Adieu Ely House
Bryn Mawr ... Implacable March weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus biting chunks out of Ely House. The opening lines of Dickens' Bleak House came to mind as startled onlookers watched the historic building being torn down on March 2. By day's end, there was nothing left but bare ground.

Ely was slated to be renovated for a new multicultural center, but the Philadelphia engineering firm of Keast and Hood Co., retained to evaluate the structure last year by architect Richard W. Thom, determined that it was unsound.

Keast and Hood Co. concluded that the building's interior floors and attic would need to be gutted completely in order to bring it to code requirements, let alone continue to stand, as it could have become unsafe even to walk past. "That would have left Ely a 'Disney structure' with almost nothing remaining of the original material but the rubble walls," said Assistant Director of Planning and Projects Christopher Gluesing. "And as it was, its origins as a barn had been almost completely obliterated by yea rs of additions and alterations."

After numerous meetings and discussions, Trustees of the College voted in December to demolish the building. "No one really wanted to see it torn down," said Suzanne Pentz, Director of Historic Structures at Keast and Hood Co., who prepared the evaluation report and testified before the Lower Merion Historical Commission. "Certainly I did not go into this advocating demolition, but I think Bryn Mawr made the right decision."

"Suzanne is the best person in Philadelphia we possibly could have had to evaluate the situation and to go before the historical commission," Gluesing said. "Because of her experience, we and they are comforted that we did the right thing." The College also asked George E. Thomas, Ph.D., of George E. Thomas Associates, Inc., to evaluate the role of Ely House as a historical resource in the context of nearby buildings. Thomas concluded that largely because of the damage done to its structural and historical integrity during a 1926 remodeling, "its loss would not be significant in the building inventory of Lower Merion Township." The historical commission's ruling to permit demolition was upheld by the full Lower Merion Board of Commissioners.

The east part of Ely, thought to have been built in 1775, was the barn of an estate belonging to Thomas and Patience Morgan, now known as Wyndham House. Probably used first as a stable, it was enlarged towards the end of the 1800s.

In 1895, the main house was purchased by Theodore M. Ely, a vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1926, his daughter, the extraordinary Gertrude Sumner Ely, Class of 1899, gave Wyndham and its seven acres to the College, but kept the barn, which was remodeled into a dwelling house for her. For many alumnae, Miss Ely's was a second home and salon where, as students, they met world figures. She worked ardently and extensively in international affairs and relief, na tional politics, women's rights an d the civil rights movement. After her death in 1970, the building was used as the Deanery, Russian House, and most recently for Admissions until its move last fall to the new Benham Gateway Building.

Typical of barns, the original structure did not have a ridge beam, and most of the necessary supports in the roof were missing as well as the original two-story barn posts. The building also had no foundation, sitting on earth. "It took some time to figure out what was going on as so much was covered up by finishes," Pentz said. "It is amazing that other than some bowing of roof and wall, we saw no cosmetic signs of the structural problems," Gluesing said.

He said that the demolition itself was an opportunity to learn more about the original construction. The area will be landscaped and include a memorial plaque about the early history of the site. Stapleton House on Faculty Row is now being renovated to house the multicultural center.

Big Waters at the Mawr
If you've ever sunk your heels into soggy turf while wandering behind Goodhart, you may not be surprised to learn that the water seeping above and rushing below a grate now feeds the College's first pond.

Over winter break, Bryn Mawr's Facilities Services began construction on a stormwater management basin between Rhoads "Beach," Applebee Barn, and the playing fields. Design-ed by Yerkes Associates of BrynMawr, the pond will benefit the College and outlying communities in several ways, including pollution removal, wildlife protection, and irrigation of the two playing fields, each of which have used 1 million gallons of drinking water per year.

The campus is part of the 50-plus acre Mill Creek Watershed of the Schuylkill River Basin. Water draining under the village of Bryn Mawr, the railroad tracks, and Montgomery Avenue was in the past discharged from a pipe below Goodhart, ran briefly as a stream, and was then piped to another discharge beyond the College near Mill Creek.

