How Has Barnard Historically Differed From Other Women’s Colleges?
Specifically, from the Other “Sisters”?
Last to be founded:
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]||1879||1879|
Founded with the least financial wherewithal:
|Vassar||Funded by Matthew Vassar|
|Smith||Estate of Sophia Smith|
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]||Harvard funding|
|Barnard||Annual commitment of $500 for five years by 40 “founders”|
Founded without a designated, set apart, campus site; the least real estate at outset:
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]|
|Barnard||A leased 4-story brownstone within walking distance of Columbia; subsequent campus of 4 ½ acres|
Founded without any religious affiliation/identification:
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]||Unitarian|
|Barnard||Original 22-member Board included Episcopalians (5), Presbyterians (4), Unitarians (3), Baptists (1) , unspecified Protestants (6), Jews (2) and a Catholic (1)|
Barnard’s origins, for its time, strikingly secular/multi-denominational/ecumenical
Movement spearheaded by Annie Nathan Meyer, a non-observant Jew
Board less dominated by clergy than the relatively laicized Columbia board (with half a dozen clergymen of 24); only two ministers on original 22-member board; of the first 53 members, only 4 were clergymen; only one of the 12 married women had a clergyman husband [Mrs. Henry Sanders]
First board chairman was a minister [Rev. Arthur Brooks, 1889-1894] but none thereafter.
Only one conspicuously evangelically active board member (Henrietta Talcott)
Chapel services but no chapel at 343 Madison; ditto on Morningside; attendance optional
None of the first four administrative heads/deans conspicuously devote Xians
Differences in Institutional Leadership
Composition of the Early Trustees
% of clergy
Barnard went the longest ( 22 years) without its first distinctive, commanding academic leader:
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]|
|Bryn Mawr||M. Carey Thomas there in 2ndyear; president|
|Barnard||Not until 4th academic head, Virginia C. Gildersleeve, in 1911|
Barnard had, along with Radcliffe, closer affiliations/reliance upon another academic institution
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]||Reliance upon Harvard for its faculty|
|Bryn Mawr||Friendly relations with Johns Hopkins, Haverford and Swarthmore.|
|Barnard||Reliance upon Columbia as degree granter and its source of faculty (until 1900); some overlap in trustees|
How did early [1889-1914] entering Barnard students differ from their turn-of-the-century
Had as its initial (and persisting) target audience/recruitment pool/catchment area the most geographically delimited:
|Vassar||Fully residential by entrance requirements; drew its students primarily from the Northeast, with less than half from New York State by 18xx|
|Smith||Percentage from Mass? From NE?|
|Harvard “Annex” [Radcliffe]|
|Bryn Mawr||Percentage from Philadelphia? From Pennsylvania?|
|Barnard||No designated dormitory to accommodate students from outside commuting range for its first 18 years of operations.|
Much more residentially concentrated – most from the five boroughs of the consolidated NYC or New Jersey towns along the Hudson River. Far fewer from non-urban locales. Distance between home and college measured in blocks, not miles….
Much more likely to have been prepared in an urban public high school than in a private day or boarding school
Much more likely to have commuted than to have lived in residence in a campus dormitory
Barnard students much more economically polarized; some from very wealthy families; most from modest economic circumstances; still others for whom the $150 tuition a familial reach and commuting an economic necessity.
More likely to be first- or second-generation Americans; less likely to be from families with American roots before the 1850s
More likely to be Jewish or Catholic (though a majority Protestant into the 1930s).
More likely to be attending college to enhance occupational prospects than for its ascribed social or intellectual benefits
More likely to be politically active as students? Socialist Club; Equal Suffrage; successful student-initiated movement to ban fraternities in 1914
What of differences as alumnae?
Barnard alums less geographically dispersedupon graduation
More likely to pursue occupationally-directed additional education directly after graduation;
(MA studies at Columbia and/or Teachers College, but also PhD studies — law school and medicine?)
More likely to secure gainful employment upon graduation; even more likely that the employment be public high school teaching; social work and work in publishing also provide employment for many Questions about Barnard graduates/alumnae?
More likely to be politically active?
Participation in suffrage movement
League of Women Voters
Participation in anti-Prohibition movement
Membership in Socialist Party
More Barnard alumnae identified with the Left?
More professional writers?
More likely to become physicians and lawyers?
More likely to earn PhDs and become professors?
Not yet determined whether Barnard alumnae more likely to marry – or marry sooner – than other Sisters alumnae [initial impression that neither all that different]
But even those who married — and with children – Barnard alumnae more likely to continue working
Barnard alumnae less likely to retain active ties with Barnard (except for its employment-referral activities)
Less likely to contribute to Barnard fundraising efforts
Less likely to attend reunions [?]
Less likely to have their daughters attend Barnard (i.e., produce fewer “legacies”)
Difference in Their Respective Faculties
Percentage of women faculty?
Wellesley early on consisted of all-women faculty
Size of faculty
Ratio of Enrollments/FTime faculty
Percentage of PhD-bearing faculty
AB origins of faculty
Career patterns of faculty
% of “lifers”
Frequency of outside senior hires
Principal institutional source of first-hire PhDs:
Barnard – Columbia, overwhelmingly until 1960s
Smith – Yale?
Turnover within tenured ranks
American Men of Science
Last updated: February 13, 2015