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Women of Ursinus Take the Stage in Library Exhibit

When we think of Ursinus, we typically conjure images of John Henry Augustus Bomberger, Reimert, Patterson Field and the football team, or even past or current presidents such as Omwake, Fong, and Blomberg; we don’t usually recall influential female figures like Eleanor Frost Snell, Linda Grace Hoyer, or Betty Musser.

The largest unspoken reality of Ursinus College is that the backbone of its success as a small liberal arts institution rests solely upon the infrequently discussed accomplishments of women at this college. Beginning in 1853, the women of Collegeville have exceled not only academically, but in nearly every facet of their lives, allowing Ursinus to transcend beyond its masculine, religious roots. Indeed, it is the long-standing rich history of women at Ursinus that sets it apart from other colleges in the area.

This exhibit spans from 1853 to present day and includes women such as Rhea Duryea, who was one of the first half dozen women to drive a car in the entire world, Linda Grace Hoyer, prolific author and mother of multi-time Pulitzer Prize winning son John Updike, Vonnie Gros, coach of the 1984 United States Olympic Field Hockey Team, and Dr. Elizabeth White, founder of Whitian’s and first Dean of Women at Ursinus. It also includes places and events, such as the May Day, which began in 1919 and is one of the college’s oldest traditions, the Lorelai, a yearly Sadie Hawkins dance, and the original Olevian Hall, the first women’s dormitory on campus.

The exhibit was curated by Madelyn Franklin ’17 and will be on display at the front entrance of Myrin Library until early May.

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Carolyn Weigel
College Archivist
ext. 3502
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