A Lower Merion Township ordinance required the new Facilities complex being constructed on the site of the old Ward Building to incorporate controls for storm water runoff. An underground tank filled with loose gravel, like those elsewhere on campus, would have met the minimum requirement, but the gravel tends to silt up quickly and College planners wanted a broader solution, says Chris Gluesing, Assistant Director of Planning and Projects. That solution has won a $150,000 Growing Greener grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The pond, created by an earthen dam, will be enclosed by a high split-rail and chicken wire fence and, eventually, with thick plantings. The basin will shelve off very gradually, with deep water only at the far end, where there will be a small island. Gluesing said that the island and thick plantings are intended to discourage unmanageably large numbers of geese and ducks, who prefer clear landing approaches."If one family of fowl takes up residence on the island, others, we hope, may interpret that as a territorial signal to stay away," Gluesing says.

After the pond is monitored for one year, wetlands experts will select appropriate plants and oversee their planting with help from the community. The pond and its plants will lessen stormwater damage downstream as well as the amounts of heavy metal, sediment and nutrients carried into Mill Creek, which has suffered from a drop in biological diversity. A system of pipes beneath the pond will permit Facilities to adjust the water flow in times of drought or flooding.

The site also will be part of a stormwater management demonstration area created by Robert G. Traver, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Villanova University. The "Stormwater Best Management Practice Park" will include examples such as Porous Paving, Rooftop Gardens, and Bryn Mawr's Wet Pond.

Department chairs Maria Luisa Busť Crawford '60, Professor of Science, Environmental Studies and Geology, and Associate Professor of Mathematics Victor Donnay have organized a committee of faculty who are interested in taking advantage of the construction of the pond and the establishment of the associated new ecosystem on campus as a focus for course and independent project investigations as well as interdepartmental collaboration. Students will be able to work on issues related to a variety of courses in their own backyard. The biology department, for example, plans to monitor and evaluate its effect on the environment with the help of the Lower Merion Conservancy. Geology can carry out studies of water chemistry and quality.

Documentary leaves legacy
The late Manya Garbat Starr '41, also known to classmates as "Fifi," was the writer of the public television series, "They Came for Good: A History of the Jews in the United States," premiering on stations across the country.

With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the two-hour series, designed as the first half of a longer series, covers the period from 1654 to 1880, encompassing Jewish people's roles in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and up to the beginning of the great European migration.

According to Amram Nowak, Manya Starr's production partner and husband, working on the series was a great joy for her before her death on July 26, 2000. A former president of the Writers Guild of America East, National Chairman of the Writers Guild of America, and Secretary of the International Writers Guild, Starr "loved good writing," according to Nowak. Her career and abilities encompassed all television genres, including daytime serials, episodic series, anthology drama series, movies of the week, PBS drama and distinguished documentaries, the latter of which included "Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs" and the Academy Award-nominated "Isaac in America" (about Isaac Bashevis Singer), both for American Masters.

With "They Came for Good," "Manya wanted to give something important back to the Jewish community, and to demonstrate how the Jewish people were woven into the American tapestry very early in history," says Nowak. "She took a complex and sprawling tale and gave it a structure that makes it accessible and appealing to all people. I feel Manya's heart in every frame. She has left behind something that will endure on television, in schools, and in libraries for generations to come."

