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The Character of Cornell Women

As college women were not the norm, questions sometimes arose concerning their character and morality. In this 1908 letter, Martha Van Rensselaer responded to a parent in defense of the undergraduate women in home economics.

Cornell men with whom we are acquainted tell us that the social and moral tone among Cornell girls is bad. As they put it, "Cornell girls are common."
Mrs. Lucy Roberts

I am afraid I can not agree with young men. I would say that there are here as everywhere some common girls and I should say that there are also many very fine ones. I may say that there are many young men who object to the attendance of the girls at this institution. ... Socially, the girls make their own places. ... So far as I have known, the girls are not dissatisfied with their social condition here.
Martha Van Rensselaer


College of Human Ecology Cornell University
  home sewing
  a profession?
  type of research?
  types of careers?
  national and international impact?
  educational techniques?
  role in national emergencies?
  influence on consumer culture?
  students' self-definition?
  practice apartments?
  role in the university?
  change to Human Ecology?
  women's suffrage
  Eleanor Roosevelt
  Marriage Course


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