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Notable Alumnae

Dora Kelly Lewis 1878, Suffragist

Dora Kelly Lewis served actively in the Suffrage movement and held a series of high offices in the National Women's Party. She became an executive member of the National Women's Party in 1913. She then went on to serve as the Chairman of Finance in 1918 and as the National Treasurer in 1919. During this time, she was in charge of nationwide fundraising. In 1920, she headed the ratification committee. Active on the picket lines, Lewis was imprisoned for her suffrage activities. She served three days in jail for picketing in July 1917; was arrested Nov. 10, 1917 and sentenced to 60 days; was arrested at the Lafayette Square meeting in August 1918, and sentenced to 15 days; and was arrested during the watchfire demonstrations of January 1919, and sentenced to five days in District Jail.

Mary Channing Wister 1889, Education Reform and Civic Leadership

Mary “Molly" Channing Wister was the first President of the Civic Club of Philadelphia and the first woman appointed to the Philadelphia Board of Public Education. She participated in efforts in the movements by urban progressives to institute civic and education reform. Through her efforts, music was introduced in the curriculum of the Philadelphia schools. Among the notable contributions of the Civic Club during Molly's lifetime were the building of several playgrounds for the children of Philadelphia, the establishment of parks, and campaigns to clean up the streets of Philadelphia. Upon her death, the Philadelphia Board of Education renamed Philadelphia Board of Education decided to rename an elementary school the Mary Channing Wister School.

Mary Winsor 1892, Suffragist

Mary Winsor was the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Congressional Committee of the National American Women Suffrage Associate and founder and President of the Pennsylvania Limited Suffrage League. She studied the English suffrage movement in 1913 and 1914 at the request of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Upon returning to the United States, she became a pro-suffrage activist while a still a student at Bryn Mawr College. She was arrested in the summer of 1917 and served a sixty-day term in the Occoquan Workhouse, where she was denied warm clothing and prescribed medicines. However, the experience seems not to have deterred her: the following summer she was arrested again, along with her sister, Ellen. Winsor was released a few days later after a hunger strike. In February 1919, she was in charge of finance on the "Prison Special" campaign.

Dorothy Leib Harrison Wood Eustis 1904, Founder of The Seeing Eye

Dorothy Leib Harrison Wood Eustis was a dog breeder whose work with German shepherds led her to establish and endow The Seeing Eye, the first guide-dog school for the blind in the United States. In 1927, while living in Switzerland where she bred German shepherds as police dogs, Eustis wrote an article on a school in Germany that trained dogs as guides for blind veterans. Her article prompted Morris S. Frank, a blind man of Nashville, Tennessee to travel to Eustis's kennel to receive Buddy, a specially trained guide dog. The subsequent publicity around this event prompted Eustis to return to the United States in 1929 to incorporate The Seeing Eye, Inc., a training school for dogs and owners. Eustis's work helped spawn guide-dog schools in the United States and around the world and also paved the way for using service animals to help people with all kinds of disabilities.

Barbara Boyd Murdoch 1915, Pioneering Journalist and WWII War Correspondent

Barbara Murdoch was a business owner and served as the director of the Women's and Professional division of the Works Progress Administration for eastern Pennsylvania. In the mid-1930s, she became one of the earliest talk-show hosts on local radio, emceeing a half-hour program five days a week on issues of particular interest to women. During WWII, she joined the Army as one of the few female war correspondents writing for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. She wrote under the pen name of Barbara Barnes and traveled with Edward R. Murrow, landing on the beaches during the fighting, and witnessing the horror of the concentration camps.

Mary Butler Lewis 1920, Distinguished Archaeologist

Mary Butler Lewis was known for her contributions in the archaeology of Mesoamerica and the northeastern United States. After receiving her B.A. from Vassar College, she attended the Sorbonne and earned her M.A. from Radcliffe. She was the first female archaeologist to be awarded a Ph.D. from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania. Lewis went on serve as research assistant of the American section of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania for 30 years during which time she worked in Piedras Negras, later Alta Verapaz and Quiche, Guatemala. Her work in Guatemala constitutes a signal contribution to Mesoamerican archaeology.

Adele Griffin M. Sands 1937, Headmistress, The Agnes Irwin School

Adele Griffin M. Sands was a former teacher, administrator, board member, and Headmistress of the Agnes Irwin school. She graduated cum laude from Vassar College in 1941 and earned her M.A. in English literature from Villanova University. She began her career at Agnes Irwin as a teacher and under Anne Lenox assumed the positions of Head of Middle School and then Associate Headmistress. Adele served as Headmistress from 1981-1986. During her years as an Agnes Irwin administrator, she developed and taught courses, including Women in Literature. As a volunteer, she ably worked as Vice President of the Board of Trustees and was later named a lifetime Trustee Emeritus. Fellow alumnae recognized Adele as the recipient of the Willing Award and the M. Penney Moss Award.

Mary MacLeod Loomis 1941, World War II Air Force Pilot

Mary “Paulie" MacLeod Loomis became a pilot after graduating from Agnes Irwin and joined a special group of women known as WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) who became the first women to fly U.S. military aircraft. Over 25,000 women initially applied to the program, 5% were accepted and fewer finished. From 1942 through 1944, the WASPs flew over 60 million miles of operation flights, yet as women, were considered civilians. In 1977, the women were finally granted veteran status, and in the winter of 2010, Loomis and her fellow veterans were granted the WASP Congressional Gold Medal.

Mary Patterson McPherson 1953, Officer of the American Philosophical Society, former President of Bryn Mawr College

Mary Patterson “Pat" McPherson is the current Executive Officer of the American Philosophical society and former President of Bryn Mawr College. McPherson received her B.A. and L.L.D. from Smith College, her M.A. from the University of Delaware, and her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. She taught philosophy at the University of Delaware and served as professor and dean at Bryn Mawr before being elected President of Bryn Mawr College, from 1978-1997. After service as Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 1997-2007, McPherson was named the Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society, an eminent scholarly organization devoted to the promotion of useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities.

Christine Wheeler Patton 1965, First female foreign trader in the United States

Christine Wheeler Patton graduated from Vassar College in 1969 and accepted a position as a foreign currency trader at Morgan Guaranty Trust, becoming the first woman foreign trader in the United States. By 1984, she was a Senior Vice President, running Foreign Exchange trading in 24 countries and managing 650 people for Manufacturers Hanover Trust.

MinSuh Son 1989, Foreign Affairs Analyst with the U.S. Department of State

Dr. Son is a Foreign Affairs Analyst with the U.S. Department of State. She was
formerly an Assistant Professor at The Johns Hopkins University as the BoJung Soon Young Kim Professor of East Asian Science and Technology. She has published and presented widely on the technological modernization of 19th and 20th century Korea and is interested in the links between Korea's past and current trends in the 21st century. Her recent research explores digital cultures of Korea and the issues surrounding the phenomenon of cyberterroism and cyberactivism. She is also working on aco-translation for publication of the Soyu Kyonmun (Observations of a JourneyWest) written in 1895 by Yu Kilchun, considered to be the very first Korean to study abroad in the US.
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