Wofford Internship established
Former Bryn Mawr College President and U.S. Senator Harris L. Wofford retired on January 20 as CEO of the Corporation for National Service. In honor and recognition of his service to the corporation, its directors have established the Harris Wofford National Service Internship Fund at Bryn Mawr. The internship, an opportunity for a funded summer of public service up to $3200 per student anywhere in the United States, is open to current Bryn Mawr freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

Wofford, who was president of Bryn Mawr from 1970 to 1978, has dedicated much of his career to the goal of making citizen service a common expectation and experience for all Americans. He helped Sargent Shriver launch the Peace Corps in 1961 under the Kennedy Admini-stration and in 1970s formed and chaired a panel to study the idea of national service, which produced the landmark 1979 report "Youth and the Needs of the Nation." While Pennsylvania's Secretary of Labor and Industry, he worked with then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and a bi-partisan working group of the National Governors Association, along with a group of Senators, to develop what would become the National and Community Service Act of 1990, signed into law by President Bush. In 1993, as a U.S. Senator, he was a member of President Clinton's task force that drafted and passed the National and Community Service Trust Act, which created AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National Service.

Wofford also worked with Dr. Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement and under President Eisenhower was counsel to the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame on the first U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has been a law professor and was president of the State University of New York at Old Westbury before coming to Bryn Mawr. He also has practiced law and authored several books, including Of Kennedys and Kings. He and his late wife Clare, with whom he co-wrote the book India Afire, have three children and four grandchildren.

Human diversity
As part of a series on Human Diversity: Sex and Gender, co-sponsored by The Center for Science in Society and Feminist and Gender Studies, Amber Hollibaugh spoke on March 5 about the relationship between activism and desire and how sexuality is tied to class identity. Hollibaugh is founder of New York's Lesbian AIDS Project, director of the award-winning documentary The Heart of the Matter, and author of My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home.

Penn sociologist Douglas S. Massey criticized U.S. policy towards Mexi-can migration in a March 1 lecture sponsored by the centers for Ethni-cities, Communities and Social Policy and International Studies. Immigrants are willing to do the jobs once typically performed in the United States by migrants from rural to urban areas, women and teen-agers, he said. Mexicans immigrants, who are the largest group in the United States, were displaced from jobs as a result of the economic transformation their country is undergoing. Most send their wages home and will eventually return. Massey suggested creating a two-year temporary U.S. work visa, reducing border enforcement personnel, and increasing permanent residency visas available to Mexicans and Canadians.

Sponsored by the Center for Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy, Moses Dirks, a leader of the movement to preserve the indigenous culture of the Aleutian Islands, spoke on March 23 about the dwindling Unangan language.

As part of Bryn Mawr's Black History Month celebration, Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo, spoke in Thomas Great Hall on March 5, describing the dreams for success of her son, a young immigrant from Guinea who was killed by New York City police officers on Feb. 4, 1999. At the time of his death, Amadou was planning to begin college studies in computer science.

When 'rightness' does not apply
In January, the University of Delhi, India, sponsored a four-day international conference, "Ideals of Interpretation and the Metaphysics of Culture in Art, Literature, Music, His-tory, Religion and Science: in Relation to the Philosophy of Michael Krausz," Milton C. Nahm Professor and Chair of Bryn Mawr's Department of Philo-sophy, where he has taught since 1970.

Approximately 60 participants from the United States, Germany, Holland, Australia, and India gathered to present papers and comments. Krausz delivered a keynote address, two lectures on "Ontology and the Aims of Interpretation" and "Musical Interpretation," and commented on many of the papers presented. The Delhi conference coincided with the publication of Krausz's new book, Limits of Rightness, published by Rowman and Littlefield and celebrated with a reception in Canaday Library's Rare Book Room on February 8.

"One's conduct of inquiry is largely shaped by one's answer to the question whether there must always be a single admissible interpretation," Krausz begins his introduction. His lucid and rigorous discussion lays groundwork for pursuing five clusters of questions about interpretation, including: "Must there be a single right interpretation for such cultural entities as works of art, literature, music or other cultural phenomena? Can opposing interpretations be jointly defended?" Krausz aims to "give pause"to those who uncritically hold that there must be only one right interpretation for all cultural entities, and to those who hold that more than one interpretation must obtain for all such entities. Under some conditions, neither apply, hence the title, Limits of Rightness.

