Radcliffe College

Radcliffe College

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Radcliffe College was a women's
Women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...

 liberal arts college
Liberal arts colleges in the United States
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...

 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

, and was the coordinate college for Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. It was also one of the Seven Sisters colleges
Seven Sisters (colleges)
The Seven Sisters are seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. They are Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College. All were founded between 1837 and...

. Radcliffe College conferred joint Harvard-Radcliffe diplomas beginning in 1963 and a formal merger agreement with Harvard was signed in 1977, with full integration with Harvard completed in 1999. Today, Radcliffe's campus functions as a research institute within Harvard, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard is an educational institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and one of the semiautonomous components of Harvard University. It is heir to the name and buildings of Radcliffe College, but unlike that historical institution, its focus is directed...

, and former Radcliffe student housing has been incorporated as residential houses of Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

.

History


The "Harvard Annex," a private program for the instruction of women by Harvard faculty, was founded in 1879 after prolonged efforts by women to gain access to Harvard. Arthur Gilman, banker, philanthropist and writer, and son of Winthrop Sargent Gilman
Winthrop Sargent Gilman
Winthrop Sargent Gilman was head of the banking house of Gilman, Son & Co. in New York City.-Biography:He was born in Marietta, Ohio to merchant Benjamin Ives Gilman and Hannah Gilman...

, was the founder of Radcliffe College.
The school was named in memory of the first female donor, Ann (Radcliffe) Mowlson
Ann (Radcliffe) Mowlson
Lady Anne Moulson , born Anne Radcliffe , was an early benefactor of the fledgling colonial Harvard College. She is remembered today in the name of Radcliffe College....

.

Ada Comstock
Ada Comstock
Ada Comstock was an American women's education pioneer. She served as the first dean of women at the University of Minnesota and later as the first full-time president of Radcliffe College.-Early life and education:...

, a leader in women in higher education, who hailed from the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 and Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

, was the first president. Backed by the Woman's Education Association of Boston and led by a committee of women managers, the Annex was incorporated in 1882 as the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women, with Elizabeth Cary Agassiz as president. Agassiz and the WEA hoped that by raising an endowment they would convince Harvard to take on the work of educating women. The university however, resisted. In 1904, a popular historian wrote of its genesis: "...it set up housekeeping in two unpretending rooms in the Appian Way, Cambridge.... Probably in all the history of colleges in America there could not be found a story so full of colour and interest as that of the beginning of this woman's college. The bathroom of the little house was pressed into service as a laboratory for physics, students and instructors alike making the best of all inconveniences. Because the institution was housed with a private family, generous mothering was given to the girls when they needed it."

It was chartered as Radcliffe College by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 in 1894 (the Boston Globe reported "President of Harvard To Sign Parchments of the Fair Graduates"). It is named for Lady Ann Mowlson
Ann (Radcliffe) Mowlson
Lady Anne Moulson , born Anne Radcliffe , was an early benefactor of the fledgling colonial Harvard College. She is remembered today in the name of Radcliffe College....

, born Radcliffe, who established the first scholarship at Harvard in 1643. The first president was Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, widow of Harvard professor Louis Agassiz
Louis Agassiz
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz was a Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, geologist and a prominent innovator in the study of the Earth's natural history. He grew up in Switzerland and became a professor of natural history at University of Neuchâtel...

. Radcliffe built its own campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

, not far from that of Harvard.

By 1896, the Globe could headline a story: "Sweet Girls. They Graduate in Shoals at Radcliffe. Commencement Exercises at Sanders Theatre. Galleries Filled with Fair Friends and Students. Handsome Mrs. Agassiz Made Fine Address. Pres Eliot Commends the Work of the New Institution." The Globe said "Eliot stated that the percentage of graduates with distinction is much higher at Radcliffe than at Harvard" and that "although it is to yet to be seen whether the women have the originality and pioneering spirit which will fit them to be leaders, perhaps they will when they have had as many generations of thorough education as men."

