Mount Holyoke College. Office of the President
David Bicknell Truman, a political scientist and college and university administrator, was born on June 1, 1913, in Evanston, Illinois to Malcolm George Truman and Jane Mackintosh Truman. He graduated from Evanston High School in 1931 and attended Amherst College, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1935. He received his M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1939) in political science from the University of Chicago. On February 4, 1939 he married Elinor Jane Griffenhagen. They had a son, Edwin Malcolm Truman. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II and participating in the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of the Pacific Theater in 1945-1946, Truman taught political science at Bennington College (1939-1941), Cornell University (1941-1944), Harvard University (1946-1947), and Williams College (1947-1951). He began teaching at Columbia University in 1951, where he also served as the Dean from 1963-1967 and Vice President and Provost from 1967-1969 (a position he held during the student-led takeover of that institution). In 1969, he resigned from Columbia to become president of Mount Holyoke College. Achievements and events during his administration included Mount Holyoke's recommitment to remaining a college for women; revisions to the curriculum that included the formation of the Black Studies Department and numerous interdepartmental and interdisciplinary programs; changes in regulations concerning male guests in dormitories and alcohol use by students; the strengthening of cooperative relationships among the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst); the creation of a Black Cultural Center; and the construction of the Art Building and Willits-Hallowell Center. Truman retired from Mount Holyoke in 1978 and served as president of the Russell Sage Foundation from 1978-1979. During his career, Truman wrote and published extensively and was an active member of several educational organizations and societies, including the American Political Science Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He died on August 28, 2003 in Sarasota, Florida at the age of ninety.
From the guide to the David Bicknell Truman Records RG 4. 17., 1906-1978, 1969-1978, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Elizabeth S. Billings was born in 1832, in Conway, Massachusetts and graduated from Ipswich Female Seminary. She had a distinguished career as teacher at Andover Seminary and Oberlin College, and Associate Principal of Abbott Academy. She married the Rev. Hiram Mead in 1858 and after his death became the first non-alumnae President of Mount Holyoke Seminary and College in 1890. During her ten-year tenure she directed the expansion of the curriculum, encouraged teachers to pursue advanced degrees and allowed students a measure of self-government. When the Seminary building was destroyed by a fire in 1896, Mead initiated an extensive building project (including the erection of Mary Lyon Hall in 1897) which became the foundation for the modern College. In 1901, a dormitory was named Mead Hall in her honor. She died in 1917.
From the guide to the President Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead Records 4. 12., 1893-1912, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Elizabeth Blanchard was born in 1834 in Sandwich, New Hampshire, and taught for a few years before entering Mount Holyoke. She graduated from the Seminary in 1858. She served as Associate Principal from 1872-1883 with Anna C. Edwards, and was Principal of the Seminary from 1883-1888. During her tenure she upgraded the curriculum and introduced more non-Seminary-trained teachers. The College charter was granted in 1888, whereupon she became Acting President of the Seminary and College until 1889. She died in 1891. In 1950, Blanchard Hall was renamed in her honor.
From the guide to the President Elizabeth Blanchard Records RG4. 9., 1856-1891, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Mary A. Brigham was born in 1829, in Westborough, Massachusetts. She was a member of the Class of 1849 at Mount Holyoke Seminary, although she left without graduating to pursue her studies elsewhere. She returned to teach at Mount Holyoke from 1855-1858 and served as Principal of the Brooklyn Heights Seminary from 1863-1889. She was elected President of Mount Holyoke Seminary and College in 1889, but died in a railway accident before she could take up her appointment. In 1897 a dormitory, Brigham Hall, was dedicated to her by the New York Alumnae Club, of which she had been President in her lifetime.
From the guide to the Mary Ann Brigham Records 4. 10., 1889-1890, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Louise F. Cowles was born in 1842, in Norfalk, Connecticut, and graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1866. She taught at the Seminary (later the College) from 1867-1904, and was Acting President in 1889, following the death of President-elect Brigham. Cowles died in 1924.
From the guide to the Louise Frances Cowles Records 4. 11., 1898-1912, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Roswell G. Ham was born in 1891, in LeMoore, CA. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, he served in World War I before obtaining his PhD in English from Yale, in 1925. He taught there until 1937, when he was controversially appointed the first male President of Mount Holyoke. Continuous development of the physical and financial assets of the College was a feature of his presidency. Some of the new buildings erected were the remodeling of the 1897 chapel into the Charles Clinton Abbey Memorial Chapel (1938); a sports complex, Kendall Hall (1950); Newcombe Cleveland Hall and Carr Laboratory (1955); and Gorse Child Study Center (1953). In addition, the endowment, student fees and the value of the physical plant doubled and enrollment increased by 25%. Ham was a staunch advocate of close cooperation with other colleges. In 1951, Mount Holyoke, Smith College, Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts launched a cooperative effort to establish an Inter-Library Center. This was later instrumental in the founding of Hampshire College and ultimately evolved into Five Colleges, Inc., one of the most successful consortiums in the country. During Ham's tenure, internship programs were established and interdepartmental courses were added to the curriculum. The latter were the forerunners to the interdepartmental majors and minors currently offered to students. Ham retired in 1957 and a dormitory, Ham Hall, was named for him in 1965. He died in 1983.
