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Elizabeth S. Billings was born in 1832, in Conway, Massachusetts and graduated from Ipswich Female Seminary. She had a distinguished career as teacher at Andover Seminary and Oberlin College, and Associate Principal of Abbott Academy. She married the Rev. Hiram Mead in 1858 and after his death became the first non-alumnae President of Mount Holyoke Seminary and College in 1890. During her ten-year tenure she directed the expansion of the curriculum, encouraged teachers to pursue advanced degrees and allowed students a measure of self-government. When the Seminary building was destroyed by a fire in 1896, Mead initiated an extensive building project (including the erection of Mary Lyon Hall in 1897) which became the foundation for the modern College. In 1901, a dormitory was named Mead Hall in her honor. She died in 1917.
Personal and professional information in the records of Elizabeth S. Mead includes correspondence from 1893-1912; biographical materials which consist of a genealogy, profiles, news clippings, tributes and obituaries; publications, including a bound volume of religious writings and a memorial address delivered by Mead; and photographs. The records provide information on Mead's life at the College, particularly the extensive rebuilding which she orchestrated. The memorial address is on a former Principal of the Seminary, Sophia Hazen [Stoddard]. Included is a memorial on a cousin of Mead's, Mary Elwell Storrs.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Office of the President, Elizabeth Storrs Mead Records, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370 Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm