Alice's Life and Times

Alice at Simmons College


Photograph of Main College Building

Young women attending Simmons College in the 1930s undoubtedly had a very different experience than the young women who attend today. Upon arrival to Simmons College, the young freshmen were encouraged to attend specially arranged outings to see the important sites of the Boston area (House of Paul Revere, Old Concord Bridge, Minute Man, and the House of Seven Gables). This not only gave the young ladies a chance to see the things that made (and still make!) the Boston area unique, but also gave them an opportunity to bond with their fellow classmates and the upperclassmen.

 


 


26 Francis Street

A September convocation was held each year, and Alice would have listened to President John Lefavour speak of the history, traditions, and mission of Simmons College to groom the new students into successful and independent young women. All students at Simmons were automatically part of Student Government, and in September of each year, a party was held on behalf of the organization.


Photograph of Betty Hanifen and Carol McGregory

Alice attended this party, and evidence of the tradition of wearing a white bib for other students to sign can be found in Alice's scrapbook. Alice also participated in the Freshman Frolic, in which students celebrated the end of childhood and the beginning of adult responsibilities by dressing up in children's clothes and playing children's games.


Outline entitled "Suggestions for incidental instruction," with marginalia

The rules and restrictions for Simmons College women were something that a student today would not be familiar with. Early curfews were strictly enforced, quiet times were to be obeyed, and women were forbidden to smoke on or near the campus or dormitory grounds.


Newspaper clipping: Mary Ellen Brown says

Students were expected to present themselves in a ladylike manner at all times, so as not to jeopardize the reputation of the school, and were prohibited from participating in activities like horseback riding, motoring, and canoeing. Students were also required to attend weekly assemblies to hear ten-minute addresses by Simmons faculty or official guests.