Wellesley College Alumnae Association.

The Wellesley alumnae quarterly, Volume 5 online

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Frances Ellen Lord Frontispiece

Professor Lord and Old Wellesley Estelk M. Hurll 1

The Tribute of a Fellow Teacher . . . .• Sarah Frances Whiting 4

Memories of My Aunt Ellen LiUie Rice Foxcrofi, '83 5

Wellesley Alumnae Association „

The Relations of Research Work to Some

Wellesley Problems Katharine J. Scott, '10 . 10

Song Cycle for Choir Vigesimal Caroline Hazard 17

Nursing as a Profession for College Women . Clara A. GrifiUy W 21

News from Wellesley 25

Wellesley Clubs 30

Announcement of the Semi-Centennial Fund 34

Alumnae Notes 35



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October, 1920

Published by the Wellesley College Alumnae Assodadon, Inc., at Concord, N. H.
October, January, April, and July.


$1.50 a year. Checks should be made payable to Wellesley College Alumnae Association
and sent to Miss Laura Dwight, the Alumnae General Secretary, Wellesley, Mass.

Publication Committee

Bertha WETHERBUfi Earnbbaw, 1899
Sylvia Goulston DREYFtB, 1914

l^ltOi'S* .

Editor-in-Chief— Ijvct Dow Cusring, 1892, Wilder Hall, Wellesley, Mass.
Advertuing Editor— Mary B. Jenkins, 1903, Wdlesley, Mass.
Assistant Editor — Katherine C. Baldbrston, 1916

Business Manager

Laura M. Dwight, 1906, Alumnae General Secretary, Wellesley, Mass.

Entered as second-class matter, October 13, 1916, at the post-office at Concord, N. H., under the

Act of March 3, 1879

Contributions for the January issue should reach the editor-in-chief not later than December 1,
Book Reviews, Alunmae Notes, and Club News, should reach the alumnae general secratary not later
than December 1.

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Professor of Latin, 1876-1897. Acting President of the College, 1890-1891

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Vol. V OCTOBER, 19«0 No. 1


\7[7BEN we of Wellesley's first decade read last August the Transcript
▼ ▼ obituary of Miss Lord, our earliest Latin professor, ahostof memo-
ries suddenly swept us back to the happy period of the eighties. It is hard
to realize that Mias Lord left Wellesley twenty-three years ago, and that
the younger generation know nothing of her personality and work. To us
it seems that her twenty years of service constitute one of the most impor-
tant foundation stones of Wellesley history.

In the pioneer days the life of College Hall, the one and only build-
ing, was that of a big family of some three hundred-odd members bound
together in peculiarly intimate relations and bent upon educational aims
which the outside world regarded as experimental and visionary. To the
student eyes the faculty represented the achievement of these aims: they
were superwomen whom we feared and adored. Two professors stood out
among all the others as the most formidable and powerful — ^Miss Lord and
Miss Shafer, conducting the two pivotal departments of Latin and mathe-
matics. In their hands was the destiny of every entering student, either
"Academic" or Freshman, and as soon as our fitness was determined, we
straightway entered upon certain required courses in these two subjects.
(Greek was not at first required.) No one then could escape knowing these
two great professors from the outset. The professors of natural science
and mental philosophy were pointed out as personages we should have to
know in the dim future of upper class years; the heads of the Greek, French
and German departments were acquaintances we might possibly make in
elective work; history and literature professors were amiable directors of
the pleasant and easy bypaths of college study. But first, last and always.
Miss Lord and Miss Shafer loomed up as the two inescapable and omniscient

Miss Lord was bom in New York in 1885, but passed the most of her
youth in Portland, Me., where her father was editor of the Christian Mirror.
It seems to have been from the instructions of her parents that she acquired,
almost miraculously, the foundation of her remarkable Latin scholarship.
She had been seven years a Greek and Latin teacher at Vassar before she
came to Wellesley in 1876. This fact gave her a certain prestige for she was
thus the only one of the first circle of professors experienced in actual college
teaching. There was an air of settled dignity about her in bearing, manner,

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speech and method which seems to me to be more pronounced than with
any other professor. She moved slowly and serenely about the corridors,
spoke always very deliberately and in a mellow contralto voice, and was
the complete impersonation of an imruffled calm. In her strong Puritanical
makeup there was inevitably a strain of severity. She could be stem with
the offender, and sometimes ironical (of course I deserved it!), but she
had, too, an infinite gentleness and patience. Two of her nieces were
among the students, Caro Bowman, '80, and Lily Rice, '88, and some of
their particular friends had perhi^s a little more intimate knowledge of
the charming personality of ""Aunt EUlen" as a gracious hostess in enter-
taining callers and presiding at her table. She was indeed a gentlewoman
"of the old school." We were on our best behavior in her classes, for the
crudest among us could not escape the influence of her patrician manner.
It annoyed her inexpressibly that we so often began our replies with a
drawling "Why." This meant, she said, if it meant anything at all, that
we inquired "Why do you ask?"

