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Mark your calendar for the celebration of the year: the launch of the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center on September 8 and 9. Featuring two dynamic panel discussions, a concert by Dar Williams, a gala at Philadelphia’s premier performing-arts venue, and the awarding of the first Hepburn Medals, the weekend promises to be the most elegant, memorable and visible celebration Bryn Mawr has ever known.

The Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center is named for screen legend Katharine Hepburn ’28 and her activist mother, also Katharine Houghton Hepburn, Class of 1899. The Center’s mission is to challenge women to lead publicly engaged lives and to take on important and timely issues affecting women. Drawing its focus from the life work of its namesakes—film and theater, civic engagement and women's health—the Center will inspire Bryn Mawr students and graduates to make a meaningful impact on the world.

“The goals for the launch of the Center are to generate maximum visibility for the College and to establish a permanent association between the Hepburn name and Bryn Mawr,” says Nancy Collins, director of public affairs and the primary staff planner of the Hepburn Center launch. “We’ve set our sights high for panelists, honorees, entertainment, graphic identity and the style of the activities. Most of the campus events have a social-justice appeal. The Philadelphia gala will have glamour, celebrity and a moving tribute to Katharine Hepburn and her mother. A powerful launch will draw attention to the substance of the Center, which in turn will help the College recruit students.”

The launch weekend will open with the panel discussion “Crafting Policy to Improve Women’s Health” on Friday afternoon, September 8. Panelists will include Bryn Mawr alumnae working in a variety of health-related fields and a nationally-known journalist.

Friday evening’s highlight will be a concert by folk-pop singer/songwriter Dar Williams, known for her outstanding performances, insightful lyrics and melodic vocals. Williams’ song “As Cool As I Am” blasts from Denbigh each May Day.

Saturday morning will feature the discussion “Reproduction and the Law” by panelists distinguished for their work and their activism.

A luncheon will follow. The guest speaker will be stage actress Katharine Houghton, niece of Katharine Hepburn ’28, discussing the legacy of the Houghton Hepburn women.

The celebration will continue at The Kimmel Center in downtown Philadelphia, where the College will commemorate the life and work of Katharine Hepburn and her mother at a black-tie gala. A VIP reception will promise a celebrity appearance. Commonwealth Plaza, site of the general cocktail reception, will feature the sounds of a jazz band and a gallery of images of the Hepburns. Following the receptions, guests will enter Verizon Hall for a program emceed by a national television-news celebrity. A video tribute to the actress Katharine Hepburn will include interviews with those who knew, worked with or were inspired by her. The highlight of the evening will be the awarding of the first Katharine Hepburn Medals by President Nancy J. Vickers to women whose lives, work and contributions embody the intelligence, drive and independence of the four-time-Oscar-winning actress.

An elegant dinner and brief remarks by the president and by Katharine Houghton will conclude the gala.

The campus program and the gala will be sell-out events, and tickets will be sold first-come, first-served. (See inside back cover of this issue.) To reserve tickets or to obtain the latest infor­mation, please visit the Web site,
email or call toll-free 1.866.HEPBURN (1.866.437.2876).



On April 1, alumnae/i living in the greater Philadelphia region were invited to spend a Saturday experiencing what it is like to attend Bryn Mawr today. The event showcased facilities, programs, and student opportunities that have been made possible through gifts to the Challenging Women Campaign, and needs to be met through completion of the Campaign.

“What a great day at BMC!,” wrote Amy Friedman ’86. “It was a fine opportunity to clock the school’s aims and current states...I am so grateful I got to go. And champagne at Wyndham, Dean Tidmarsh, and a new Watson Fellow! And the view from Cambrian Row! All fabulous.”

Participants chose two classes to attend from choices that ran the gamut from Women of the Ancient Near East to the computer science course Visualizing Information. Many sessions introduced participants to new courses added to the curriculum in recent years, such as East Asian Development; interdisciplinary approaches to study (such as in Renovating Shakespeare, which uses film adaptations of the plays and approaches from film studies to understand the historical reception of Shakespeare); and uses of technology in teaching (such as podcasts of lectures in Physical Chemistry, which received over 133,000 “hits” in fall 2005 from students at Bryn Mawr and around the world).

Students also met with alumnae/i to talk about life on campus today. Many questions focused on the nature of life at Bryn Mawr in 2006—such as what it is like to attend a women’s college today, the range of extracurricular activities available, why students see summer internships as so important, how a more diverse student body manages living in community.