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Harvard and Radcliffe signed an agreement that allowed women to attend classes at Harvard for the first time, officially beginning joint instruction
Coeducation
Mixed-sex education, also known as coeducation or co-education, is the integrated education of male and female persons in the same institution. It is the opposite of single-sex education...

 in 1943. From 1963, Radcliffe students received Harvard diplomas signed by the presidents of Radcliffe and Harvard, and joint commencement exercises began in 1970. The same year, several Harvard and Radcliffe dormitories began swapping students experimentally, and in 1972 full co-residence was instituted. The schools' departments of athletics
College athletics
College athletics refers primarily to sports and athletic competition organized and funded by institutions of tertiary education . In the United States, college athletics is a two-tiered system. The first tier includes the sports that are sanctioned by one of the collegiate sport governing bodies...

 merged shortly thereafter.

In 1977, Harvard and Radcliffe signed an agreement that put undergraduate women entirely in Harvard College, maintaining for them only a nominal enrollment in Radcliffe College. In practice most of the energies of Radcliffe (which remained an autonomous institution) were devoted to its other initiatives, such as the Bunting fellowship program, rather than to female undergraduates. During this time, the Harvard undergraduate community and class was officially known as "Harvard and Radcliffe" or "Harvard-Radcliffe", and female students continued to be awarded degrees signed by both presidents, even though Radcliffe usually had little to no impact on the average undergraduate's experience at the university.

On October 1, 1999, this arrangement came to an end, as Radcliffe College was finally fully absorbed into Harvard University; female undergraduates were henceforward members only of Harvard College while Radcliffe College evolved into the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard is an educational institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and one of the semiautonomous components of Harvard University. It is heir to the name and buildings of Radcliffe College, but unlike that historical institution, its focus is directed...

. Today the Radcliffe Institute awards dozens of annual fellowships to prominent academics. Its Schlesinger Library is one of America's largest repositories of manuscripts and archives relating to the history of women.

Several undergraduate student organizations in Harvard College still refer to Radcliffe in their names, (for example the Radcliffe Union of Students, Harvard's feminist organization; the Radcliffe Choral Society
Radcliffe Choral Society
The Radcliffe Choral Society is a 60-voice all-female choral ensemble at Harvard University. Founded in 1899, it is one of the country's oldest women's chorus and one of its most prominent collegiate choirs. With the all-male Harvard Glee Club and the mixed-voice Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium...

, Harvard's female choir (now one of the Holden Choirs), which has alumnae from both Radcliffe and Harvard and maintains a repertoire of Radcliffiana; the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra
Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra
The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra is a collegiate symphony orchestra comprising Harvard students and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in March 1808 as the Pierian Sodality, the orchestra is considered by some to be the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States...

; and the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players). Two athletic teams still compete under the Radcliffe name: varsity crew
College rowing (United States)
Rowing is one of the oldest intercollegiate sports in the United States. However, rowers comprise only 2.2% of total college athletes. This may be in part because of the status of rowing as an amateur sport and because not all universities have access to suitable bodies of water. In the 2002-03...

, which still rows with Radcliffe's black-and-white oarblades and uniforms instead of Harvard's crimson-and-white (in 1973 the team had been the only varsity team which voted not to adopt the Harvard name); and club rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

. In addition, the Harvard University Band
Harvard University Band
The Harvard University Band is the official student marching band of Harvard University. The Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Harvard Summer Pops Band, and the Harvard Jazz Bands also fall under the umbrella organization of HUB....

 still plays a Radcliffe fight song
Fight song
A fight song is primarily an American and Canadian sports term, referring to a song associated with a team. In both professional and amateur sports, fight songs are a popular way for fans to cheer for their team...

.

Notable alumnae


A number of Radcliffe alumnae have gone on to become notable in their respective fields, such as authors Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

 and Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

, journalist Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is an American progressive broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the internet.-Early life:Goodman was born in Bay Shore, New York...

, former Prime Minister of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

, deafblind author and activist Helen Keller
Helen Keller
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree....

, early Harvard College Observatory
Harvard College Observatory
The Harvard College Observatory is an institution managing a complex of buildings and multiple instruments used for astronomical research by the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and was founded in 1839...

 astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta Swan Leavitt was an American astronomer. A graduate of Radcliffe College, Leavitt went to work in 1893 at the Harvard College Observatory in a menial capacity as a "computer", assigned to count images on photographic plates...

