Robert College in several capacities since 1911, guided the institutions through most of the war years acting as president. In 1944 Floyd Henson Black was appointed president of the college. His first teaching position had been as a tutor at Robert College in 1911. In 1914 he had returned to the United States and after completing his doctorate at Harvard he it returned in 1919 to teach Latin. In 1926 he was appointed president of the American College in Sofia where he served for the next eighteen years. By 1944, however, the war forced the closing of the college in Sofia and Floyd Black returned, this time to a combined Robert College and American College for Girls, to lead it into the postwar years. By the war's end the college was highly respected in Turkey and there was no difficulty attracting students. The problems centered on a shortage of faculty and the college's aging physical facilities. Financial constraints and an overburdened faculty threatened an erosion of academic standards, even while extracurricular activities, drama, and athletics flourished. The college found itself at a crossroads and with the impending retirement of Dr. Black in 1955, the faculty sought to re-evaluate the academic needs of the institution while the trustees undertook to seek new sources of funding.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1955 Dr. Duncan Ballantine, President of Reed College, was appointed by a joint presidential search committee composed of RC and ACG trustees. His mandate was to revitalize the academic programs at the college. After a year-long study sweeping changes were made. The orta, which trained eleven to fourteen-year-old youngsters, was phased out. The four-year lise was made comparable to the three-year Turkish lise and designated Robert Academy. The collegiate division was granted permission by the Turkish Government to award Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as Masters degrees in both fields. The college program was reorganized into three departments, the Engineering School, the School of Business Administration, and the School of Science and Foreign Languages. All three departments were to be coeducational.

Timeline:

1863 - Robert College founded by Hamlin and Robert.

1871 - American College for Girls (originally known as The Home School) founded in Gedikpaşa.

1874 - American College for Girls moved to Üsküdar.

1912 - Engineering school opened at Robert College (with first civil engineering program in Turkey).

1914 - American College for Girls moved to Arnavutköy campus.

1932 - Administration of RC and ACG united under leadership of a single president.

1958 - Three new schools added to the degree-granting Yüksek (Higher Education) Division of Robert College. Boards of Trustees and endowment funds of both Colleges merged under the name of the Trustees of Robert College of Istanbul.

1971 - Robert College Yüksek transferred to the Turkish Government and now carries on the Robert academic tradition as Boğaziçi University. Robert Academy and ACG combined physically on the Arnavutköy campus as a co- educational six-year preparatory school.

From the guide to the American College for Girls Records, 1880s-1979., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Robert College (Istanbul, Turkey). Robert College records, 1858-1972. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Hart, Albert Bushnell, 1854-1943. Papers of Albert Bushnell Hart, 1874-1943 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn YWCA of the U. S. A. Records MS 324., 1860-2002, 1906-2000 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Robinson, James Emmor, 1933-1997. Campus planning : research material, 1890-1997. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
creatorOf American College for Girls (Istanbul, Turkey). Records of the American College for Girls (Istanbul, Turkey), 1908-1932, (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Pearce family. Papers, 1880-1962. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf American College for Girls (Istanbul, Turkey). American College for Girls records, 1880s-1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn George A. Plimpton Papers, 1634-1956 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Pearce Family Papers MS 119., 1880-1962 Sophia Smith Collection
creatorOf American College for Girls Records, 1880s-1979. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Talbot, Marion, 1858-1948. Papers, 1854-1948 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A. YWCA of the U.S.A. Records 1860-2002 (bulk 1906-2000) Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Talbot, Marion. Papers, 1854-1948 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn YWCA of the U. S. A. Records, . Record Group 03. National Administrative Office Forms part of MS 324., 1906-2002 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Tank, Helen Elizabeth, 1910-2007. Papers of Helen Elizabeth Tank, 1925-2006 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Patrick, Mary Mills, 1850-1940. Mary Mills Patrick papers, 1875-1924. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
referencedIn Robert College Records, 1858-1986 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Siddell, Robert. Robert Siddell Collection, ca. 1903-1922 [bulk 1908-1909]. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn YWCA of the U. S. A. Records, . Record Group 05. International Work Forms part of MS 324., 1890-2000 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Barnard College. Dean's Office. Barnard College dean's/president's official correspondence, 1904-1960. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barnard College. Dean's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Hart, Albert Bushnell, 1854-1943. person
associatedWith Patrick, Mary Mills, 1850-1940. person
associatedWith Pearce family family
associatedWith Pearce family. family
associatedWith Plimpton, George A. (George Arthuer), 1855-1936 person
associatedWith Robert College (Istanbul, Turkey) corporateBody
associatedWith Robinson, James Emmor, 1933-1997 person
associatedWith Siddell, Robert. person
associatedWith Talbot, Marion, 1858-1948. person
associatedWith Tank, Helen Elizabeth, 1910-2007. person
associatedWith Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Turkey
Turkey
Istanbul (Turkey)
Turkey--Istanbul
Istanbul (Turkey)
Turkey
Subject
Universities and colleges
Education
Women missionaries
Women--Education--Turkey
Women's colleges
Universities and colleges--History--20th century
Women--Education
Women
Women Turkey
Education--Turkey
Universities and colleges--History--19th century
Universities and colleges--Turkey--Istanbul--History--19th century
Universities and colleges--Turkey--Istanbul--History--20th century
Women missionaries--Turkey
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1908

Active 1932

Bulgarian,

English,

Turkish

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