Alec Miller arrived in the United States in the spring of 1910 with photographs and detailed drawings of the carvings at Oxford upon which his designs were based. He immediately set to work on adjusting his drawings and executing scale models of each gargoyle for the library cloister. Miller and Thomas placed these clay models on the building in various locations, together deciding the best spot for each.

Mr. Miller has been at work for two weeks and has already done nine gargoyles. His brother comes on Monday. I am sure that you will be delighted with them. We are having nothing but animals, and he has brought with him designs for all twenty-eight.
                                                                                     M. Carey Thomas to Lockwood de Forest
                                                                                     April 28, 1910

It took Miller and his brother Fred almost three months to complete the stone decoration in the cloister, as well as the oak leaves and Tudor roses on the building's porch and the two small owls on either side of the main entrance.

Alec Miller returned to Bryn Mawr College twice after his initial visit, carving the decoration on the library's western wing in 1941 and the inscription over the building's main entrance after it was named in honor of President Emeritus Thomas in 1931. She was residing in the south of France, writing her memoirs, when she thanked the Alumnae Association for their resolution to finally build the library's last wing and to name the building in her honor.

I can think of nothing that the Alumnae Association could do that would be more gratifying to me personally or more delightful than to complete the Library and give my name to the whole building. . . . When you read the chapter in my memoirs that tells how the Library was planned, built and paid for, you will understand why I should rather have my name associated with the Library than with any other building on the campus, and how very much I care about having it completed by the alumnae.
                                                                                     M. Carey Thomas to the Alumnae Association
                                                                                     November 17 , 1931

The Quita Woodward Memorial Wing was completed in 1940. Although M. Carey Thomas did not finish her memoirs, Bryn Mawr's campus is a living testament to her activities on behalf of the College, and to her determination to create an environment in which young women could pursue scholarly interests.


 Exhibition Credits

 Bryn Mawr College
 Campus Plan - Hutton, Vaux & Olmsted
 Collegiate Gothic - Cope and Stewardson
Details & Interior - De Forest
Paving Tiles - Mercer
Decorative Sculpture - Ashbee & Miller

Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections. September 21 - December 20, 2001