When were women accepted as students at Rensselaer? Who was the first woman appointed as full professor? If you’re interested in learning more about the Institute’s history and the role of women at Rensselaer, make plans to attend a talk hosted by the Folsom Library on Wednesday, April 18, at 5 p.m., in the Fischbach Room.
The library has mounted an exhibition featuring the history of women at Rensselaer. The exhibit will remain up through mid-September.
During the summer of 2017, Rensselaer senior Brooke Hayden worked in the Institute Archives and Special Collections as an undergraduate research assistant. “Brooke’s main task was to thoroughly research the history of women,” said Jenifer Monger, assistant institute archivist. “Brooke discovered a complex matrix of interwoven collections in the archives as she began to ‘uncover history.’ Her research led to interviews with a variety of individuals—students, staff, faculty, and alumni and alumnae—to gather a contemporary historical record from living sources.”
Hayden—together with Linda Schadler, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, and Monger—will share her research findings with the Rensselaer community on April 18 with the hope to inspire other projects.
As an example, Lois Graham was a member of the first class of women entering RPI in 1942 and was one of the Institute’s first two women graduates in 1945. She also became the first woman inducted into Pi Tau Sigma, the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, in 1944.
“‘Rensselaer: After the First 118 Years’ is well worth a visit,”said Schadler. “Not only has Brooke Hayden added significantly to the Institute Archives through interviews with women faculty, alumnae, and retired staff, she has created an eye-catching and informative exhibit about a critical component of Rensselaer’s history.”
Refreshments will be served at the end of the event.