Did you know that when Mary was presenting her proposal for the Mount Holyoke Seminary, she struggled to describe the academic quality of the new institution because, in Mary Lyon’s words, “There is no acknowledged standard of female education by which an institution can be measured” (Green, 1979, p.116).
She tackled the subject in 1835, in a twelve-page description of methods and course of study, directed to the young women whom she wanted to apply. Her appeal was primarily to idealists, those eager “to use all their talents in the great work of serving their generation.” It concluded by speaking again to the idealists who wanted to help raise for women “a higher standard of science and literature — of economy and refinement — of benevolence and religion” (Green, 1979, p.116).
Those qualities sound familiar, even 176 years later… Mount Holyoke is still attracting idealists, visionaries, and change makers.
FebruMary facts come from the book Mary Lyon and Mount Holyoke, Opening the Gates, by Elizabeth Alden Green.
Green, E. A. (1979). Mary Lyon and Mount Holyoke: Opening the gates. Hanover, N.H: University Press of New England.