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Daily Life

Daily Life at Simmons


Young women at college in the 1930s saw their days strictly scheduled and supervised. Bells woke students at 7:00 every morning, directed them to their meals and classes, and signaled curfew at night. Louise and her classmates were in class from 8:45-4:10 daily. Afternoons and evenings were spent attending club meetings, studying, and relaxing in residence halls.

Louise’s room in Evans Hall.

Louise lived in South Hall and Evans Hall, which still stand on the Simmons Residence Campus. Residence halls were a relatively new concept in the late 1930s. Before then, students lived either at home or with a host family several miles from campus. These new halls emphasized a close-knit community, and their large common rooms provided a welcoming space to socialize and entertain guests.

Evans Hall living room.

School of Secretarial Studies


"For most of us, work is a dominant life interest, and a theory of education which studiously ignores that fact appears to be anything but liberal."  Bancroft Beatley, Simmons College President, 1933-1955


From its founding, Simmons College has specialized in training young women for the workforce. Many of its programs, such as library science, nursing, education, and management have been part of the college since it opened its doors in 1899. Louise was enrolled in the secretarial studies program, which prepared its students for careers in office management. The program was designed to blend vocational and academic studies, and was among the most popular at the college. Throughout her four years, Louise took courses in business, economics, and math, as well as English, natural sciences, and Physical Education.

Louise’s school ID with class list.

To supplement her studies, she was a member of the Scribunal Club, a professional organization for Secretarial students. For her own interests in the sciences, she also took part in the Ellen Richards Club, a science club named for the first woman graduate of MIT. Both organizations, along with other academic clubs on campus, hosted lectures, outings, and student/faculty receptions.

Sources


Mercer, W.M. (1999). Simmons Celebrates One Hundred. Arlington, Mass.: Royalston Press.

Simmons College (1940). Microcosm. Boston: Simmons College.

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