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BULLETIN



WELLESLEY
COLLEGE



PRESIDENT'S REPORT AND STATISTICAL
STUDIES OF THE COLLEGE



WELLESLEY • MASSACHUSETTS



BULLETIN OF



WELLESLEY
COLLEGE



PRESIDENT'S REPORT AND STATISTICAL
STUDIES OF THE COLLEGE



WELLESLEY • MASSACHUSETTS



Bulletins published six times a year by Wellesley College, Wellesley, MassachuH
setts. January, one; April, one; October, two; November, two. Entered as second-
class matter, February 12, 1912, at the Post Office at Wellesley, Massachusetts,
under the Act of July 16, 1894.

Volume 43 January 1954 Number 5



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Report of the President 3

Admissions 3

Academic Life 5

Extracurricular Interests 10

The New Dormitories; Residential Changes 12

The Cost of Education 15

The Alumnae, Friends of Wellesley, and the Development Fund 21

The Faculty, Administration, and Trustees 23

Changes in the Academic Staff 29

Publications of the Faculty 32

Statistical Studies 44

Scholarships 48

Gifts and Bequests 51



REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT

To the Trustees of Wellesley College:

I have the honor to present the following report on the three
year period from July 1950 to July 1953.

Admissions

Each year the Vice President and Director of Admission has
reported that the freshman class was selected from the largest
number of applicants in the history of the College. Much of this
is the result of a long record of excellent teaching and high aca-
demic standards and of the influence of alumnae in communities
throughout the country. Some of it represents multiple appli-
cations and constitutes a problem for Wellesley as it does for
other institutions. Frequently secondary school seniors, aware
of the competitive element in admission to colleges like Wel-
lesley, understandably hedge choices by applying to several
places in order to ensure entrance into some one of the colleges
appropriate for them. This poses problems for the College, the
primary one being the difficulty of selecting a class with a com-
plementing diversity of backgrounds and interests when it is im-
possible to know in advance which of the admitted students
will elect to come. This is a continuing problem on which Wel-
lesley is working with schools and other colleges.

The entering classes between 1950 and 1953 fully measured
up to expectations. Intellectual ability and achievement, as rep-
resented by College Board scores and records submitted by
schools, were far above the averages for colleges and ensured
the possibility of a pace and depth in education which Wellesley
wishes to maintain. Good character, interest in learning, and
health of mind and body, as revealed in school recommenda-
tions, medical reports, and interviews with admission officers,
continued to be important criteria in the selection of students.
The effectiveness of the selection is suggested by the low rate
of withdrawal from the College, whether voluntary or request-
ed.

Each entering class covered by this report contains excel-
lent variety in school background (public and private, large and
small school), satisfactory geographic and economic variety,



Wellesley College

but less extensive variety in cultural background and in areas of
intellectual interest than we wish. The strong scholarship pro-
gram (see page 18), which provides educational opportunity at
Wellesley for at least one fifth of the students, has significance
for the entire student body as well as for holders of scholarships,
because it offers opportunity for each to know and understand
people in economic circumstances other than her own. Similarly,
the simplicity of clothing and the limited need for money in
daily life on the campus permit development of understanding
and friendship without the barriers to shared activities which
money imposes in most communities.

We have not, however, been able to find a satisfactory
proportion of daughters of farmers and union members who
are qualified for admission and wish a liberal arts education.
This limits the informal education in the problems and char-
acteristics of America which residential life at Wellesley should
provide. Presumably its solution will depend on attitudes within
farm and labor groups and on money being made available to
help the College seek out qualified candidates in groups cur-
rently under-represented at Wellesley. The problem related to
variety in intellectual interests is discussed on pages 7-9-

During recent years the composition of the student body
has not changed significantly. The significant factor lies in the
steady increase of well-qualified applicants for admission. This
started a decade ago and, barring a major depression, seems
likely to become a serious administrative problem in less than a
decade, as the college-age population in the United States
mounts. Beginning with 1950, total enrollments of undergradu-
ate students living in residence halls have been 1,604; 1,639;
and 1,628. Informal sampling of opinion shows little interest
among Wellesley people in enlarging the size of the College.
But if even part of the heralded increase in numbers of students
expected to seek admission to colleges of the United States ac-
tually occurs in I960 and thereafter, colleges like Wellesley will
be under pressure from without, if not from within, to continue
to accept their same proportion as now of the national total of
entering freshmen, and thereby to enlarge their size.

In spite of our evident preference for our present size, now
is the time to re-examine the reasons for our preference. This
should be done in the light of the type of education Wellesley
wishes and is prepared to offer, the judgment of its faculty and
trustees as to how it can best contribute to the educational needs



President's Report

of the nation in the coming decades, followed by review of the
maximum number of students which it can serve without jeop-
ardizing its special usefulness. Such planning is important, also,
in preparation for the College's forthcoming building program.

