Responses to war with Iraq
On March 20, the Bryn Mawr student organization One World sponsored an all-day forum of community speak-outs on U.S. military action against Iraq. Inspired by the saying, "the opposition of war is creation," students covered a banner with song lyrics, drawings and comments, and presented it to President of the College Nancy J. Vickers in favor of peace.

Bryn Mawr College Republicans collected items such as toiletries, calling cards, and games for the Ameri-can Red Cross to send to U.S. troops in Iraq and health kits to be distributed by the American Friends Service Committee to Iraqi civilians.

Last fall, faculty members of the ad-hoc group Bi-College Against War signed a pledge to take action in the event of an outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Iraq. Signatories promised to foster discussion of issues raised by the war, to help educate students about topics related to the war, and to register their opposition to it at a public protest. BCAW sponsored three lectures earlier in the year and an all-day teach-in at which scholars from Bryn Mawr and other regional institutions dis cussed issues related to Iraq and the possibility of war.

An online forum, "The Place of the U.S. in the World Community: A Discussion," was established last October by Professor of Biology Paul Grobstein. For more information about campus responses, see

BMC receives $1.5 million grant from Mellon for undergraduate scholarly work
Bryn Mawr has received a $1.5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of distinguished scholar Hanna Holborn Gray '50, president emeritus of the University of Chicago and of Bryn Mawr's Board of Trustees. Gray has recently retired as chairman of Mellon's board after 23 years' service as a member.

The grant will be used to create the Hanna Holborn Gray Undergraduate Research Program in the Humanities, which will enlarge substantially Bryn Mawr's ability to support independent scholarly work by undergraduates. As currently envisioned, the program would make available, on a competitive basis, three kinds of awards: summer stipends for students about to enter their senior year who are writing senior honors theses in the humanities and humanistic social sciences; stipends for rising juniors who are prepared to undertake a summer-long research project on an appropriate topic; and funding for students working on theses whose research would benefit from visits during the school year to archives, museums, galleries, libraries, and conferences. Bryn Mawr will also use its grant to organize two short introductory courses on research methods for students beginning honors theses in the humanities and the social sciences, respectively. Faculty members and library staff would lead these three-day intensive courses.

Gray is an historian with special interests in the history of humanism, political and historical thought, and politics in the Renaissance and the Reformation. She taught history at the University of Chicago from 1961 to 1972 and is now the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor of History. (For a profile of Gray, click here. Also see in the College News section of the Fall 1997 Bulletin.)

Another grant from Mellon of $3 million to the University of Chicago will establish the Hanna Holborn Gray Advanced Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences.

"We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for celebrating Hanna's pioneering career in higher education with these two grants," said President of the College Nancy J. Vickers. "The undergraduate research program the Foundation is establishing in her name at Bryn Mawr is a powerful vote of confidence in the intellectual contributions our students will make in the years ahead. I cannot think of a better way to acknowledge Hanna's long association with the College, as student, faculty member, trustee, and chairman of the Board."

Looking for new Mawrters
The Class of 2007 has been offered admission to the College and is eagerly awaited. "This was my first year reading applications for Bryn Mawr, and I was quite impressed by the character of the prospective students," said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jennifer Rickard when acceptance letters were being mailed in March.

"We are fortunate in that students applying to Bryn Mawr appear to understand clearly the values of this institution," she said. "They are interested in a challenging intellectual experience and are eager to take responsibility for their own lives. I'm excited to meet many more of the future members of the Class of 2007 when they visit during our 'Open Campus Days' program in April."

Under Rickard's leadership, Admissions has continued to expand its use of electronic media through the web, online videos, e-mail, CDs, and chat rooms for prospective students. A consulting firm, Generation, is completing work on a messaging project and new publications to convey Bryn Mawr's values more effectively to the 16- and 17-year-olds the College wants to attract.

"We have an overwhelming amount of information about Bryn Mawr that we needed to distill and present at a level from which people can dive down for more," Rickard told volunteers at Alumnae Council in October.

A tripartite statement of the College's essential values that has been formulated rings true with members of all of the College's constituencies: "A Bryn Mawr education seeks to cultivate in its students: intense intellectual commitment; a purposeful vision of oneself; and a lifetime responsibility to contribute to the world."

The six themes that translate Bryn Mawr's values into the language most likely to appeal to prospectives are:

Professors and students as colleagues;
Leadership through innovation;
Community of equals;
Meaningful impact on the world;
Intellectual exploration leading to independence;
Undergraduate education on an honors level.

Rickard's initial major goals are to increase the number of applications to the College and examine its financial aid policies.

She stresses that alumnae are one of the most effective means of getting Bryn Mawr's name out to the general public. "The number one reason for applying to Bryn Mawr is a connection through a friend or family member," she said. "Eight members of the Class of 2006 are related to someone who went to Bryn Mawr; six are daughters. I also have this notion that there are young women who might consider Bryn Mawr if they realized that the neighbor down the street is an alumna. Our alumnae are people who are distinguished and well respected, no matter what their field.

"What we're looking for among applicants has not changed-depth and engagement-students who take the challenging courses, who have done their part in trying to stretch themselves in their high school environments, who have participated in depth in some extra-academic activity. Scores are certainly important, but those are a relative value in that they are only part of the overall profile. Individual weights will vary with each applicant."

Asked about Bryn Mawr's U.S. News and World Report rankings, Rickard said, "We can point to their variability-a school may be up five or down five in any given year-but what I focus on is the quality of Bryn Mawr, what's behind the number. I point to the strength of our academic programs, and I talk about The Plan for the New Century.

"A lot of work has already been done that will be reflected in future standings. Increasing our applicant pool will affect our selectivity ranking. Our retention percentages are consistent for women's colleges-around 80-82 percent, but we are working to improve those as well.

"By virtue of marketing software applications to higher education institutions, I've read an awful lot of college and university plans," said Rickard, who came to Bryn Mawr last summer from PeopleSoft, where she was vice president for learning solutions product strategy. "It really struck me that Bryn Mawr's Plan was very forward-thinking and at the same time kept the values of the institution. The Plan will enhance and improve Bryn Mawr in every facet, and with that, a good ranking should follow."

This year, undergraduates were invited to submit 30-second videos that capture the essence of Bryn Mawr. "Friendships, intellectual excitement, late night conversations, location, location, location: what makes Bryn Mawr-Bryn Mawr? Prospective students want to know," said Maureen McGonigle '98, senior assistant director of admissions, who came up with the idea. The entries were screened at an awards ceremony, with popcorn, in Erdman Pit. The winning videos will be posted on the Admissions website.

A 1986 graduate of Swarthmore College with a B.A. in political science, Rickard holds an M.B.A. in finance from New York University's Stern School of Business. She also spent six years working in admissions at Swarthmore College, where she was most recently associate dean and director of admissions technology and research.

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