The faculty and staff of Bryn Mawr’s social science departments—anthropology, economics, political science and sociology—should be able to start moving into Dalton Hall this August, according to Director of Facilities Services Glenn R. Smith.

 “Things have gone extremely well,” said Smith. “We’re looking to finish up major construction in early summer.”

Within its stone exterior, the building is almost completely new. “One of the biggest challenges in this project was from a structural engineering standpoint,” said Smith. “We removed everything inside of the masonry shell, which was then supported temporarily with bracing while we put in new structural steel to carry the load of the roof and the floors. We got all of the floors on the same level, so it is finally handicapped accessible. College Engineer Jim McGaffin deserves 95 percent of the credit, because he’s been managing all the details from day to day!”

The original trusswork of Dalton’s third floor roof has been exposed. This wing will house a combination board room/classroom. Photos by Paola Nogueras

The new exterior stair tower on the side of the building facing Guild not only provides a means of transportation vertically through the building and a source of natural light; there will be lounge areas on each landing with wireless connections so that students can take a break or sit with laptops and enjoy the view.

“In our recent projects, we have been creating new vistas of the campus, such as that from Cambrian Row looking back towards Rhoads, and the seminar room in Bettws y Coed that overlooks Goodhart,” Smith said. “From the Dalton stair tower, people will be able to see details of buildings, such as the cupola on Denbigh, that they may not have noticed before. This is a part of embracing what we already have and coming to respect our campus even more.”

The stair tower also leads to new teaching and lounge space below ground level. A project for future funding would connect Guild and Dalton at this level.

There will be 11 new classrooms of different sizes with no fixed seating so professors can arrange things any way they want to. The largest classroom can hold approximately 40 students.

“The east wing of the third floor will be a combination board room/teaching classroom that can hold 75–100 people and will probably have the most technology built into it,” Smith said. “It’s been designed so that one half or all of the space can be used, with capability on either side for projection and audio, white boards, and so on. On this floor, we have brought back some of the history of the building, exposing the structural trusswork in the roof of both wings. There will also be two anthropology labs, one for teaching and one for research. In between, there is an area where pieces from the College’s Collections can be displayed.

“People will ask the question, ‘Wouldn’t it have been better to tear it all down and start from scratch?” You can certainly make that argument, but we feel pretty good now that, for a very reasonable investment, we have preserved and completely revitalized the first academic building on campus, and that it remains part of our core historic district.”



At its February meeting, the Bryn Mawr College Board of Trustees approved a 7.9 percent increase in the undergraduate fee for the 2006–2007 academic year. This increase, which is higher than the 4.2 percent average yearly increase of the past decade, is necessary to offset above-average inflationary costs and to assure that the College remains competitive.

Although the College’s endowment has recovered from the stock market collapse of 2001–2002, faculty salaries are at the bottom of its peer group, putting at risk Bryn Mawr’s tradition of recruiting its first-choice scholars and retaining junior faculty members. Despite the higher fee, the College will remain less expensive to attend than its peers, and Bryn Mawr remains committed to meeting students’ full demonstrated financial need.




Professor Emerita of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Machteld Johanna Mellink, internationally known as the preeminent scholar of ancient Turkish cultures and a tireless defender of ethics in archaeology, died at the Quadrangle in Haverford, on February 23.

Born in the Netherlands in 1917, she studied at the University of Amsterdam and due to wartime conditions received her doctorate in 1943 from the University of Utrecht. During the Occupation she was very active in the Dutch Resistance.

Mellink came to Bryn Mawr in 1946–47 with a Marion Reilly Fellowship of the International Federation of University Women at Bryn Mawr College and spent the summer of 1947 at the University of Chicago under a Ryerson Grant. During this time she began excavating with Hetty Goldman, Class of 1903, at Tarsus in Cilicia.

Mellink began teaching at the College in 1949, was chair of the archaeology department from 1955-83, and retired in 1988. In 1972, she received the Leslie Clark Chair in the Humanities. Under her leadership, the department flourished with an expansion of faculty, curricular offerings, and excavations in Turkey, Italy and Greece.