Academic Life

The Undergraduate Curriculum. The present curriculum was
established in 1946 and was to be reexamined six years later. In
simplified summary, it provided two required courses receiving
academic credit, a distribution requirement, work in a major and
related fields, and free electives. The required courses were
English Composition and Biblical History. The distribution re-
quirement was intended to ensure breadth for all students by
acquainting them with some of the methods and knowledge in
the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. It was to be met
by asking the student to select, with reference to her earlier
education and her present interests, two courses from those
offered in each of the above three areas. The major field with
opportunity for depth through independent work and honors
programs was to be chosen from twenty-nine departmental and
interdepartmental ofi^erings and was to be tested, as in the past,
by a senior general examination.

Under the chairmanship of the Dean of Instruction, the
faculty reexamined this curriculum in 1952-1953 and voted to
retain the basic emphases. This is of special interest in view of
current enthusiasm in many places for general education courses
in the first two years. In contrast to this trend the Wellesley
faculty clearly endorsed its present curriculum for a college
which can afford to provide mature instruction for all students
in relatively small groups and for a student body above average
in ability that does not need a simplified introduction to higher
education. The curriculum permits experts to treat of subjects
in which they are expert and students to proceed immediately
to build on the work of earlier years, while it safeguards against
restrictive specialization by planning broad and liberalizing in-
troductory courses in various disciplines.

In my opinion the College is fortunate in this decision of
the faculty. The economy of uniform, general courses in the
first year or two of college is evident. But so also is the danger
in them of losing sight of the individual needs of students and
of students' accepting undemonstrated generalizations and fail-



Wellesley College

ing to develop early accuracy in the use of fact-finding and fact-
relating powers. Integration, so properly in demand today,
means by definition "a combining of separate parts." It follows
that the separate parts must exist prior to their being combined.
A purpose of education is, I believe, to help the student to
achieve some integration within himself and some competence
in integrating the ideas and facts which come to his attention
during and after college years, rather than merely to acquaint
him with the present integration achieved by his teachers. If this
is so, it seems likely that organized efi^orts to help the student
to integrate academic disciplines will be more useful if offered
later in the college course, after he has developed more power
in analysis and synthesis and has more "parts" to combine.

Along these lines I hope that the faculty will at some point
experiment in the senior year with a special series of lectures,
possibly in the extracurricular program, of an inter-disciplinary
nature. Such a series, carefully planned for all seniors, which
presents various approaches to some contemporary interests and
problems, or to some contemporary hypotheses about man's
physical and psychological environment might provide a useful
experience in complexity as well as general background. Seniors
have time, and many of them would benefit from further
emphasis at the close of their years of formal academic education
on two points which are made frequently in individual courses:
the importance of effective method if one would accomplish
anything, intellectual or practical, and the remarkable way the
simple answer recedes as knowledge and insight advance. A
further benefit would accrue if the series included such a topic
as communism, so that no student could graduate from Wel-
lesley without at least once having heard, even if only in sum-
mary form, a dispassionate presentation of the tenets of its ad-
vocates and opponents.

Although the basic pattern of 1947 and the traditional em-
phasis on assisting each individual to develop her abilities have
been retained, many specific changes have occurred in the three
year period under review. Only a few of them can be noted
here. Three interdepartmental majors, Classical Archeology,
Medieval Studies, and Latin American Studies, formerly restrict-
ed to honors students, were opened to all students. Methods of
achieving honors were revised, in order to encourage by recog-
nition excellence in course work as well as in independent, more
specialized study. Extensive revisions in offerings in astronomy



President's Report

were made to develop closer relations with mathematics and
physics, and in Latin and philosophy to provide more integrated
and interesting sequences of courses. Emphases in writing
courses were revised in order to provide through workshops
more attention to individual abilities. In 1951-1952 a course in
the philosophy of science was introduced, and in 1952-1953 a
course in the history of science.

In the latter year an experiment in corrective speech was
tried and found to be successful. In place of the traditional
required work without credit, required of all students who failed
on entrance to pass a speech test, and who then frequently
showed in the classroom hostile reluctance to change, only the
dozen or so students with serious speech impairments were re-
quired to take remedial work. Others who were unable to make
satisfactory mirrophone or microphone recordings were offered
opportunity for corrective work. All but eight of those invited
accepted the opportunity and most of them turned the voluntary
conferences to excellent account. At the same time a somewhat
comparable opportunity to take remedial work in reading was
introduced experimentally into the extracurricular program and
will be tried again next year.

