1931 to 1935
"Baroness of Bookshelves"
In a small alcove just off the "muchly-treaded" library lobby, this downtrodden generation has found a champion, for those who represent it have discovered that the dignified figure, fondly called "the baroness of the bookshelves," who holds forth in that well-shelved, office, actually believes that modern collegians are moral being with more than a shred of modesty.
Think you this not a courageous statement in these days? For some perhaps, but not for Eliza Martin. She is not a timid soul, because she has been amoung young people all her life, and her observations are accurate.
"The librarian is "on" to the fact that her "parlors for learning," at odd moments revert into dating parlors for the more ostentatious, as well as gossiping parlors for the talkative. Have you ever wondered how the library aides come by their seemingly unlimited bits of news? Simply by keeping their ears open as they hurry about after books. Probably more subjects are discussed in the library than anywhere else on the campus.
The Bucknellian, 1/22/31
Ida M. Tarbell Gives One-hour Course
Bucknell was fortunate in securing the services of Ida M. Tarbell, internationally known biographer, who gave a series of lectures extending from March 17 to April 11.One credit hour was allowed each student who took the course in biography given by the noted writer. Recent articles by Miss Tarbell are "Father and Son", in the March AMERICAN MAGAZINE, and "Lincoln's First Love", in COLLIER'S for the week of February 8.Miss Tarbell was a student in Paris at the Sorbonne and College de France from 1891 until 1894. From then until 1906 she was an associate editor of McCLURE'S MAGAZINE in 1906 and continuing in that capacity until 1915. Her clubs include the National Arts, Cosmopolitan, and Pen and Brush, of which she is president.
Mary Hunt is employed as the first Recorder of the University. Miss Hunt, the niece of President Emory Hunt, was hired in 1919 as the President's secretary, and was named Recorder after Dr. Hunt left the University. Florence Pyle recalls, "President Harris and his predecessors kept the student records themselves down in the President's House. Dr. Hunt came to the university with new ideas of how things should be done. He felt that the student records should be kept by his secretary in the President's Office. All of the work was done by hand in those days." In 1949, Mary Hunt retires and Florence Pyle is named her replacement.
WRC Interview, 8/96
Trennie E. Eisley graduates magna cum laude and is hired as a Public Relations Assistant in the Publicity Office of the University. She obtains a master's degree from Bucknell in 1934 and serves as Editor of the News Service from 1935 to 1942.
Public Relations, The Bucknellian, 10/17/31
Administration Admits Coeds to Anatomy Course
For the first time in the history of the university, women students are to be admitted to the course in anatomy. After much deliberation on the part of the administration, Ruth Merrifield, '31, and Margaret Evans, '32 are now definitely launched into the intricacies of dissecting a human being in the interests of pre-medical learning. The girls are now at work on the veins of the head and neck.The male students in the course accept the coeds rather shyly. This situation is quite unlike the one which occurred when Chella Scott, '85, the first woman student, first attended classes. The story has it, that the gentlemen of the university were so resentful that they threw a mouse at her feet. Though the creature is said to have sought hiding in the folds of her skirt, she bore the ordeal without retreating. Ever since that incident, women at Bucknell have been more or less respected.
The Bucknellian, 2/26/31
Helen Kelchner, a second wife of William Wilson Kelchner, becomes Bucknell's first woman trustee. W.W. Kelchner served on the board of trustees until his death in 1928. At a semi-annual board meeting on June 8, Mrs. Kelchner is elected to serve in his place. She is named for the honor of having shown "her interest in Bucknell by her generous contributions."
Mrs. Kelchner's tenure is not long, however. Trustee meeting minutes from December 21 read, "The resignation of Mrs. Kelchner as a member of the Board was presented by the Secretary and the Board expressed its regret and Dr. Hulley was directed to see Mrs. Kelchner personally on his next trip to New York City and try to persuade her to remain a member of the Board." She does not rejoin.
While Mrs. Kelchner is the first woman trustee, she is not the first woman nominated for the position. On December 17, 1921, the Bucknell Alumnae Club of Philadelphia recommended Mrs. Charles A. Gundy of Lewisburg for one of the vacancies on the Board of Trustees. She was not appointed.
The Bucknellian, 1/10/31; Trustee Meeting Minutes 12/17/21, 6/1/31, 12/19/31
WOMEN'S DEBATING TEAM
Members of the Women's Debating team are chosen by competitive tryouts from the entire group of women students. The debates this year included the University of Pittsburgh, Seton Hill College, Cornell University, Keuka College, New York University, New Jersey College for Women, Pennsylvania State College and the University of Maryland.
Member of the Squad
Mary Belle Harris becomes the first woman to represent the alumni on the board of trustees. She is an 1894 graduate of Bucknell and one of the first college women to receive a Masters' degree, pro merito. She also earned a Ph.D. and an L.L.D . With an education in languages, she studied Sanskrit for a time and has a brilliant career in penology where she works toward modern and humane ways of treating prisoners.
During this period, physical education is required for all students. The college women are given a thorough medical and physical examination before entering upon the program of physical education. During the spring and fall, the work for women consists of outdoor activities such as archery, golf, hockey and volleyball; during the winter, activities such as dancing, basketball and natural gymnastics are carried on.
1932 Bucknell University Catalogue
On May 21-22, Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to pilot a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, flying her Lockheed Vega from Newfoundland to Ireland in a record 14 hours and 56 minutes, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and other honors.
"Under the new liberal smoking code, Bucknell women may smoke in their rooms in the dormitories, but have agreed not to smoke on the campus, on the streets, or in certain public places where the act might be disagreeable to others. . . . The announcement by Dean Eckhart was made to the women in the Dining Hall, following the dinner on Tuesday (May 9, 6:45 pm). The statement was greeted with loud applause, although not so wildly as had been anticipated, because the move had been generally known for some time and was little surprise to anyone. Immediately after the meal the women students mildly celebrated the occasion by enjoying their first official smoke in their rooms, but beyond that there was no demonstration."
The Bucknellian, 5/11/33
"Now that the library was open every day of the week, Sundays included, it remained to make its collections accessible to women during the evenings as they long had been to men. This concession to the women came at the beginning of the year 1933-34, when the large 'survey' courses were introduced by President Homer P. Rainey, and it was made for the reason, clearly expressed by Miss Martin in June, 1933 that the duplication in a library for women of all the material needed for such courses 'would require a large and unnecessary outlay of funds.' Accordingly, a bulletin that was issued in September, 1933, to describe the library and its procedures made clear beyond doubt that to all students the library would be open daily (Monday through Friday) from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 to 10:00 in the evening; on Saturdays from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and on Sundays from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. Thus it happened that at Bucknell economic expediency was as important a factor in completing the process of integrating the sexes for educational purposes as it had been, nearly a half-century earlier, in opening the College to women for instruction on a footing of equality with men."
Bucknell May Day Procession. Senior Dorothea Millikin is elected queen.
Bucknell University Archives
Mrs. Jeannette Owens, at the age of 75, earns a Bucknell degree following her eight children to the ranks of Bison alumni. Her husband Professor William G. Owens, an 1880 graduate, retires the same year, having worked at Bucknell for more than 50 years.
Alpha Chi Omega, Inter-Sorority Basketball Champions