Student Opens Door Closed by Tradition, July 1971

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For news data 
 File 
 
 Barnard College 
 
 9/2
 Referred to: Kate Stimpson 
 From: Nora Percival 
 
 for reply 
 for recommendation 
 for appropriate action 
 for your information 
 for suggestions as to reply 
 to note and return 
 in accordance with your request 
 to file 
 
 [handwritten] This seems a good case for us to know about. Are we planning any sort of data file of such instances? 
[handwritten] Mount Holyoke NOW - July 1971
 
 Student Opens Door
 Closed By Tradition
 
 Late in the fall of 1970, Holly Sidford,
 Class of 1972, applied for a place in the
 summer research program for college
 undergraduate students at the Heritage
 Foundation, Deerfield. The reply to her
 letter said, “I am sorry to have to say
 that it [the program] is limited to only
 young men undergraduates, as the feel-
 ing prevails that they are more in need
 of learning about the opportunities in
 this field.”
 
 Holly Sidford was concerned enough
 to bring the letter to the attention of
 Marjorie S. Childers of the Department 
 of [...] and Anthropology, and 
 Charles H. Trout, whose course, Women
 in America, which Miss Sidford was
 taking, had made her particularly
 aware of the role and history of women.
 Both felt very strongly that the situation
 should not be ignored and Mr. Trout
 passed the letter on to William S.
 McFeely, dean of the faculty. Mr.
 McFeely wrote to the Heritage Foun-
 dation and his letter was answered ex-
 plaining that the policy was based on
 the fact that the funds to support the
 program were originally provided “to
 try to attract more young men into the
 field which for so many years has had
 more women interested in it than men.
 Nevertheless,” the letter continued, “at
 our next Trustees meeting in April, I
 will bring this matter before the Board
 for further consideration.”
 
 In January, an eloquent letter to the
 curator of the Heritage Foundation was
 sent in support of Miss Sidford’s position
 by Willie Lee Rose of the American
 Historical Association, who is chairman
 of their Committee on the Status of
 Women in the Profession. The letter
 was answered by the Heritage Foun-
 dation and explanation made that
 current procedures regarding the open-
 ing of the research program to female
 applicants would be discussed and
 perhaps altered at the forthcoming
 trustees meeting in April.
 
 On May 20 the curator wrote to
 Miss Sidford, “Yes indeed, the Foun-
 dation will accept female applications
 for the Summer Fellowship program of
 1972. This decision was voted at our
 Board of Trustees meeting on April 15.”
 
 Holly Sigford won’t be at Deerfield
 this year, but quietly, and with the
 support of clear-thinking men and
 women, something has changed.
 
 IRMA L. RABBINO, Editor
 Bulletin Series issued by Mount Holyoke
 College in September, October, Novem-
 ber, January, March, May, July.
 
 Second class postage paid at the Post
 Office at South Hadley, Mass. 01075
 Series 64: July 1971 No. 7