A Male President for Mount Holyoke College

The Failed Fight to Maintain Female Leadership, 1934–1937


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About the Book

A struggle arose over who would succeed Mary Emma Woolley as president of Mount Holyoke College in 1937. Over her 36-year tenure, Woolley had transformed Mount Holyoke into an elite women’s college in which leadership in the administration and faculty was almost exclusively female. Beginning in 1933, a group of male trustees determined to change the college. This book tells the story of how this group dominated the search process and ultimately convinced the majority of the trustees to offer the presidency to Roswell Gray Ham, an associate professor of English at Yale University.

About the Author(s)

Ann Karus Meeropol has a doctorate in the history of higher education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A former Mount Holyoke College LITS Scholar-in-Residence, she lives in Putnam County, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Ann Karus Meeropol
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7133-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0585-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword (Joyce Avrech Berkman) 1

Prologue 11

Introduction 13

1. “Who Was the First Woman? … Miss Woolley!” 17

2. “Mount Holyoke Is Miss Woolley!” 37

3. The Seeds of Suspicion 66

4. “The Die Is Cast” 95

5. The Board Decides 112

6. The Question of Solidarity 139

7. The Last Word 166

Epilogue 183

Appendix: Cast of Characters 201

Chapter Notes 203

Bibliography 232

Index 241

Book Reviews & Awards

“remarkable”—Science & Society.