From the guide to the Roswell Gray Ham Records 4. 14., 1937-1957, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Elizabeth T. Kennan was born in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1960, received her M.A. from Oxford in 1962 and her PhD from the University of Washington in 1966. She served as President of Mount Holyoke from 1978-1995. During her tenure several new programs were introduced. Among them are Summer Math for high-school students, the Frances Perkins Program for non-traditional students, the Third World course requirement for graduation and the forming of the International Relations Department. Faculty salaries were increased and faculty chairs (such as the Mary E. Woolley chair) were endowed. Sabbaticals were funded and research grants awarded as part of a drive to encourage faculty scholarship. In addition, the College's endowment was more than quadrupled and the Capital Campaign for the sesquicentennial exceeded its goal, having raised $139.4 million. The Sports Complex (1985) and the Equestrian Center (1987) were two of the facilities erected during Kennan's tenure. In 1988, the Master Plan was implemented, involving the renovation of Blanchard into a student campus center; remodeling of the service building as a language learning center and an expansion of the library to incorporate Dwight Hall. A medieval historian, Kennan has written a number of articles for historical journals as well as pieces on the subject of education. She is the recipient of several honorary degrees and is on the boards of various educational committees and institutions, and corporations. During the course of her presidency she became a leading spokeswoman on issues facing private colleges and universities, and has been frequently interviewed on the case of women's colleges and women's changing role in society.
From the guide to the Elizabeth Topham Kennan Records 4. 18., 1959-1992, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Mary W. Chapin was born in 1820, in Somers, Connecticut. She graduated from the Seminary in 1843, where she taught for six years before she was appointed Acting Principal in 1850 and Principal in 1852. Under her direction, the course of study was expanded form three to four years and she initiated a more rigorous physical science curriculum. She also oversaw major additions to the Seminary building. She resigned in 1852 to marry Claudius B. Pearce but continued her association with the Seminary by cataloguing the records of the early alumnae in the "Memorandum Society," of which she was President. She died in 1889. An auditorium was later named Chapin Hall in her honor.
From the guide to the Mary Williams Chapin Records RG 4. 5., 1850-1887, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Sophia Hazen was born in Hartford, Vermont, and graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1841. She taught at the Seminary for nine years and was Associate Principal from 1849-1850. In 1851 she married the Rev. David T. Stoddard whom she met while serving as a missionary in Persia from 1850-1859. After his death she was married to William H. Stoddard from 1867 until her death in 1891.
From the guide to the Sophia Hazen Records RG 7. 2., 1849-1890, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Joanne V. Creighton was born in Marinette, Wisconsin in 1942 to William J. Vanish and Bernice Vanish. After graduating from Coleman High School in Coleman, Wisconsin in 1960, she enrolled in the University of Wisconsin at Madison where she majored in English and graduated with honors in 1964. She received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University in 1965 and earned a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan in 1969. She began her teaching career at Wayne State University, where she was an English professor from 1968-1985 and also served as associate dean of liberal arts and special assistant to the provost for the humanities. In 1985, she became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She then served as vice president for academic affairs and provost and professor of English at Wesleyan University from 1990-1994. In 1994-1995, she also acted as Wesleyan's interim president. She was selected as the seventeenth President of Mount Holyoke College in February of 1995 and inaugurated in May, 1996. Creighton has concentrated much of her scholarly work and teaching on the authors Margaret Drabble, William Faulkner, and Joyce Carol Oates and she is the author of four books and many articles, speeches, and professional presentations. She is married to Thomas E. Creighton and has a son.
From the guide to the Joanne V. Creighton Records RG 4. 21., 1980-present, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Born in 1832, in Brattleboro, Vermont, Helen French graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1857. After teaching at the Seminary for ten years, she was Principal from 1867-1872, when she resigned and married Lemuel Gullivar. Under her leadership, funds were raised for substantial renovations and the construction of a separate library building in 1870. She died in 1909.
From the guide to the Helen Maria French Records 4. 7., 1867-1893, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
Richard Glenn Gettell, economist and college and university teacher and administrator, was born on March 3, 1912 in Hartford, Connecticut to Raymond Garfield Gettell, a political scientist and teacher, and Nelene Groff Knapp Gettell. The Gettells moved to Amherst, Massachusetts in 1914 and to Berkeley, California in 1923. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Amherst and Garfield Junior High School in Berkeley then went to University High School in Oakland, California from 1924-1927. He joined the Merchant Marine and served on three voyages to the South Seas, Australia, and Hawaii in 1927-1928. He attended Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1928-1929 and Amherst College from 1929-1933. At Amherst he sang in choirs, served as president of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and manager of the freshman football team, participated in the debating society and graduated with high honors in economics. He also took classes at the University of California in Berkeley during the summer of 1932. After working as Executive Secretary of the Amherst Club of New York, N.Y. from July-December 1933, he went to Washington D.C. as the personal assistant to one of his former Amherst professors, Willard L. Thorp, who was Special Economic Adviser to the United States Department of Commerce. From 1933-1935 Gettell was a junior economist or special assistant in the Bureau for Foreign and Domestic Commerce and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He attended the University of California at Berkeley from 1935-1937 and received a Ph.D. in economics in 1940. In 1938, Gettell became an instructor and tutor of economics and a research assistant at Harvard University. Concurrently he was an instructor of economics at Wellesley College. He married his first wife Eunice Burdick on September 10, 1938. He was an instructor and assistant professor of economics at Yale University from 1938-1941, when Yale granted him a leave of absence to work as an economist for the Textile Price Branch of the Office of Price Administration in Washington D.C. He was in charge of rationing shoes and industrial rubber footwear during World War II. In 1943 Gettell became an operations analyst for the United States Army Air Force. He served with combat commands in England, Washington D.C., and Guam and was a special consultant to the operations analysis division of the United States Air Force headquarters from 1945-1960. During the Korean War (1951-1953) he served for six months with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Weapons Evaluation Group.
