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- STORY OF WELLESLEY - 30/33 -


already under consideration by the trustees. In fact, the trustees, at a meeting held the day before the meeting of the Alumnae Association, this very June of 1889, had elected Mrs. Marian Pelton Guild, of the class of 1880, a life member of the Board.

But the alumnae, although appreciating the honor done them by the election of Mrs. Guild, still did not feel that the question of representation had been adequately met, and in June, 1891, a new committee was appointed with instructions to inform itself thoroughly as to methods employed in other colleges to insure the representation of the graduate body on governing boards, and also to convey to the trustees the alumnae's strong desire for representation of a specified character. And a second time the trustees forestalled the committee and, in a letter addressed to the Association and read at the annual meeting in June, 1892, made known their desire "to avail themselves of the cooperation of the Association" and to "cement more closely the bond" uniting the alumnae to the college by granting them further representation on the Board of Trustees. A committee from the Association was then appointed to discuss methods with a committee from the Board, and the results of their deliberations are given by Harriet Brewer Sterling, Wellesley, '86, in an article in the Wellesley Magazine for March, 1895. By the terms of a joint agreement between the Board and the Association, the Association has the right to nominate three members from its own number for membership on the Board. These nominees must be graduates of seven years' standing, not members of the college faculty. Graduates of less than three years' standing are not qualified to vote for the nominees. The nominations must be ratified by the Board of Trustees. The term of service of these alumnae trustees is six years, but a nominee is chosen every two years. In order to establish this method of rotation, two of the three candidates first nominated served for two and four years respectively, instead of six. The first election was held in the spring of 1894, the nominations were confirmed by the Board in November, and the three new trustees sat with the Board for the first time at the February meeting of 1895.

But as graduate organizations have increased in size, and membership has been scattered over a wider geographical area, it has become correspondingly difficult to get at the consensus of graduate opinion on college matters and to make sure that alumni, or alumnae, representatives actually do represent their constituents and carry out their wishes. And the Alumni Movement has arisen to meet the need for "greater unity of organization in alumni bodies."

In an article on Graduate Councils, in the Wellesley College News for April, 1914, Florence S. Marcy Crofut, Wellesley, '97, has collected interesting evidence of the impetus and expansion of this new factor in the college world. She writes, "More clearly than generalization would show, proofs lie in actual organization and accomplishments of the 'Alumni Movement' which has worked itself out in what may be called the Graduate Council Movement.... Since the organization of the Graduate Council of Princeton University in January, 1905, the Secretary, Mr. H. G. Murray, to whom Wellesley is deeply indebted, has received requests from twenty-nine colleges for information in regard to the work of Princeton's Council."

Among these twenty-nine colleges was Wellesley, and the plan for her Graduate Council, presented by the Executive Board of the Alumnae Association to the business meeting of the Association on June 21, 1911, and voted at that meeting, is a legitimate outgrowth of the ideals which led to the formation of the Alumnae Association in 1880. The preamble of the Association makes this clear when it says:

"Remembering the benefits we have received from our alma mater, we desire to extend the helpful associations of student life, and to maintain such relations to the college that we may efficiently aid in her upbuilding and strengthening, to the end that her usefulness may continually increase."

In an article describing the formation of the Wellesley Graduate Council, in the Wellesley College News for October 5, 1911, it is explained that, "From the time since the 1910-12 Executive Board (of the Alumnae Association) came into office, it has felt that there was need for a bond between the alumnae and the college administration; and it believes that this need will be met by a small representative (i.e. geographical) definitely chosen graduate body, which shall act as a clearing-house for the larger Alumnae Association. The Executive Board recognized also as an additional reason for organizing such a graduate body, that it was necessary to do so if the Wellesley Alumnae Association is to keep abreast of the activities in similar organizations." The purpose of the Council, as stated in 1911, is a fitting expansion of the Association's preamble of 1880:

"That, as our alumnae are increasing in large numbers and are scattered more and more widely, it will be of advantage to them and to the college that an organized, accredited group of alumnae shall be chosen from different parts of the country to confer with the college authorities on matters affecting both alumnae and undergraduate interests, as well as to furnish the college, by this group, the means of testing the sentiment of Wellesley women throughout the country on any matter."

There are advantages in not being a pioneer, and Wellesley has been able to profit by the experience of her predecessors in this movement, particularly Princeton and Smith. Membership in the Councils of Wellesley and Smith is essentially on the same geographical basis, but Wellesley is unique among the Councils in having a faculty representation. The relation between faculty and alumnae at Wellesley has always been markedly cordial, and in welcoming to the Council representatives of the faculty who are not graduates of the college, the alumnae would seem to indicate that their aims and ideals for their Alma Mater are at one with those of the faculty.

