Penn History

Dedicated to the memory of Ruth Branning Molloy, B.S. in Ed. 1930

College for Women (possibly Bennett Hall), interior classroom, 1945

Women's Sports Team, 1940

Bennett Hall, c. 1950

Name/Origin Quotation Picture
Marietta Endicott Peabody Tree, Attended the College for Women, 1936-1939 (withdrew without a degree, Class of 1940); 1964 LL.D. (honorary); B.A. 1971 It is a matter of pride to me, of course, that much of the new spirit of freedom among the women of the world has been stimulated by the gains women have attained in the United States. I don’t know if this spirit qualifies as an export, but if it does I would call the concept of women’s place in our modern society one of America’s most important contributions in the world trade of ideas.
Marietta Endicott Peabody Tree, Attended the College for Women, 1936-1939 (withdrew without a degree, Class of 1940); 1964 LL.D. (honorary); B.A. 1971 Virtually every country that has become independent in the last twenty years, has granted women the right to vote and the right to hold public office with the stroke of its constitutional pen.

This is a far cry from only one hundred and fifty years ago, when in the entire world there was not one woman college graduate, not one woman who could vote or hold public office and not one married woman who could collect her own wages or call her legal soul her own.

Women's Hey Day, outgoing and incoming presidents of the Women's Student Government Association, 1940
Marietta Endicott Peabody Tree, Attended the College for Women, 1936-1939 (withdrew without a degree, Class of 1940); 1964 LL.D. (honorary); B.A. 1971 It is a great honor to meet women who are responsible for the future. We who are college women gathered together at the University of Pennsylvania from all over the country are asking many questions, “What kind of society do we want?” What role should women play in this society? What can we do to help solve great questions of the day – the great unanswered questions, which hinge the fate of our children and their children’s children. The unanswered questions of hunger midst plenty, – sickness and disease midst the great breakthrough of modern medicine, – illiteracy in the age of communication and the most important question of all, “Shall we live in peace?”

All down the length of time I think we can safely say that the greatest waste has been the waste of woman power. The world has tried to make progress with only half of its energy and brains and spirit.

Marietta Endicott Peabody Tree, Attended the College for Women, 1936-1939 (withdrew without a degree, Class of 1940); 1964 LL.D. (honorary); B.A. 1971 I remember at age 18, going to a big party and trembling with terror when a girl friend introduced me as “the college girl.” It was the signal for men to turn away. And they did.

I did everything to suppress the fact that I was bright. One day my tutor told me I was up for a Phi Beta Kappa key. I thought: Gawd, that’s awful: Suppose people find out?

Well, I went to the oral exam and there were two young men there. Without hesitation, I said to them: “I don’t know any single thing today.” Of course, I knew all the answers but pretended ignorance. I flunked. I didn’t get the key!

And do you know what? It was a relief.

Pete Martin, Marietta Tree, Walter O'Malley speaking at University of Pennsylvania function, 1965
Helen Octavia Dickens, 1942 Cert. Prof.; 1945 M.M.Sc. I sat in the front seat. If other students wanted a good seat, they had to sit beside me. If they didn’t, it was not my concern because I could clearly see the professor and the blackboard as I was right up there. … This way I didn’t have to look at them or the gestures made that were directed against me or toward me.
Althea Stauffer Kratz Hottel, 1929 B.S. in Ed.; 1934 A.M.; 1940 Ph.D.; 1959 LL.D. (honorary) Women have played a significant role in all phases of Pennsylvania development by virtue of their own capabilities.
Althea Kratz Hottel, c. 1945
Evelyn Giangiulio Marcantonio, 1945 B.S. in Ed.; 1946 M.S. in Ed. Evelyn Giangiulio Marcantonio, 1945 B.S. in Ed.; 1946 M.S. in Ed.
Mary Elizabeth Johnston, 1944 B.A. We have been given more than mere blueprints of education; we have learned to understand the facts and figures, to use them, to see beyond them to the larger integrated picture of life. The University has taught us to think.
Mary Elizabeth Johnston, B.A. 1944