, historian Elizabeth Eisenstein
Elizabeth Eisenstein
Elizabeth Lewisohn Eisenstein is an American historian of the French Revolution and early 19th century France. She is well-known for her work on the history of early printing, writing on the transition in media between the era of 'manuscript culture' and that of 'print culture', as well as the role...

, actress Stockard Channing
Stockard Channing
Stockard Channing is an American stage, film and television actress. She is known for her portrayal of First Lady Abbey Bartlet in the NBC television series The West Wing; for playing Betty Rizzo in the film Grease; and for her role as Ouisa Kittredge in the play Six Degrees of Separation and its...

, Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that were chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford....

 president Susan Berresford
Susan Berresford
Susan Vail Berresford is an American foundation executive. She was the president of the Ford Foundation from 1996-2007. Since November 2008 she has worked as a philanthropy consultant out of the offices of The New York Community Trust....

, classical pianist Ursula Oppens
Ursula Oppens
Ursula Oppens is an American classical pianist.-Biography:After earning her master's degree from the Juilliard School of Music, Oppens won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1968. This win led to her New York City debut at Carnegie Hall in 1969...

, epidemiologist Eleanor J. Macdonald, Dr. Eva Beatrice Dykes
Eva Beatrice Dykes
Eva Beatrice Dykes was the first black American woman to fulfill the requirements for a doctoral degree, and the third to be awarded a PhD.-Early life and education:...

, the first black American woman to fulfill the requirements for a doctoral degree, Crown Princess Masako of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, American Blues musician Bonnie Raitt
Bonnie Raitt
Bonnie Lynn Raitt is an American blues singer-songwriter and a renowned slide guitar player. During the 1970s, Raitt released a series of acclaimed roots-influenced albums which incorporated elements of blues, rock, folk and country, but she is perhaps best known for her more commercially...

 and Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

's superstar of 1965, Edie Sedgwick
Edie Sedgwick
Edith Minturn "Edie" Sedgwick was an American actress, socialite, model and heiress. She is best known for being one of Andy Warhol's superstars. Sedgwick became known as "The Girl of the Year" in 1965 after starring in several of Warhol's short films in the 1960s...

.

Popular culture

  • All About Eve
    All About Eve
    All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve", by Mary Orr.The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star...

    is a film whose script references Radcliffe twice.
    • Margo (Bette Davis
      Bette Davis
      Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

      ) says to Karen (Celeste Holm
      Celeste Holm
      Celeste Holm is an American stage, film, and television actress, known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Gentleman's Agreement , as well as for her Oscar-nominated performances in Come to the Stable and All About Eve...

      ), "Please don't play governess, Karen. I haven't your unyielding good taste. I wish I could have gone to Radcliffe too, but father wouldn't hear of it. He needed help behind the notions counter. I'm being rude now, aren't I? Or should I say, ain't I?"http://www.filmsite.org/alla3.html.
    • Lloyd (Hugh Marlowe
      Hugh Marlowe
      Hugh Marlowe was an American film, television, stage and radio actor.Marlowe was born Hugh Herbert Hipple in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and began his stage career in the 1930s at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. Marlowe was usually a secondary lead or supporting actor in the films he...

      ) tells Karen, "That bitter cynicism of yours is something you've acquired since you left Radcliffe!" Karen replies, "The cynicism you refer to, I acquired the day I discovered I was different from little boys!"http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042192/quotes
  • In Electra Glide in Blue
    Electra Glide in Blue
    Electra Glide in Blue is a 1973 film starring Robert Blake as a motorcycle cop in Arizona and Billy Green Bush as his partner. The name stems from the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle issued to traffic cops....