Gettell began working for Time, Inc. in December, 1945. He was chief staff economist and assistant to the publisher of Fortune magazine from 1945-1950 and chief staff economist from 1950-1953. He also was a lecturer in economics at the Columbia University School of Business Administration in 1947-1948. He divorced his first wife in 1946 and married Landonia Brock Richards on June 9, 1948. Gettell became chief foreign economist for The Texas Company in December, 1953. He also served as a consultant to the White House staff and was a member of the Task Force of the Cabinet Committee on Energy Resources and Supplies in the Office of Defense Management. In 1954 he played a major role in preparing President Eisenhower's policy statement to Congress concerning foreign economic development. In addition Gettell was Rapporteur for and a member of the United States Council of the International Chamber of Commerce from 1954-1957.
Gettell became the thirteenth President of Mount Holyoke College in 1957. He launched an ambitious fund-raising effort that culminated in the Fund for the Future capital campaign during the College's celebration of its one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary in 1962. Most of these funds went to increasing faculty salaries, doubling the endowment, and constructing the Prospect, 1837, Ham, and MacGregor Hall dormitories, the Pattie J. Groves Health Center, the Psychology and Education Building, Alice Withington Rooke Laboratory Theatre, Eliot House (the center for religious life on campus), and an outdoor amphitheater. He also oversaw the renovation of several existing buildings including Williston Memorial Library. Increasing numbers of African-American and Latina students were admitted to Mount Holyoke during Gettells administration and he supported the ABC (A Better Chance) Program which encouraged minority girls to go to college. He also helped develop a student exchange program with Bennett College and approved Mount Holyoke's participation in the United States-India Women's College Exchange Program for faculty and staff. He was one of the founding trustees of Hampshire College and served as an active member of the boards of numerous other organizations including the College of the Virgin Islands. He received honorary degrees from Amherst College in 1957 and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1962. Mount Holyoke awarded him an honorary degree in 1970 and named the amphitheater in his honor. Gettell was uncomfortable with the desire of many students to abolish Mount Holyoke's long-standing chapel attendance requirement and liberalize social regulations such as those concerning alcohol use and parietals (the policy for allowing men in dormitory rooms). He announced his decision to resign as President in September of 1967 and left office on November 11, 1968. He served as a consultant to the Haas Community Funds in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1969-1970, then retired and returned to live in California where he died in Menlo Park on August 14, 1988 at the age of seventy-six.
From the guide to the Richard Glenn Gettell Records RG 4. 15., 1954-1969, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)
|creatorOf||David Bicknell Truman Records RG 4. 17., 1906-1978, 1969-1978||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||President Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead Records 4. 12., 1893-1912||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Richard Glenn Gettell Records RG 4. 15., 1954-1969||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Elizabeth Topham Kennan Records 4. 18., 1959-1992||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Mount Holyoke College. Office of the President. Joanne V. Creighton Records, 1980-present.||Mount Holyoke College, Williston & Miles-Smith Library|
|creatorOf||Mary Williams Chapin Records RG 4. 5., 1850-1887||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|referencedIn||Hocking, William Ernest. William Ernest Hocking Papers. 1860-1979.||Harvard University, Houghton Library|
|creatorOf||President Elizabeth Blanchard Records RG4. 9., 1856-1891||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Roswell Gray Ham Records 4. 14., 1937-1957||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Sophia Hazen Records RG 7. 2., 1849-1890||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Louise Frances Cowles Records 4. 11., 1898-1912||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Helen Maria French Records 4. 7., 1867-1893||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Mary Ann Brigham Records 4. 10., 1889-1890||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|creatorOf||Joanne V. Creighton Records RG 4. 21., 1980-present||Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|African American college students|
|College teachers--Massachusetts--South Hadley--Salaries, etc|
|Women college students--Massachusetts--South Hadley|
|Student activities--Massachusetts--South Hadley|
|Vietnam Moratorium, 1969|
|Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts--South Hadley|
|Mount Holyoke College--Campus|
|Women college presidents--Massachusetts|
|Women college presidents|
|Degrees, Academic--Massachusetts--South Hadley|