Her method was of the analytical kind — a marvel of thoroughness which
left not a word of the text unexplained. Naturally translation was a slow
process, but tremendous significance was packed into the reading of every
page. But for the toilsome task of the more elementary work how richly
were they rewarded who went on to read Horace with Miss Lord. One of
my most vivid classroom memories, across all this intervening time, b the
reading of "Exegi Monumentimi." How wonderfully she revealed the
poetry and beauty of the great ode, and how thrillingly her rich voice
chanted the noble lines. Some of us seem to remember that in prose com-
position she used her own outline of study, but so far as I can discover she
never published this.

It will be remembered that the majority of the early teachers combined
Bible classes with their regular departmental work, a separate Biblical de-
partment being a later development. Miss Lord was regarded as one of
the strongest and finest of the Bible teachers, and for a period of years had
the required Junior course in the Life of Christ. It was not by any means a
"snap course," and the teacher required the same faithful, conscientious
application as in her Latin courses. Her point of view was strictly ortho-
dox, and there were no excursions into the realm of higher criticbm, but
the Gospel text was reverently and carefully examined. (Jeikie's "life of
Chrbt" was, I remember, the consulting authority, and in my copy I find
the set of examination questions issued in June, 1881 . The last one reads :
"Cite one or more of the sayings of Christ which seem to you to set forth
plainly His relations to us and ours to Him." Miss Lord's teaching cer-
tainly set forth plainly to us her own relations to Christ. Her faith was not
of an effusive type, but steadfast as a rock. She was fitly appointed a
"deacon" in the celebration of the Lord's Supper in the College Chapel,
after the Congregational method. Moving quietly down the idsle with the
sacramental cup and plate, her face shone with an inner light indescribably

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beautiful. One of the communicants was a girl of sixteen, reared as an
Episcopalian and very proud of her "Church"; but she has never in forty
years of churchmanship experienced a deeper sense of the Presence than
when this saint of the Kingdom administered to her soul. From such
memories we build up the vision.

In the passing years Miss Lord broadened her Latin scholarship by travel
and study abroad. During a year of absence in 1885-86 she spent the win-
ter in Rome and made a tour of the East before her return. In 1892 she
went to England for research work in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, veri-
fying her theory of Latin pronunciation. The results of her study were
summed up in a little volume published in 1895, "The Roman Pronuncia-
tion of Latin." In the following year she published an altogether unique
book called '"Rivi Tibutinii," in which all the metres of Horace's Odes,
with two exceptions, were set to melodies selected and adapted from the
great composers, the object being to promote corrective rhythm in reading
the odes.

In the course of time Miss Lord and Miss Shaf er became more and more
pre-eminent in the faculty, not merely from the importance of their de-
partments, but because of their inherent qualities of wbdom and character.
It was to their wise counsel that the young president. Miss Freeman, most
frequently turned. So it came about naturally that Miss Shafer was made
president to succeed her, and that when Miss Shafer withdrew for a long
absence (1890-91) Miss Lord filled the vacant chair and presided in the
Academic Council. In this capacity Miss Lord's ability was above

In the later years successive changes in the curriculiun narrowed Miss
Lord's work to certain elective courses in which the classes were necessarily
small. It was characteristic of her to prefer a field where her services
seemed more vitally needed, and she left Wellesley in 1897 for Rollins Col-
lege in Florida, where she was the Latin professor for eleven years. Her
retirement in 1908 did not by any means indicate the cessation of her intel-
lectual pursuits. In 1913 she published a valuable little book, "" Jesus Said,"
being a selection of the teachings of Jesus on a series of forty-seven vital
topics. This was translated into Arabo-Turkish and Chinese. Five
thousand copies of the Chinese edition were soon distributed in South
China and among the various populations in this country and Canada. At
the time of her death she was engaged in condensing for publication an
exhaustive work on the quantities of vowek in Latin poets.

