Student Opens Door Closed by Tradition, July 1971, page 2

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          [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.

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