With a deep interest in interconnections between ancient Greece and the Near East, during 1947–49 she participated in the ground-breaking excavation of Tarsus. Between 1950–65, she was a staff member of the important excavation of Gordion, the capital of the legendary King Midas of Phrygia. After exploring the highlands of Lycia she went in 1963 to the plain of Elmali where no previous archaeological work had been done and continued digging and researching there the rest of her active life. In the plain, she uncovered at Karata-Semayük an important Early Bronze Age settlement and cemetery. She also led the excavation and conservation of the spectacular painted tombs of the late sixth through early fifth century B.C.E. at Kizibel and Karaburun near Elmali. Over the course of her long career she brought international attention to archaeological discoveries throughout Turkey and defended its cultural heritage against looting and illegal export. Mellink also maintained a lifelong interest in Troy and was a partner in the recent project there undertaken by the Universities of Tübingen and Cincinnati.

In 1986, she was honored by her students and colleagues in a volume of essays entitled Ancient Anatolia, and in 1994 the College sponsored an inter¬national symposium in Istanbul on archaeology in Turkey where alumnae/i and professional colleagues and friends gathered to appreciate her contributions. The results of her research in the Elmali area are published in the Elmali-Karata series and in Kizibel: An Archaic Painted Tomb Chamber in Northern Lycia. Her earlier research was published as A Hittite Cemetery at Gordion and a chapter in Excavations at Gözlü Kule, Tarsus II. From 1955-1994 she contributed an annual account of new archaeological discoveries in Turkey to the American Journal of Archaeology. She also wrote “Anatolian Chronology” in Chronologies in Old World Archaeology, edited numerous books, among which is the popular Troy and the Trojan War (1986), and published scores of articles in many international journals.

Her international recognition included an honorary LL.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an Honorary Doctorate of History from the University of Eskisehir. She received the Archaeological Institute of America’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement in 1991 and the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal for Archaeological Achievement in 1994.

She was a Member of the American Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Research Associate of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and a Corresponding Member of the Turkish Institute of History, the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the German Archaeological Institute, and the Austrian Archaeological Institute, and many other international archaeological societies. Her professional service included being president of the American Research Institute in Turkey from 1988–91, president of the Archaeological Institute of America from 1980–84, and trustee of the American Society of Oriental Research.

She advised scores of undergraduate and graduate students and supported and followed their careers in archaeology with keen interest. An indefatigable correspondent and advisor, she helped colleagues around the world with their scholarship and made special efforts to support and promote their work. For this reason alone she has had an extraordinary impact on the archaeology of the Old World.

She is survived by her sister, Johanna Pel-Mellink, Spanjaardstraat 14, 4331 EN Middelburg, The Netherlands. A memorial service is planned at the College in the fall.



The Bulletin has learned of the death of Willard Fahrenkamp King, Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Dorothy Nepper Marshall Professor Emeritus of Hispanic-American Studies, on November 9, 2004. “Billie” had been chair of the department of Spanish for two decades before retiring in 1992 and was known for her dedication to her students, many of whom went on to become scholars of Spanish literature themselves.

Born in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1924, she received her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1943 and 1946 respectively, and her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1957. She held appointments on the faculties of the University of Texas and Brown University before coming to Bryn Mawr, and from 1956-1958 was a research assistant to Erwin Panofsky at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

King came to Bryn Mawr as a lecturer in 1958 and became a full professor in 1970. She was a prolific scholar of Spanish literature, specializing in 17th century writings. Her first book, published by the Royal Spanish Academy, dealt with the rise of literary academies in the 17th century. She later published what is now considered the definitive study of the life and works of the 17th century Spanish playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza. In addition to her numerous scholarly articles, she published translations of Américo Castro’s magnum opus on Spanish history and culture, The Spaniards, and a translation and study of Lope de Vega’s tragedy, The Knight of Olmedo.

Her husband, Edmund King, who was the Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor in the Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain Emeritus at Princeton University, died December 25, 2005, at his home in Laredo, Texas. After retirement, the Kings lived for several years in Spain, where they each served as resident director for the International Institute in Madrid and continued their research and writing. From their home in Princeton and their classrooms in this country and in Spain, the Kings educated and socialized an entire generation of young scholars. A memorial service for Willard King was held November 11, 2004, at All Saints Church in Princeton. Memorial donations may be made to Bryn Mawr College or to the International Institute in Madrid.



