Woman of the Century/Helen Almira Shafer
SHAFER, Miss Helen Almira, educator, born in Newark, N. J., 23rd September, 1839. Her father was a clergyman of the Congregational Church. She was a child of marked intellectual powers, and she received a thorough and liberal education. She studied in the seminary in Albion, N. Y., and afterward entered Oberlin College, where she was graduated in 1863. After leaving Oberlin, she taught in a school for young women in New Jersey, and for some years she w is in charge of the advanced classes of the school. In 1865 she became the teacher of mathematics in the public high school in St. Louis, Mo., where she remained till 1875, attracting wide notice by her superior methods of preparing pupils, by the study of algebra, for work in higher analytical mathematics. Professor W. T. Harris, superintendent of the schools of St. Louis, ranked her as the most able and successful teacher in her chosen line in the country. She inspired the students to do their best in all their work, and she was one of the most potent educational forces in St. Louis In 1877 she was called to Wellesley College as professor of HELEN ALMIRA SHAFER. mathematics. She filled that chair admirably until 1888, when she was elected president of Wellesley, which position she now tills In 1878 Oberlin College conferred on her the degree of A. M. Her work in Wellesley College as professor of mathematics was marked by even greater results than she achieved in St. Louis. Her methods have been widely imitated in other schools, and their success is in every case a confirmation of their merit as president of Wellesley College she is showing executive capacity and a faculty for business quite as marked as her talents in purely pedagogical work. She has visibly advanced the standing of Wellesley, and every year adds new proof that she is, by nature, training and accomplishments, one of the most prominent and successful educators and college administrators of the nineteenth century.