Plans for 125th Anniversary Include International Conference on Women’s Education

Posted April 8th, 2010 at 11:52 am.

As the first U.S. women’s college to offer students the chance to pursue a Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College has had since its founding in 1885 a bold vision for women and for the place they should occupy in the world.

“Bryn Mawr is unique in that from its founding, the College placed no academic limits on its students,” says Bryn Mawr College President Jane McAuliffe. “From the very beginning, Bryn Mawr’s  leadership was determined to offer women the opportunity to become the scholarly equals of men.”

Beginning in May of 2011, Bryn Mawr will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its “Bold Vision. For Women. For the World” with a 12-month celebration highlighted by the conference “Hope and Heritage: Women’s Education in a Global Context.”

The College has created a Web site dedicated to its 125th Anniversary, which will be frequently updated. It features event listings and details; reunion information; a timeline of the College’s history; ordering information for Offerings to Athena, a history of the College from the perspective of its students; alumnae and student profiles; and more.

“Hope and Heritage: Women’s Education in a Global Context” will feature keynote addresses by New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning Reporter Nicholas Kristof, author with his wife Sheryl WuDunn of Half the Sky: From Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, and Melanne Verveer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. The conference is scheduled for  September 23-25, 2010,

The conference will be preceded by a cake ceremony on Sept. 23 to mark the date the College opened its doors 125 years ago.

Other highlights of the 125th Anniversary:

  • The publication of Offerings to Athena: 125 Years at Bryn Mawr College. From the earliest strict dress codes and rules of behavior to the social protests of the 1960s and the international diversity of today, this vibrant account of Bryn Mawr’s history will tell the College’s story through photos, first-person accounts, old news clippings, and more.
  • The creation of a mural in partnership with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program celebrating past, present and future women leaders. In addition to helping create the piece, Mural Arts Program Executive Director and 2009 Hepburn Medal recipient Jane Golden will teach a course on the impact of community art.
  • “Bryn Mawr’s Treasures.” Beginning in September, the College will be exhibiting some of the most prized pieces from its collection of artwork and historical materials and texts in Canaday Library. For more on Bryn Mawr’s collections, go to

Throughout the year, Bryn Mawr will hold a number of special concerts, readings, lectures, and other events tied to the College’s 125th anniversary for students, alumnae, and the community. The 125th anniversary officially begins on May 28 with the 2010 Reunion Weekend and ends on the 2011 Reunion Weekend.

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