    , the intellectual hippie
    Hippie
    The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

     girl is arrested at one point for knowing a murder investigation suspect referred to as a "Radcliffe hippie".
  • The 1970 movie Love Story
    Love Story (1970 film)
    Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama film written by Erich Segal and based on his novel Love Story. It was directed by Arthur Hiller. The film, well known as a tragedy, is considered one of the most romantic of all time by the American Film Institute , and was followed by a sequel, Oliver's Story...

    and the Erich Segal
    Erich Segal
    Erich Wolf Segal was an American author, screenwriter, and educator. He was best-known for writing the novel Love Story , a best-seller, and writing the motion picture of the same name, which was a major hit....

     novel
    Love Story (novel)
    Love Story is a 1970 romance novel by American writer Erich Segal. The book's origins were in that of a screenplay Segal wrote and was subsequently approved for production by Paramount Pictures. Paramount requested that Segal adapt the story into novel form as a preview of sorts for the film. The...

     it was based on feature Jenny Cavilleri (Ali McGraw) as a Radcliffe music student with whom wealthy Harvard student, Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O'Neal
    Ryan O'Neal
    Charles Patrick Ryan O'Neal , better known as Ryan O'Neal, is an American actor best known for his appearances in the ABC nighttime soap opera Peyton Place and for his roles in such films as Paper Moon , Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon , A Bridge Too Far , and Love Story , for which he received...

    ), falls in love.
  • Brenda Patimkin of Philip Roth
    Philip Roth
    Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of Jewish-American life that earned him a National Book Award...

    's Goodbye, Columbus
    Goodbye, Columbus
    Goodbye, Columbus is a 1959 book by American novelist Philip Roth. It was the writer's first book: a collection of five short stories and one novella, also titled "Goodbye, Columbus"....

    attends Radcliffe.
  • The Woody Allen
    Woody Allen
    Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

     movie Manhattan
    Manhattan (film)
    Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen about a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer who dates a 17-year-old girl before eventually falling in love with his best friend's mistress...

    includes a pedantic character who attended Radcliffe. Additionally, Judy Davis's character in Allen's film Husbands and Wives
    Husbands and Wives
    Husbands and Wives is a 1992 American drama film directed and written by Woody Allen. The films stars Allen, Mia Farrow, Sydney Pollack, Judy Davis, Juliette Lewis, Liam Neeson and Blythe Danner. It was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Writing,...

    claims she wrote her senior thesis at Radcliffe on Bauhaus architecture.
  • The dating website OkCupid
    OKCupid
    OkCupid is a free dating and social networking website that features member-created quizzes. The site supports various modes of communication, including personal blogs, public forums, instant messages, emails, and "winks." OkCupid was listed in TIME's 2007 Top 10 dating sites.-Overview:OkCupid...

     coined the adjective "Radcliffy" to describe characteristics stereotypically associated with women who go to Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

    .http://www.okcupid.com/glossary#radcliffy
  • In The Simpsons
    The Simpsons
    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

    television episode "Monty Can't Buy Me Love
    Monty Can't Buy Me Love
    "Monty Can't Buy Me Love" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 2, 1999. In the episode, Mr Burns is jealous of megastore owner Arthur Fortune, who is beloved by the people of Springfield...

    ," Homer says the Loch Ness monster
    Loch Ness Monster
    The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next....

     has eluded everyone, including Peter Graves
    Peter Graves (actor)
    Peter Aurness , known professionally as Peter Graves, was an American film and television actor. He was best known for his starring role in the CBS television series Mission: Impossible from 1967 to 1973...

    . Mr. Burns (a Yale University
    Yale University
    Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

     graduate) retorts: "Peter Graves couldn't find ugly at a Radcliffe mixer".
  • One of the two main characters in the 80s Beauty and the Beast
    Beauty and the Beast (TV series)
    Beauty and the Beast is an American drama series which first aired on CBS in 1987. Creator Ron Koslow's updated version of the fairy tale has a double focus: the relationship between Vincent , a mythic, noble man-beast, and his Catherine , a savvy assistant District attorney in New York; and a...

    —Catherine Chandler played by Linda Hamilton
    Linda Hamilton
    Linda Carroll Hamilton is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Catherine Chandler in the television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy...

    —is a Radcliffe graduate. Throughout the series, "Radcliffe" is her boss's nickname for her.
  • The main character in Valley of the Dolls
    Valley of the Dolls
    Valley of the Dolls is a novel by American writer Jacqueline Susann, published in 1966. The "dolls" within the title is a slang term for downers, barbiturates used as sleep aids....

    , Anne Welles, is a Radcliffe graduate.

Books about Radcliffe

. Brief text; content is mostly illustrations by John Albert Seaford Online page images and PDF at Google Books

External links