Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Stephens: A Look Back - 1946

It’s 1946, the “age of science” and the Stephens College yearbook is dedicated to “the discoverers and users of knowledge in the interest of human betterment.” 

The Stephensophia staff in its foreward writes: “On every hand we see its effects in terms of new inventions, improved methods of transportation, increased comforts of living, but to what extent has the ‘method of science’ been adopted in approaching the problems of social life, the problems of education, the problems of politics, the problems of peace? In the presentation of this book, we profoundly hope that this generation will attack the critical problems of the world with scientific understanding and with objective and impartial judgment.”

President James Madison Wood also explores the question of science, writing that the “human personality is the center fact in all creation.” He questions what the role of science is in the education and lives of men and women.

And W.W. Charters—in what’s become an annual somewhat somber address to students—writes: “for a quarter of a century Stephens has conscientiously sought to use reason and science in attacking all its problems. It has been alert to improvement in all areas. It has investigated, collected facts, tried out ideas and adopted those which were found to be good. In such an atmosphere it is inevitable that Stephens students should learn to apply scientific methods to solving their own problems. Instead of settling matters by relying on their prejudices and emotions, they learn to be more objective, to become more detached, to gather more useful facts, and try out things to see if they will work. They become thoughtful rather than irresponsible women. They develop quiet assurance because they have thought things through. Never in the recorded history of civilization has it been so important as in these years for women citizens to be trained in the scientific method, to investigate the complex problems of the world and use their reasoning powers to arrive at honest, intelligent and well-founded convictions.”

Harvey Walter, who served as director of admissions and was associated with Stephens for more than 30 years, has died. We’re told he played an important role in establishing the Stephens stables, introducing the aviation program and organizing the college store. Today, Walter Hall stands in his honor.

The Home and Family Division at Stephens has a new dressmaking shop and is developing a three-year plan to prepare students to enter the field of fashion design.

Diana Gould
Diana Gould is senior class president this year and writes: “We must develop ours sense of values, our powers of independent judgment…life has no ultimate graduation. We must prove continuously that we have attained the real goal which Stephens has set before us, that we have learned the values, the methods of living that underlie successful, cultured womanhood.”

If the name sounds familiar, Diana Gould is now Diana Gould Coleman and was pictured in the Spring/Summer issue of Beyond Stephens.

The Foreign Relations Club continues to bring big names to campus. This year, it hosted New York Times reporters Harrison Foreman and Walter Duranty, the latter of whom was a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Bettye Maxwell
Clubs continue to expand on campus with the addition of Orchesis, an honorary modern dance group, and a Campus Photo Staff made up of hobby  photographers this year. The World Peace Organization also remains active, managing the sale of bonds and stamps in connection with the National Victory Loan.

The Best Private Citizen this year is Bettye Maxwell, and it’s a fitting title. She would go on to become Bettye Krolick, an accomplished musician who volunteered as a Braille transcriber and would go on to become President of the National Braille Association and author of the first International Braille Music Dictionary for the Library of Congress.

Jeanne Shepard
And Jeanne Shepard is Civic Association President. She’d go on to be Jeanne Vance, a longtime English teacher.

The 1946 Stephensophia for the first time in years includes a section of drawings and stories from students—mostly memories of the year on campus, from arriving on the train, to the first formal dinner to more specific memories such as burst pipes producing a “geyser at the intersection of College and Broadway.”

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