WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2015-2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/596643

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Page 99 of 211

Mount Holyoke took a different approach. Rather than trying to coeducate men and women, in 1837 it became the first all-women's college. Its founder encouraged women to "go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do." Mount Holyoke became known for its academic excellence — poet Emily Dickinson studied there — and served as a model for many of the women's colleges that would be formed in the coming years. In 1870 the Durants founded the Wellesley Female Seminary. (It would be renamed Wellesley College before opening its doors in 1875.) The Wellesley couple believed that women were capable of much more than their present lives allowed. Henry talked of preparing women for "great conflicts, for vast reforms in social life, for noblest usefulness." The pair envisioned Wellesley College as a vibrant academic commu- nity of women with tough admission standards, rigorous academics, and female faculty members and administrators where possible. Bold visions can take time to realize. During its first year of opera- tion, Wellesley College enrolled 314 students; however, only 18 grad- uated four years later. While some students left to be married, others left because of the school's challenging curriculum. Rather than reducing the rigor of the curriculum, the Durants opted to help Is the Durants' Work Done? M I N D Y B E S T 98 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 5 / 2 0 1 6 Women comprise 57 percent of the 20.2 million students enrolled in American colleges and universities.

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