For many years Miss Lord had a summer home at Hancock Point, Me.,
where she had been one of the pioneer cottagers. Here from time to time
her Wellesley friends sought her out, and it was here that I last saw her in
the siunmer of 1916. Three sisters were with her, one of whom has since
died. It was a delight to visit Miss Lord here in her own setting, sur-
rounded with the beautiful things she loved, her fine old mahogany, the
grand piano, the rich rug. I brought away a precious new picture in my

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heart, to cherish with — and ooii^>lete — ^the memories of Miss Lord at

Her last few winters were spent at Wakefield, Mass. It was pleasant to
know that a short time before her death she made a trip from Wakefield to
Wellesley to show a friend the college buildings, and all who loved her
rejoice that she carried the fullness of life to the end.



The Founder of Wellesley would not be in sympathy with the present
revolt from the study of the classics as the foundation of a liberal education.
In the day when college doors were closed to women he found strong leaders
for the departments of Greek and Latin in two who were scholars by the
grace of God and their own tireless efforts.

One of these. Miss Frances Ellen Lord, for a score of years head of the
Latin department, inherited her love of language from her parents. Her
mother with much pleading was allowed to take Latin with the boys, and
became a fine French scholar through private lessons from the famous
Professor Longfellow. Miss Lord's father was for twenty-five years editor
of the ChrUtian Mirror of Portland, Maine, and during this time both he
and his wife were connected with educational work, and themselves taught
their daughters. When it came time for the little Frances to study gram-
mar, a Latin grammar was put into her hands and through thb she learned
English construction. Thus early introduced to the classic language she
seems to have grown up with it.

Miss Lord began teaching at seventeen, and after a few years of appren-
ticeship in various academies was elected lady principal and teacher of
Latin in Gorham Seminary. About this time Vassar G>llege was opened
and the famous Miss Lyman, lady principal, was seeking a teacher of
Latin. The pastor of the G>ngregational Church in Gorham, a personal
friend, was asked if he could recommend a candidate, — yes, he could,
naming Miss Lord, and he added ""And she b a Brahmin." Miss Lord
was seven years at Vassar, until in 1876 Mr. Durant called her to organize
the Latin Department at Wellesley.

Miss Lord's pastor named her a Brahmin : in new world parlance she was
a Puritan of the finest type. Intense conviction of truth, love of righteous-
ness and justice, sincerity, hatred of shams were pronounced character-
istics. Her opinions, always clear-cut, were expressed in concise and
forceful English, often with a humorous turn of expression, and these
deliberately-formed opinions were tenaciously held though she was not
intolerant of others. Her love of the genuine was shown even in her dress
and surroundings. She might have few gowns but they must be of the
best material; her spotless room was almost austere for simplicity, but a

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genuine marble of the young Caesar gave an air of distinction to the place
as soon as the door was opened.

In the absence of President Shafer in 1891 Miss Lord was asked by the
Trustees to take the leadership of the College. With her venerable and
gracious mother, a notable instance of the succession of faculty mothers
who have done much to create the home atmosphere of Wellesley, she
took up her residence in the president's suite at Norembega.

During this year Professor Horsford presented to the College Anna
Whitney's bronze statue of "Rome in Its Decline." It was fitting that it
should be accepted for the Collie by the professor of Latin, and her brief
address was a gem.

For twenty years the experimenters' lantern and great tanks of oxygen
and hydrogen from the Physics department were iii requbition for all
illustrated lectures, and the head of the department was the "showman."
It was not, as sometimes, irksome but a pleasure to illustrate Miss Lord's
courses on Roman antiquities. Her description of scenes in the Roman
Forum and the Colosseum made the old world live again, and her memoiy
quotations from Latin authors, given with exquisite accent, were most

The self-effacing devotion to duty and the justice and fairness with which
Miss Lord administered the affairs of the College during her year of leader-
ship received recognition from her colleagues at the last meeting of the
Academic Council, when she was presented with four rare eighteenth cen-
tury folio volumes on Roman Antiquities*

But above all Miss Lord's character was deeply religious, and when she
lead the devotions in the old CoU^e Hall Chapel or with the President
acted the part of deaconess at the communion service with consecrated
dignity she seemed just in her place.

Among the group of pioneer professors in the seventies who had much to
do with shining the ideak of Wellesley none did more worthy work than the
subject of this bri^ appreciation.

Sarah Frances Whiting.


