Room Three

Leading Their Own

DONORS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

Phoebe Apperson Hearst

No philanthropist did more for the university and its women than Hearst, the first woman regent (1897).

Her gifts included scholarships for women (1891); buildings and rooms for women to develop socially, intellectually, and physically (East Hall, Hearst Hall, two residence halls, a basketball court, and swimming pool); travel funds for students to attend suffrage conventions; and funding for medical care and the salary of the first women’s physician and hygiene instructor (and unofficial dean of women), Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter (1899). Hearst also created Hearst Domestic Industries where women could work to earn money for their university expenses.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst
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Phoebe Apperson Hearst
UARC PIC 1300:164

Annie Montague Alexander

An explorer, naturalist, philanthropist, and collector, Alexander founded both the Museum of Paleontology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and endowed them with her guidance, wealth, and personal collections.

In 1907, Alexander wrote a letter to President Wheeler guaranteeing "the expenditure of $7000 yearly during [the next seven years] for field and research work relating exclusively to mammals, birds, and reptiles of the west coast" if the University would build a museum of natural history. The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology was established a year later in 1908.

Annie Alexander letter to Wheeler
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Alexander's letter to President Wheeler, October 28, 1907
CU-5 ser.1 Box 26

Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt

She established Boalt Hall to house the school of law and endowed two law professorships at the university.

Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt
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Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt, ca. 1906
UARC PIC 13:127

Sophronia T. Hooper

She endowed the Hooper Foundation for Medical Research, the first medical research facility incorporated into an American university

Sophronia T. Hooper
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Sophronia T. Hooper
UARC PIC 13:093

Jane Krom Sather

She funded undergraduate scholarships, professorships in classics and history, library acquisitions, and two of the campus's most famous landmarks—Sather Tower (the "Campanile") and Sather Gate.

Jane Sather
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Jane K. Sather, ca. 1904
UARC PIC 1300:17

FACULTY AND STAFF

During the period of 1910-1915, at least twenty-two women held faculty appointments (lecturer to associate professor), among a total of about 400 faculty. Additionally, some thirty women (several with doctoral degrees) were employed as fellows or assistants in the departments of astronomy, mathematics, medicine, physical culture, and zoology. Also prominent among women leaders were the president's wife, the women's physician, the appointments secretary, and the supervisor of the infirmary.

List of Female Faculty
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List of Female Faculty

Jessica Blanche Peixotto, PH.D.
Lecturer, Assistant Professor (1907-1912); later Professor of Social Economics

Peixotto was the second woman to earn a doctorate at the university, and the first full-time woman faculty member. She helped organize the social work program and taught courses in socialism, poverty, children and the state, and criminology. In 1936, the university awarded her an honorary doctorate.

Jessica Blanche Peixotto
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Jessica Blanche Peixotto
UARC PIC 1300:004

Lucy Ward Stebbins, B.A.
Assistant Dean (1910-1912); Dean (1912-1941); also Lecturer (1911-1912) and Assistant Professor of Social Economy (1912-1917); later Professor

Stebbins worked tirelessly to build the community of women students by serving as their outspoken advocate and by developing academic programs to provide equality of opportunity for the women's social, physical, and professional needs.

Lucy Ward Stebbins
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Lucy Ward Stebbins
308s.B6 v.55

In 1913, Lucy Stebbins wrote to President Wheeler requesting $1,000 to continue to pay a dance instructor. Although the men had abundant support to develop themselves physically and women had hardly any, Wheeler, while expressing his interest, responded, "I do not know where the thousand dollars is to come from."

Letter from Lucy Stebbins to Benjamin Ide Wheeler
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Letter from Lucy Stebbins to Benjamin Ide Wheeler, 1913
CU-5 Series 1 Carton 59

Lucy Sprague Mitchell, B.A.
Dean (1906-1909, 1910-1912); also Assistant Professor of English

Sprague was the first dean of women and the second full-time woman faculty member. The women never attended faculty meetings because, Sprague noted, "it would have prejudiced the men against us, and we already had enough prejudice to live down."

Lucy Sprague Mitchell
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Lucy Sprague Mitchell
BANC MSS C-D 4047 v.1

A "FIRST LADY"

Amey Webb Wheeler

Married to Benjamin Ide Wheeler, eighth president of the university (1899-1919), Mrs. Wheeler was a formidable "first lady" who played an important role as representative and leader of the university. As first occupant of the new presidential mansion in 1910, she oversaw its furnishing and made it a center of social life for the campus and the region. One of her far-reaching accomplishments was the College Tea tradition she began in 1907 to nurture the community of faculty spouses. The teas were the precursor of the University Section Club, which continues to provide special services to students and student groups, as well as a social outlet for its members. Mrs. Wheeler was reputedly a prominent sponsor of the California's anti-suffrage forces in 1911.

Amey Webb Wheeler
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Amey Webb Wheeler
UARC PIC 13:3427

One of her far-reaching accomplishments was the College Tea tradition she began in 1907 to nurture the community of faculty spouses. The teas were the precursor of the University Section Club, which continues to provide special services to students and student groups, as well as a social outlet for its members. Mrs. Wheeler was reputedly a prominent sponsor of the California's anti-suffrage forces in 1911.

College Tea Announcement
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College Tea Announcement
CU-341 Box 1

Mrs. Wheeler developed a strong friendship with Phoebe Hearst, as reflected in their extensive correspondence. They frequently exchanged personal news and greetings, social invitations, gifts, flowers, and overnight visits.

Letter from Amey Webb Wheeler
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Letter from Amey Webb Wheeler to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, January 1910
BANC MSS 72/204 Box 27


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