Light on the hill: A history of Tufts College, 1852-1952

Miller, Russell


Other parts of the College on the Hill during the Cousens administration led a much more placid existence than fell to the lot of the engineering school. After the campus had returned to something resembling routine in 1920, Jackson College maintained the increased enrollment that had marked the war years. The most important administrative changes were the creation of the office of vice-dean in 1922, which was capably occupied by Mrs. Caroline M. Robinson, and the resignation of Dean Davies after fifteen years of service as the first head of the women's division.[59]  A joint Trustee- faculty committee was appointed in the winter of 1924 to find a successor. Tufts was fortunate in its choice. Miss Edith Linwood Bush came from a family overflowing with Tufts graduates and was herself a member of the Class of 1903. She had served as housemistress at Start House for many years before assuming the deanship in 1925 and had taught mathematics since her initial appointment in 1920.[60]  She served Jackson College and the Tufts community with devotion and high competency for a quarter of a century - the longest tenure of any dean of Jackson for its first fifty years. The contributions of this distinguished graduate with honors in mathematics and French were well put when her Alma Mater awarded her the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 1942. "As a wise leader in our campus life," the citation read, "you accomplish with quiet deftness the magic of solving constructively with mathematical exactness and sympathetic human insight the living problems of your important office."

President Cousens' policy of integrating all Hill divisions of the College was illustrated by his attempt to identify Jackson more closely with the rest of the institution. At his suggestion, a Trustee


committee investigated the possibility of changing the name of the women's division. The upshot of their deliberations was the decision to retain the name "Jackson College for Women" in compliance with both the wishes of Cornelia Maria Jackson and the legislative act that had created it in 1910, but to add in official publications and in publicity the subheading "The Department of Women in Tufts College." The history of Jackson College during Cousens' administration was notably stable. With a curriculum identical to that of the school of liberal arts, and with its own residential housing and administration, it lived a life of coexistence with remarkably little friction or crisis.

One important service for Jackson students, developed during Cousens' administration was an infirmary, which for forty years was located in a frame building constructed in 1894 as a fraternity house.[61]  Not until 1922 was Jackson served by a resident nurse, who spread her efforts over the seven dormitories then used for women and attempted to follow the instructions of as many as twelve doctors at a time who were called at the individual preference of the students. In 1927-28 the medical supervisor for the men was employed also to oversee the health needs of Jackson, assisted by one or two nurses.


[59] Mrs. Robinson served as acting dean for the second semester of 1921- 22. She was for many years supervisor of Metcalf Hall and Jackson dining facilities. The office of vice-dean was created in part as a means by which the College could express its appreciation for her services.

[60] It was at the time of her election as dean that the Dearborn house on Professors Row was set aside as the residence of the dean of women.

[61] This structure, on Sawyer Avenue, was built to house Heth Aleph Res, a divinity school fraternity. Between the late 1890's and 1915 it was used for various purposes, including faculty residence. It became a combined Jackson dormitory and infirmary in 1916 and was known as the Gamma House until it became a dormitory of the Eliot-Pearson (Nursery Training) School in 1955; thereafter it was known as Bartol House. For over a decade after Hooper House on Professors Row became the men's infirmary (in 1949), an enclosed passageway connected the two buildings so that the same nursing staff could serve both. Between 1933 and 1949, Hooper House was the headquarters for the Department of Education, and in 1956 it was made the University Infirmary.

  • Light on the Hill, the history of Tufts College, was published to coincide with the centennial of the institution in 1952. A second volume was published in 1986. This edition was created from the 1966 edition of Light on the Hill, Volume I.
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