The membership of the Wellesley Graduate Council is composed of the president and dean of the college, ex officio; ten members of the Academic Council, chosen by that body, no more than two of whom may be alumnae; the three alumnae trustees; the members of the Executive Board of the Alumnae Association; and the councilors from the Wellesley clubs. As there were more than fifty Wellesley clubs already in existence in 1915, and every club of from twenty-five to one hundred members is allowed one councilor, and every club of more than one hundred members is allowed one councilor for each additional hundred, while neighboring clubs of less than twenty-five members may unite and be represented jointly by one councilor, it will be seen that the Council is a large and constantly growing body. Clubs such as the Boston Wellesley Club, and the New York Wellesley Club, which already had a large membership, received a tremendous impetus to increase their numbers after the formation of the Council. All members of the Council, with the exception of the president of the college and the dean, who are permanent, serve for two years.

The officers of the Graduate Council are the corresponding officers of the Alumnae Association, and also serve for two years. The Executive Committee of five members includes the president and secretary of the Council, an alumna trustee chosen annually from their own number by the three alumnae trustees, and two members at large.

The Council meets twice during the academic year, at the college; in February, for a period of three days or less, following the mid-year examinations, and in June, when the annual meeting is held at some time previous to the annual meeting of the Alumnae Association. In this respect the Wellesley Council again differs from that of Smith, whose committee of five makes but one official annual visit to the college,--in January. The "Vassar Provisional Alumnae Council", like the Wellesley Graduate Council, must hold at least two yearly meetings at the college, but unlike Wellesley, it elects a chairman who may not be at the same time the President of the Vassar Associate Alumnae. Bryn Mawr, we are told by Miss Crofut, has no Graduate Council corresponding exactly to the Councils of other colleges; but her academic committee of seven members meets "at least once a year with the President of the College and a committee of the faculty to discuss academic affairs."

The possibilities which lie before the Wellesley Council may be better understood if we enumerate a few of the activities undertaken by the Councils of other colleges. At Princeton, since 1905, more than two million five hundred thousand dollars has been raised by the Council's efforts. The Preceptorial System has been inaugurated and is being slowly developed. The university has been brought more prominently before preparatory schools. All the colleges are feeling the need of keeping in touch with the preparatory schools, not for the sake of mere numbers, but to secure the best students. Doctor Tucker has suggested that Dartmouth alumni endow outright, "substantial scholarships in high schools with which it is desirable to establish relations," and the suggestion is well worth the consideration of Wellesley women. The Yale Alumni Advisory Board has distributed to the "so-called Yale Preparatory Schools" and to schoolboys in many cities, a pamphlet on "Life at Yale." And Yale has also turned its attention to tuition charges, "academic-Sheffield relations", the future of the Yale Medical School, the Graduate Employment Bureau.

All of these Councils are concerned with the intellectual and moral tone of the undergraduates. Wellesley's Graduate Council has a Publicity Committee, one of whose functions is to prevent wrong reports of college matters from getting into the press. Mrs. Helene Buhlert Magee, Wellesley, '03, who was made Chairman of the Intercollegiate Committee on Press Bureaus, in 1914, and was at that time also the Manager of the Wellesley Press Board, reminds us that Wellesley is the only college trying to regulate its publicity through its alumnae clubs in different parts of the country, and gives us reason to hope that in time we shall have publicity agents trained in good methods, "since the members of each year's College Press Board, as they go forth, naturally become the press representatives of their respective clubs."

The Council has also a Committee on Undergraduate Activities, whose duty it is to "obtain information regarding the interests of the undergraduates and from time to time to make suggestions concerning the conduct of the same as they affect the alumnae or bring the college before the general public." This committee proposes a Rally Day and a Freshman Forum, to be conducted each year by a representative alumna equipped to set forth the ideals and principles held by the alumnae.

A third committee, bearing a direct relation to the undergraduate, is one on Vocational Guidance. In order to help students "to find their way to work other than teaching," and to "present a survey of all the possibilities open to women in the field of industry to-day," this committee welcomes the cooperation of Miss Florence Jackson, a graduate of Smith and for some years a member of the Department of Chemistry at Wellesley, who is now at the head of the Appointment Bureau of the Women's Educational and Industrial


STORY OF WELLESLEY - 30/33

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