Committee of Nine records
Scope and Contents
Committee of Nine records were collected and organized by Alva Morrison, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Committee of Nine. The records contain minutes, correspondence, reports, petitions, questionnaires, surveys, speeches, lists, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, and publications relating to qualifications of Mary Emma Woolley's successor as President of Mount Holyoke and to the controversy over the selection of Roswell Gray Ham as the first man to fill that position at the College. Correspondence comprises the bulk of these records and consists of letters by and to Committee members, other trustees, and Mount Holyoke alumnae, faculty, and staff. These letters express approval or disapproval over the selection of Roswell Gray Ham as President and discuss various aspects of the controversy over his appointment. Correspondents include Frances Perkins (Class of 1902) and other Mount Holyoke trustees, Mary Emma Woolley; faculty members Amy Elizabeth Adams and Ann Haven Morgan; College administrator Harriet Newhall; and educators Marjorie Nichols; Meta Glass; Maude Titus White; and Millicent Carey McIntosh. Also in the collection is a copy of a letter that Woolley wrote to a trustee, Elbert A. Harvey, concerning a proposal that Mount Holyoke faculty members take a temporary cut in salary to balance the College's budget and two speeches by Alva Morrison discussing the impact of the economic depression on Mount Holyoke. In addition, the collection contains articles from the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly and newspaper clippings pertaining to Ham's appointment and the surrounding controversy.
- Creation: 1933-1937
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Use of the collection is governed by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S.C.).
The Committee of Nine was established in 1935 as an enlarged version of the Committee of Four, which had been formed in 1934 to select a successor for Mary Emma Woolley as President of Mount Holyoke College. Trustees serving on the Committee were Lottie Bishop (Class of 1906), Howell Cheney, Paul Davis, Edgar Furniss, Henry P. Kendall, Rowena Keyes (Class of 1902), Mary Hume Maguire (Class of 1918), and Helene Pope Whitman (Class of 1904), and Alva Morrison, Chairman of the Board. The Committee solicited faculty opinions about Mount Holyoke's next president through the Faculty Conference Committee and alumnae opinions through the Alumnae Association. Opinions differed sharply as to whether the new president should be a woman or a man. In October of 1936, Amy Rowland (Class of 1893 and former College Trustee) instigated a writing campaign against the appointment of a man to the position. The appointment of Roswell G. Ham as Woolley's successor was announced in June of 1936. In November of the same year, Carolyn D. Smiley (Class of 1912) began a second writing campaign to protest the appointment of Ham, who became President of Mount Holyoke College in the fall of 1937.
1.04 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
Records of the Committee of Nine, established as the Committee of Four in 1934 to select a successor for Mary Emma Woolley as President of Mount Holyoke College and enlarged to nine members in 1935, consist of minutes, correspondence, reports, petitions, questionnaires, surveys, speeches, lists, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases, and publications. Most materials concern the controversy over the selection of Roswell Gray Ham as Mount Holyoke's first male president.
History of the Collection
These records were sent to Mount Holyoke College by Alva Morrison, President of the Board of Trustees from 1934-1941, in 1958. In her book Miss Marks and Miss Woolley (1978), Anna Mary Wells incorrectly stated that this "packet" of records, which President Richard Glenn Gettell decided would be closed to researchers until 1999, was given to the College by Jeannette Marks.
Processed by Patricia J. Albright, 2007. Peter Carini and Juliana Kuipers assisted with the arrangement and description of these records from 1999-2002.
Genre / Form
- corporation records
- minutes (administrative records)
- speeches (documents)
- College presidents -- Massachusetts -- South Hadley
- Depressions -- 1933 -- Massachusetts -- South Hadley
- Mount Holyoke College -- Administration
- Mount Holyoke College -- Faculty
- Mount Holyoke College -- Presidents
- Mount Holyoke College -- Records and correspondence
- Mount Holyoke College Record Groups
- Women college presidents -- Massachusetts -- South Hadley
- Committee of Nine Records, 1933-1937
- Finding Aid
- Finding aid prepared by Patricia J. Albright.
- © 2007
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository
50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA