NY State College of Agriculture
Education of Women
To the Farmer’s Wife
Letter to M. Van Rensselaer
Staff of Farmers’ Institute
Home Economics Department
Lesson for the Farm Home
Commission on Country Life
THE EDUCATION OF WOMEN
Liberty Hyde Bailey placed great emphasis on the value of women’s education, and as dean of the College of Agriculture, he appointed Cornell’s first women professors: Anna Botsford Comstock (summer session 1899), Martha Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose (1911). He further encouraged the development of a home economics curriculum to meet the needs of the women of New York State.
Bailey articulated his philosophy on women’s education in the 1913 Cornell Reading Course Bulletin, in an article entitled “Lessons for the Farm Home: ”
I would not limit the entrance of women into any courses of the College of Agriculture; on the contrary, I want all courses open to them freely and on equal terms with men.... Furthermore I do not conceive it to be essential that all teachers in home economics subjects be women; nor, on the other hand, do I think it is essential that all teachers in the other series of departments shall be men. The person who is best qualified to teach the subjects should be the one who teaches it...I hope for the time when there will be as many women in the College of Agriculture as there are men.
In his nine years as dean of the New York State College of Agriculture, Bailey’s vision of women’s education became a reality. When he retired in 1913, he left behind a well-established Department of Home Economics, a newly erected home economics building, and strong leaders who would continue to carry out his dream.
|This exhibition is made possible through a generous gift in memory of Lelah A. Cole.
© 2004 Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections.