When President Rhoads was planning to retire, he told the college's trustees that he wished M. Carey Thomas to succeed him. With a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a PhD from the prestigious University of Zurich, Thomas already had served for ten years as Dean of the College and as a Professor of English. Absolutely determined that women deserved and were capable of an education equal both in breadth and depth to that available to men, Thomas was instrumental in creating a European-style curriculum that encouraged original research and advanced study. For over a quarter of a century, President Thomas refined the curriculum and academic programs, oversaw the creation the Graduate Department of Social Economy and Social Research, and attracted talented scholars to teach and conduct research at Bryn Mawr. She promoted the creation of student scholarships and fellowships and encouraged the creation of the college's Self-Government Association. On her retirement she said, "One of the chief causes of my happiness has been the many children of the spirit that have gone out from Bryn Mawr in whom I feel that I have a little share and shall have a share as long as I live."