In the course of his treatment, Krausz considers such diverse examples as Christo's Wrapped Reichstag, Indian burial rites, Hindu and Buddhist soteriologies, as well as middle-sized objects and subatomic particles. Finally, he extends the discussion to the question of whether there is one or more than one admissible life path and project for a given person.

The book will be the subject of panel discussions at divisional meetings of the American Philosophical Association in December 2001 and March 2002. Key papers from the Delhi conference will be published by Rodopi Publishers, Amsterdam in a commemorative volume, Interpretation and Ontology: Studies in the Philosophy of Michael Krausz, co-edited by philosophers G.L. Pandit (University of Delhi)and Andreea Deciu (Carnegie Mellon University).

Krausz is also the co-founder and former Chair of the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, the author of Varieties of Relativism (Blackwell, 1995), and Rightness and Reasons: Interpretation in Cultural Practices (Cornell University Press, 1993), and contributing editor of nine volumes on a range of philosophical topics.

Millicent Carey McIntosh '20, the first married woman with children to head a women's college, featured on the cover of Newsweek in 1951 as a trailblazer in combining family and a career, died on January 3 at her home in Tyringham, Mass. She was 102.

"Mrs. Mac," the title she preferred, considered the "obstacles thrown in the way of careers for mothers" one of the "major failures of our civilization," according to Ruth McAneny Loud '23 in a 1947 article for the Bulletin. She called for child care to be elevated to a dignified profession so working mothers could leave children in capable hands.

McIntosh did believe that family and home must come before all else, and acknowledged that personal fulfillment "may or may not lie in a career,'' as she told The New York Herald Tribune in 1946. "What is important is for each individual to order her life so that she becomes a happy, creative person.''

To the displeasure of her aunt, M. Carey Thomas, whom she matched in will, Millicent Carey worked at the YWCA, organizing clubs for factory workers, after graduating from Bryn Mawr with a B.A. in English and Greek. She spent a year at Newnham College, Cambridge, studying economics and taught at Rosemary Hall. After completing her doctoral dissertation on English medieval theater at The Johns HopkinsUniversity, she returned to Bryn Mawr, as chair of the English department, freshman dean and acting dean.

Called in 1930 to The Brearley School, a private girls' school in NewYork City, she converted it from a half-day format to a full day, introducing aptitude tests and remedial instruction and instituting a sex education course for sixth graders, which she taught. While at Brearley, she married Dr. Rustin McIntosh, a pediatrician who taught at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and began a family of five children, including a set of twins.

She was named dean of Barnard in 1947 and president in 1952 when that position was instituted.

Among her many honors were Bryn Mawr's M. CareyThomas Award, which she received with Katharine Hepburn '28 in 1977; the Roosevelt Medal for leadership of youth and development of character in 1948; the Hundred Years Association Medal in 1949; and the Gold Medal Award of the National Institute of Social Sciences in 1960. She was named Woman of the Year by the Women's National Institute in 1956.

At a time when few women sat on the boards of major American corporations, she was a director of several companies, schools, foundations and civic groups, including the United Negro College Fund, CBS, the Bryn Mawr School, and Bryn Mawr College, which had the benefit of her counsel for the better part of five decades.

She is survived by a daughter, Susan Lloyd of Tinmouth, VT; four sons, James of Ann Arbor, MI, R. Carey of Tyringham, MA, Kenneth of West Newton, MA, and J. Richard, of Boulder, CO; 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1986.

Symposium on ancient painting
In our Fall 2000, issue, we reported on a symposium held last spring to celebrate the memory of Mary Hamilton Swindler, Ph.D '12, Bryn Mawr professor and author of the monumental volume, Ancient Painting (1929), and to honor Machteld J. Mellink, Professor Emerita of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Leslie Clarke Professor Emerita of Classics.