Health lectures, a traditional part of the required freshman
program, were under revision throughout the period in question.
It has long been evident that personal health knowledge is so
varied among entering students that a common course benefits
few of them and that most college students are not interested
in public health, in spite of one's wishing them to be interested.
Informal dormitory discussions with the college psychiatrist
and an occasional lecture in an extracurricular series on aspects
of health seem to be proving more useful.

The few examples cited above are intended to suggest the
vitality of the annual review of academic offerings. The reten-
tion of the basic curriculum indicates satisfaction among the
faculty, which students give every evidence of sharing, but not
complacency. Nor are we without academic problems. Too
many departments reply, when asked what needs or desires they
have, that they wish more elections by freshmen. The number
of students who take further work in a subject, once having
tried it, is heartening. But relatively few students elect on en-
trance work in Greek, Latin, Italian, or German, and though
it is the second largest language department, the department of
Spanish is aware of decreasing freshman elections.



Wellesley College

Wellesley requires for graduation a certain degree of pro-
ficiency in at least one foreign language. This can best be
achieved by cumulative study in successive years in school and
college. But the practice is growing in secondary schools of
discontinuing Latin after the first two or three years, if it is of-
fered at all; of giving no opportunity to acquire an interest in
Greek; and of offering no work in a modern foreign language
other than French. The problem at Wellesley is therefore un-
derstandable. But it is unfortunate for society that elementary
linguistic tools are not more emphasized in our schools in a cen-
tury when American leadership in international relations is so
important. It is unfortunate for the College to have so few
entering students elect languages other than French when it
bears responsibility to maintain such instruction for students
who have the background and who are interested in using lin-
guistic skills to gain insight into the ideals of civilizations of
other peoples, and so into their own.

For different and less obvious reasons the physical sciences
have relatively small elections among women students. At
Wellesley English continually ranks first in units of instruction,
with History second. Close behind, with the exact order vary-
ing from year to year, come French, Biblical History, Art, fol-
lowed by Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sociology
and Anthropology, Philosophy, Zoology and Physiology, and
Music. No physical science is included in the above list. Cer-
tainly the number of students taking work in a department is not
of primary importance, but the fact that small elections of the
physical sciences by an entering class mean little opportunity to
introduce students to these fields is important. It creates internal
problems for the College. What is more important, it raises
questions as to the diversity of intellectual interests in the
student body which Wellesley believes should exist in order
that students may learn from one another.

Our science buildings and equipment are probably superior
and surely are equal to those of any undergraduate college. But
year after year, entering students test far higher in verbal than
in mathematical aptitude, which immediately suggests a prefer-
ence among them for humanities, social sciences and biological
sciences, as compared with mathematics and the physical sci-
ences. This is a usual pattern among young women, the result,
possibly, of school and peer mores and career expectancies.
Yet there must be a very sizable group of able young women



President's Report

who are interested in mathematics and the physical sciences, or
in foreign languages.

It might be helpful to such young women and to the total
program at Wellesley, and more useful of the College's re-
sources, if special scholarships were offered to seniors in school
who are interested in these areas and approaches to knowledge.
If such subject scholarships were established, they should very
clearly not require students to continue to study in die given
field, lest there be loss of freedom to grow in whatever direction
maturing interests lead; even so, the chances are that special
aptitudes will lead to continuing interest. Again if such scholar-
ships were offered in physical sciences and in certain foreign
languages, it might be wise to do so experimentally, for a limited
period, and then evaluate results.

Graduate Work in Hygiene and Physical Education. In De-
cember 1951 the trustees accepted the recommendation of the
Academic Council to discontinue instruction of graduate stu-
dents in hygiene and physical education as of June 1953, while
maintaining all tenure positions. It was a difficult decision. The
graduate department of Hygiene and Physical Education had
been established at Wellesley in 1909, had pioneered in the pro-
fessional training of college graduates, had helped to win for
the profession recognized status in colleges and universities, and
was known throughout the field for its excellent standards.
There was agreement as to its useful past.

Opinion differed as to its future. In view of the financial
problems of the College, a large majority of the Academic
Council thought that the College's energy and resources should
be concentrated on education through the liberal arts, that in the
coming decades Wellesley could best contribute to the total
educational strength of the nation by retrenchments that safe-
guarded its excellence in all that pertained to its central pur-
poses as a liberal arts institution. The final vote was taken a
full year after the question was raised as to the future of pro-
fessional work at Wellesley, and after all members of the faculty
had opportunity to study and discuss the question.