*' Y^AMILY feeling" may blind us to the faults of children and parents,
'' possibly to the faults of brothers and sisters, but it does not reach out
much further. If our estimate of our aunts and nieces is not impartial, its
leaning is quite as likely to be to the side of censoriousness. I am sure it is
not because of the tie of kinship that my aunt Ellen seems to me one of the
three or four finest women I have ever known. To the very end of her life,
I should have prized an afternoon's talk with her — ^not on family matters
merely, but on all sorts of current topics — as an intellectual treat which
iew of my other friends could have given me, and I should have valued her

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judgment on any subject on which she thought fit to give it — she did not
give sni^) judgments — correspondingly.

My memory of her goes back to her early thirties. She was the second
of six sisters of whom Mrs. Bowman (mother of Caro Bowman, *80) was the
oldest, and my mother the third. All through my childhood my mother
made summer visits to her parents' home in Portland, taldng me with her.
As I look back on it now, I can see that my three aunts — ^Aunt Ellen and
Aunt Agnes on their vacations from Vassar, and Aunt Nathalie from Hamp-
ton — must often have wished that their married sisters could come home
without juvenile impedimenta. But there was no sign of it. Irritability
and impatience on the part of their elders linger a long while in childish
memory. But my recollections are all of serenity and kindness and beauti-
fully ordered life. The greatest care was taken on the part of the daughters
to divide the household tasks so that the larger family should not bring
extra work to the mother and the maid. I can see now the big dining-
table round which we used to sit, of a forenoon, to shell peas and pick over
berries. There were flowers in profusion sent r^^ularly from a florist —
Aunt Ellen's order — ^to fill vases everywhere. Afternoons, two or three
aunties, always with me along, would take the little steamer that nuide
trips down the harbor, and spend several hours on one of the islands. Aunt
Ellen would read aloud a play of Shakespeare's, and the others would busy
themselves with some dainty work. At that period. Aunt Ellen herself did
a great deal of crocheting and knitting, and remembered a large circle of
new babies with her gifts, always loving gifts, for she never gave merely to
appease a conventionality. Her needlework was exquisite. I have still a
mull kerchief, given me in my Freshman year when all the girls were
wearing such, with hemstitching of almost incredible fineness. Her
thoroughness and fastidiousness were related traits. She was particularly
nice about her handkerchiefs, and would call linen of choice quality one
of her *' extravagances." For shovTy things she did not care at all.

The love of the good and the true was so predominant with her that I
think not all her friends knew how much she loved the beautiful. She
took great pleasure in gems and cameos and mosaics, and had considerable
knowledge of them. (She brought, of course, a veiy keen and alert intel-
ligence to whatever subject might occupy her.) She enjoyed Oriental
fabrics, rugs especially, and would have spent a good deal of money on
them if she had not preferred to spend it in educating Oriental children.

I think her inclination woidd have been to be almost over-indulgent to
those she loved. Certainly she was never austere. It was always her
impulse to give us what she heard us wish for, or what she fancied we
lacked, and she did give, in love as well as in "'charity," to the veiy limit of
her ability.

The sunmier before she died, I happened to be with her when a glorious
cluster of gladioli, in all the new varieties, was sent to the three sisters by a
friend. She was frail and delicate then, and it was an effort for her to rise

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from her chair and go to the table where the flowers were set. But she
hung over them, delighting in the lovely colors and markings, and calling
our attention to one new tint after another, for at least a quarter of an hour.
Such genuine joy in pure beauty I have seldom seen — ^no professed '"aes-
thete" could have surpassed it. Puritan as she truly was, she was no

Of Aunt Ellen's first year at Wellesley I must often have heard her speak,
but I remember only that she and Miss Shaf er were in the habit of playing
chess together regularly, perhaps once a week; they must have been weU

When I entered college, in her third year there, she might have been ex-
cused for finding the responsibility for a crude and more or less bumptious
niece an uncomfortable addition to her cares. If she did, I never knew it.
I sat by special arrangement at her table in the dining-room; the girls were
seated alphabetically then, and for many years Miss Lord had the C's.

Aunt Ellen had a great dislike of the '* art of conversation," as she had of
everything which seemed to her artificial or self-conscious — she always
held that the finest literary style was achieved, indirectly, by absolute,
unadorned sincerity — ^but I do not believe there was a table in the room
where the talk was better worth while. We discussed everything imagin-
able, and at prodigious length. Aunt Ellen met us always on terms of
perfect equality, and listened with endless patience and courtesy to views
the opposite of her own, though she was not easily convinced. (For that
matter, why should she have been, by us?) One day several of us walked

Online LibraryWellesley College Alumnae AssociationThe Wellesley alumnae quarterly, Volume 5 → online text (page 1 of 42)