Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stephens: A Look Back - 1933

It’s 1933—the 100th anniversary of Stephens College—and the Stephensophia is dedicated to “the girls who have passed through the lantern hung gates of Stephens giving their best to its one hundred years of development and leaving a priceless heritage for those who will build during a second century.”

The 100th year theme is found throughout the book with interesting images of Stephens women “then and now.” The images are made to look as though previous Stephens women are watching over the current students. (And they did it without Photoshop!)

President James Madison Wood, in his yearbook address, acknowledges the milestone by recalling the “little band of pioneers from Virginia and Kentucky” who unanimously adopted the resolution founding the Columbia Female Academy under the direction of Miss Lucy Wales. 

Things have changed in 100 years, the Stephensophia points out, requiring a different sort of educational need in 1933. The first women of Stephens were from a time where food, clothes and luxuries were produced at home; not so with the modern women of 1933. And a century ago, the yearbook staff tells, the “genteel female” frowned upon reading novels. Reading was confined to texts, classics and religious books. In 1933, we’re told, Stephens College recognizes the reading habit as “one of the most desirable outcomes of a college education.”

This is Kay Goodfellow. She earned the title of Blanket Girl this year by accumulating the most points for athletic activities. Kay was a member of the tumbling team and her impersonation of Groucho Marx at the A.A. Circus and Masked Ball “will not be soon forgotten.”

The Stephensophia goes into detail once again about the various academic subjects of the day. In science, we’re told Dr. Minnie May Johnson, an instructor of botany, takes students on field trips to the Ozarks. Just a note, biology students enjoy a scientific trip to the Ozarks today, as well.

Dr. Louise Dudley now heads the Division of Humanities which comprises of art, literature, drama, music and religion. The primary purpose of teaching in the division is to give the student “opportunity for that self-realization that comes from active participation in any of the fine arts.” The second aim is “the creation of a tolerant attitude toward all forms of art and religions, an open-mindness that defers judgment until after it has been weighed and considered.”

In music, we’re told Basil Deane Gauntlett, director of the conservatory, gave a concert this year in New York. And Nellie Lee Holt, professor of religious education, spent three years as a professional lecturer for Famous Speakers of New York.

The Division of Social Studies seeks to aid the student in understanding the problems arising from the human necessity to live in groups, to analyze and evaluate in light of man’s past experience, the Stephensophia says. Faculty include Major Rolf Raynor whose “excellence in his instruction in riding is evidenced by the fine showing that Stephens makes in the horse show held at Missouri University each year.”

In the Division of Skills and Techniques, which houses languages and education, the Carmencita Spanish Club hosts speakers, dances and music this year to celebrate the culture. The children’s school—a preschool and kindergarten at this time—was housed in Wood Hall.

Stephens also has a Campus Service Board that partly assists with retention. The group provides a tea room, which we’re told is one of the most popular places on campus and nets a large profit. The money is used to “help some girl who would have discontinued her work at Stephens without its aid.”

In honor of the 100th anniversary, graduating seniors dressed in 1833 attire. This intricate drawing separates the main yearbook from a special prose section at the end about what life must have been like at the Columbia Female Academy centuries before. 

No comments:

Post a Comment