Alumnae of the department were informed of the decision
by letter, and alumnae as a whole were informed through an-
nouncement in the Wellesley Alumnae Magazine. Few comments
on the decision reached the Office of the President. Almost as
many of them expressed understanding and support of the de-
cision, though regretting it, as expressed displeasure, but the



Wellesley College

latter group, though small in number, felt strongly. Later dis-
cussion among officers of the Board of Trustees, of the College,
and of the Hygiene and Physical Education Section of the
Alumnae Association did much to improve understanding.
Their cooperative efforts suggest that the many problems rela-
tive to maintenance of placement and other alumnae services,
disposition of funds designated for professional work, and
proper treatment of the special library collections will be met
in the near future.

Internally the primary task of the department in 1952-1953
was to continue the undergraduate work and to carry through
the graduate work on the same high level as in the past for the
students who received their professional degrees in June. As the
year progressed, the faculty of the department turned to future
plans and worked with notable generosity of spirit to revise
department offerings in order to meet the new situation and to
help make plans so that tenure members would have as satisfac-
tory as possible a future career at Wellesley.

Extracurricular Interests

Undergraduate students in all colleges seem to spend at
least as much time on non-academic interests as on academic
work. This being so, the way they use their time, the values
they derive from extracurricular life, the effects of extracurricu-
lar interests on academic work and on the total development of
the individual, and consideration of the responsibihty of a resi-
dential college to encourage, curb, direct, or ignore extracurricu-
lar activities are of continuing importance.

Yet these aspects of student life have received little com-
prehensive study, and college attitudes toward them are de-
termined largely by tradition, generalization, and special interest
shown from time to time by one or another individual or group
of individuals. There seems to be substantial, if dimly defined,
agreement as to the intangible values desired from religious,
social, and cultural opportunities, and from organizational ac-
tivities. But how these values are achieved, and whether the
present range of activities common to most residential colleges
offers effective means for their achievement await more data, ex-
perimentation, and objective evaluation.

Each year at Wellesley specific course offerings are ex-
amined. Periodically the purposes, methods, and effectiveness
of the entire curriculum are reexamined. But for many decades

10



PREsroENT's Report

the fundamental patterns of residential and extracurricular life
have been accepted without comprehensive inquiry into purpose
and effect. A student organization or activity is examined when
dissatisfaction with an old venture or interest in a new one stirs
the student body or the faculty; minor surgery is performed on
the schedule of cultural and social events when pressures of
competing interests mount; but this has occurred on an ad hoc
basis and with little reference to agreed-upon and periodically
reexamined principles.

The above suggests the central importance of academic
life at Wellesley and prevailing satisfaction, or absence of wide-
spread dissatisfaction, with extracurricular life. Yet the possi-
bility remains that full examination might lead to activities
which would be more satisfying to students and more likely to
support as well as supplement the central interests of the Col-
lege. During the period covered by this report the postwar
pattern of multiple activity has continued and seems to have in-
creased. Students combine serious academic work, extracurricu-
lar campus interests, and recreational and cultural use of the
Greater Boston area to a degree possibly unparalleled in the
history of the College. Self-imposed pressure on time has been
the result, with consequent self-imposed limitation on time for
reflection and leisurely learning. To what degree this is part
of a national pattern, to what degree it is inspired or abetted
by college emphases and expectations, to what degree it is de-
sirable — even to what degree it is fact — is uncertain.

So in 1952-1953 the Academic Council authorized a survey
of how students use their time, what values they consciously
seek, and how they evaluate their extracurricular opportunities
for achieving these values. How the findings would be used
could not be predetermined; data were necessary before faculty
and students could decide what action or further study, if any,
should be undertaken. A grant from The Fund for the Ad-
vancement of Education of The Ford Foundation made possible
a more thorough study than Wellesley could have afforded. In
the spring of 1953 a faculty committee, under the chairmanship
of Miss Grace E. Hawk, Professor of English, worked with
student leaders and the Roper Organization to accumulate facts
through questionnaires addressed to students, prospective stu-
dents, and young alumnae, and through discussions and evalua-
tions of student organizations. Although the outcome of the
study will not be available for consideration until 1953-1954, it

u



Wellesley College

is worth noting here that interest aroused by time studies and
examinations of strengths and weaknesses of student organiza-
tions already has had an effect on planning.

It is important to note, also, that the study was conducted
from interest, not from dissatisfaction. Across the three-year
period under review, student and college organizations were, on
the whole, lively and well-led. Except in the Chapel Organi-
zation, no major changes in structure occurred. This all-college
organization, created in 1948-1949 from the earlier student
Christian Association, was still adjusting to its new role in 1950-
1951. Gradually it has gained in assurance and competence. Re-
ligious clubs representing various denominations and faiths
operate under its aegis, while the Board, composed of student
and faculty representatives and a new, continuing administra-
tive officer, a Director of Chapel, plans daily and Sunday Chapel
services, forums, and study and discussion groups within the
framework of the religious tradition of the College.


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