Because of timing, the Bulletin could only present opening remarks by Crawford Greenewalt Jr. highlighting the achievements of numerous Bryn Mawr College archaeologists who have contributed variously to the field of ancient painting in the Mediterranean and the Near East. In this addendum, we would like to report further on the great success of the two-day symposium and to give due credit to the many other Bryn Mawr alumnae/i and faculty who worked more than two years in the planning as well as to those who spoke at the event.

The March 25-26 Symposium on Ancient Monumental Painting in the Mediterranean and the Near East assembled archaeologists who are presently the most active in the field of ancient painting, in order to focus on their "cutting edge" discoveries and interpretations, thereby honoring Miss Swindler, who was a pioneer in the field of ancient painting. She laid the groundwork for future discoveries in the field; she had a remarkable, enlightened vision about what the future was to hold for ancient painting in Greece, the Aegean and the Near East. The choice of a broad painting theme anticipated this topic's appeal to a wider audience.

Most credit for realization of the event goes to Theresa Howard-Carter, Ph.D '62, who conceived, organized, fund raised, and planned the program, with a committee including, among other Bryn Mawr alumnae and faculty: Karen Vellucci '73; Phyllis Pray Bober, Leslie Clark Professor Emerita in the Human-ities, of the departments of classics and classical and Near Eastern archaeology; Ann Ashmead '51, M.A. '54, Ph.D '59; Joan Breton Connelly, M.A. '79, Ph.D '84; the late Emily Townsend Vermeule '50, Ph.D '56; Stella Miller-Collett, M.A. '66, Ph.D '71, Rhys Carpenter Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology; Doreen Canaday Spitzer '36; and the late Frances Follin Jones '34, M.A. '36, Ph.D '52.

Financial advice and support for the symposium came from Patricia H. Labalm '48 and the Delmas Foundation; Mary Patterson McPherson, Ph.D '69; and Emily Townsend Vermeule '50, Ph.D '56, among others.

The invitation to participate in the Symposium attracted superb scholars. The committee was particularly proud of the wide geographic spread of the scholars (from Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Holland, Germany, England and Canada) who described material in the field of painting most recently excavated.

Subject matter ranged from the Bronze Age Paintings in Egypt and Cretan tombs and palaces, Etruscan tombs, Anatolian and Lydian Paintings in Turkey, pre-Hellenistic and Alexandrian Paintings in Mace-donia and Thrace (Bulgaria), to the recent finds in the House" of the Roman Emperor Nero. Visually amazing was the photo analytic technology applied to Greek marble sculpture demonstrated by Vinzenz Brinkmann of the Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptotek, Munich, who presented some of the most astonishing results of his applications of the technique. To gasps of amazement from his audience, he revealed completely unsuspected, startlingly colorful, exotic costumes on what were heretofore believed to be uncolored Greek marble figures.

Phyllis Pray Bober adroitly summarized the preceding papers and demonstrated a solid link and train of evidence between ancient Roman painting and architecture well into the Renaissance world, in particular the plan for Raphael's Villa Madama in Rome and its links to the past. Doreen Canaday Spitzer '36 concluded the session, recounting memories of Mary H. Swindler at Bryn Mawr, as a teacher, scholar, writer, longtime distinguished editor of the American Journal of Archaeology, and warm, hospitable friend.

The first day of the symposium was held at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, the second day at Bryn Mawr, where scholars were housed in Wyndham and dined in its restaurant. An exhibition of enlargements from the slides of the most interesting of the material accompanied the event.

Happily, Mary Hamilton Swindler can continue to be honored for some years more, as the generosity of the Donors plus the efficient management of funds has made possible the establishment of the Mary Hamilton Swindler Prize of $5000, to be awarded annually (until the funds are exhausted) to a deserving candidate in the field of Ancient Painting in the Mediterranean and the Near East.

Women have pioneered in the field of ancient painting, and it is a matter of pride to us that Bryn Mawr women, especially, have been leaders.

cover icon Return to Summer 2001 highlights