Hans Bänziger, Professor Emeritus of German, died March 8, 2005, in Romanshorn, Switzerland. Born in Romanshorn in 1917, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 1942. Bänziger came to Bryn Mawr in 1967 from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and taught German previously at Middlebury College’s summer program in 1963 and 1965. Beginning in 1977, he divided the year between Bryn Mawr and Switzerland, teaching German and philosophy at Swiss high schools in the beginning of the academic year, and German at Bryn Mawr in the second semester. He retired in 1982 but continued to publish, writing more than a dozen books and numerous articles. His books, among them Frisch und Durrenmatt (1960), were chiefly on Swiss and German literature, but he also wrote about his daily life at Bryn Mawr in a memoir titled College-Erinnerungen: Gegen US- und CH-Vorurteile: 15 Jahre Lehrtätigkeit in Bryn Mawr. Bänziger is survived by his wife, Claire, three daughters and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Condolences may be sent to Claire Bänziger, Feldeggstrasse 4, CH-8590 Romanshorn, Switzerland. Donations in his honor can be made to the Spitex Club Romanshorn PC 85-7668-3 or to Medecins sans Frontieres.


Lost and Found: Rediscovering Women Poets of the Italian Renaissance

In March and April, people crossing campus found 1,000 fazzoletti lying tented on the ground and hanging from trees. White, cream or pink and edged with crocheted lace, each handkerchief was screen printed with a sonnet by one of seven Italian Renaissance female poets, in the original and an English translation.

A message printed around the border invited the “finder” to keep the handkerchief and find out more about the poet by visiting an exhibit in the Canaday lobby of 16th- and 17th-century editions of the works of Victoria Colonna, Gaspara Stampa, Vittoria Gambara, Tulla d’Aragona, Moderata Fonte, Laura Bacio Terracina, and Veronica Franca.

The interactive installation was created by Philadelphia artist Carol Leotta Moore-Schulman.  In an April 3 lecture, she said that her inspiration to bring the poets to a wider audience came through a variety of influences, including lifelong activity in drawing and print making, writing and reading poetry, her Italian cultural heritage, and life-changing events.

Director of the M.F.A. programs in ceramics, painting and sculpture at the University of the Arts,  Moore-Schulman has exhibited her work in China, Italy and Brazil, as well as the United States. Widowed twice at a young age, she turned to journal writing and discovered the poetry of Colonna, a widow, and subsequently other of Colonna’s contemporaries—also widows—in Canaday Library, and began to incorporate them into her graphic work.

During a sabbatical in 2004, Moore-Schulman made a pilgrimage to places in Italy where several of the poets lived and worked and realized that they are largely unknown for their contributions to the Western literary canon and to women’s cultural history.

“Never in the history of the Western world has any literary period, except for the modern one, so abounded in poetry written by women as the Italian Renaissance,” she said. “How is it that the hundreds of books and manuscripts published by these prolific 16th century poets became obscured from the body of Western literature until their rediscovery in the 20th century by writers like Rainer Maria Rilke?”

She explained that, “Renaissance Venetians re-introduced the use of the handkerchief as a signifier of social status that led to elaborate production, embellishment and then affectation throughout Europe. Each poet had in some way used a handkerchief, as a catcher of tears and sorrow, or as an object of attraction and seduction, perhaps left somewhere as forgotten evidence of their presence. The printed handkerchief became the object in this context that appeared lost until the moment it would be found by a passerby as a memento and an invitation to look further.”

Valeria Finucci of Duke University, one of the leading scholars of women writers of the Renaissance, lectured in tandem with Moore on April 3 about the lives of the poets. The Canaday exhibit was curated by Rima Girnius, graduate student in the history of art, and scattering was done with the help of Assistant Professor of Italian Roberta Ricci and Italian department students.

Handkerchief screenprinted with a sonnet by Gaspara Stampa (1523–1554) waits to be “found” as part of an installation on campus this spring by Philadelphia artist Carol Leotta Moore-Schulman.



Dorothy Samuels '73, second from right, purchased Item #407 at an October 20 auction held by the Bryn Mawr Club of New York at the Cosmopolitan Club to raise funds for a New York Bookspace. Item #407 was a Gala Presidential Lunch for six people with President of the College Nancy J. Vickers, to be held at the Sutton Place apartment of Lois Collier ’50 and catered by the Wyndham House kitchen. The idea for the social event was Collier’s. Samuels’ guests were Donna Mildvan Hamann '63, Elaine Ciulla Kamarck '72, Luvon Roberson '74, Michelle Scott '69 and Liz Vogel Warren '72.

Wyndham staff also supplied antique and contemporary lanterns in each class color from the Alumnae Association’s collection for the tables. Photo by Sandra Donohue.


Return to May 2006 Highlights





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