The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Wellesley College

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WELLESLEY COLLEGE, a college for women located at Wellesley, Mass. It was founded by Henry F. Durant to give “to young women opportunities for education equivalent to those usually provided in colleges for young men.” The charter was obtained in 1870, and the college first opened to students in 1875. It is non-sectarian in control; three representatives of the alumnæ serve on the board of trustees. In 1894 the system of elective courses was established which with some recent modifications is still in force. The college confers one baccalaureate degree, A.B., and the graduate degree, A.M. Certain courses are required in mathematics, philosophy, hygiene, Bible history, English, some foreign languages and natural sciences; in addition to the required studies every candidate for the degree must take a sufficient amount of elective work to complete the equivalent of 59 one-hour courses, a one-hour course being a course given once a week for one year. Of these electives 18 one-hour courses must be taken in one of the following ways: 9 in each of two subjects, related or unrelated; 12 in one subject with six in a tributary subject. Pedagogical courses are offered in the history and science of education and in methods of teaching; art and music are included in the curriculum; the courses in history and theory in both departments count toward the degree; studio work in art counts toward the degree after one course in history is completed; the regular practical work in music does not count toward a degree. A full course in music leading to the certificate of the department may be taken by candidates for the A.B. degree who remain at the college five years. The college contributes toward the support of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood's Holle and the women's table at the Zoological Station at Naples. There are 61 scholarships for undergraduates and one graduate fellowship. The students maintain literary and dramatic societies. The campus has a particularly beautiful situation within the limits of the town; it includes a lake which affords excellent opportunity for rowing and skating; on this lake is held the annual “Float.” The buildings include the Farmsworth Art Building, Whitin Observatory, Houghton Memorial Chapel Library, Billings Hall for Music, Mary Hemenway Hall for Physical Training, a President's House, Simpson Infirmary, Page Memorial Kindergarten, Guest House and 16 halls of residence; also temporary buildings for administrative, lecture and laboratory purposes, pending the completion of a liberal arts building now under construction and other members of proposed academic group. Productive funds equal $2,783,969.83; special building and equipment funds, $953,677.84. The library contains 87,000 volumes, including the Gertrude Memorial Library, the Library of American Linguistics and other special and departmental libraries. The students in 1918 numbered 1,600 and the faculty 137; about 42 per cent of the graduates have become teachers.