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Towards a New History of Douglass College: Essays by Students from the Douglass Scholars Program

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In Fall 2000, the Douglass Scholars Program sponsored the sophomore-junior seminar "Issues and Debates in Women's Higher Education." This seminar uses Douglass College as a case study to focus on the development and history of women's higher education in the United States. Douglass College, originally know as New Jersey College for Women (NJC), was founded in 1918 by Mabel Smith Douglass and the State Federation of Women's Clubs. In spite of scant resources, NJC developed into one of the premier women's colleges in the country. During the semester, the six students (Allison Badertscher '01, Suzanne Boyle '03, Jacqueline Green '03, Kathryn Mogol '03, Bernice Rosenzweig '02, and Amanda Winter DC '03) explored this history through using the archival records of the college preserved in the Rutgers University Archives. The archives enabled the students to go beyond the standard account of the college, George P. Schmidt's Douglass College: A History (Rutgers University Press, 1968), and cast new light on controversial issues such as Mabel Smith Douglass' leadership style, student rebellion and unrest in both the 1920s and 1960s, and the sweeping changes which occurred at Douglass College and in the university as a whole during the 1970s and 1980s. The students investigated these topics in a series of short papers, several of which are available on this web site illustrated with photographs from the Rutgers University Archives.

We would like to thank Deirdre Kramer and the Douglass Scholars Program, which provided generous funding for the creation of this web site, and the following students who worked on the site: Allison Badertscher DC '01, Carlos Ron RC '01, Veronica Meyer SC '03 and Luis Martinez RC '04. Special thanks go to Sam McDonald, Rutgers University Libraries Webmaster and his student assistant for providing technical assistance and support. Most of all we would like to thank the six students who worked so hard in the seminar and inspired us with their enthusiasm.

Fernanda Perrone
Thomas J. Frusciano

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