Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College is a women's
Women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...

 liberal arts college
Liberal arts colleges in the United States
Liberal arts colleges in the United States are certain undergraduate institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers a definition of the liberal arts as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general...

 located in Bryn Mawr
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Bryn Mawr from Welsh for "big hill") is a census-designated place in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia along Lancaster Avenue and the border with Delaware County...

, a community in Lower Merion Township
Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Lower Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and part of the Pennsylvania Main Line. As of the 2010 census, the township had a total population of 57,825...

, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, ten miles west of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

. The name "Bryn Mawr" means "big hill" in Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...


Bryn Mawr is one of the Seven Sister colleges
Seven Sisters (colleges)
The Seven Sisters are seven liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. They are Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College. All were founded between 1837 and...

, and is part of the Tri-College Consortium
Tri-College Consortium
The Tri-College Consortium consists of three private liberal arts colleges in the Philadelphia suburbs: Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College and Swarthmore College. The consortium allows students to cross register for courses at the other colleges. Haverford enjoys an especially close relationship...

 along with two other colleges founded by Quakers—Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

 and Haverford College
Haverford College
Haverford College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States, a suburb of Philadelphia...

. The school has an enrollment of about 1300 undergraduate students and 450 graduate students.


Bryn Mawr College a highly selective, private, women's liberal arts college and was founded in 1885. It is named after the town of Bryn Mawr in which the campus is located, which had been named by a representative of the Pennsylvania Railroad who found the name in some old records. Bryn Mawr was the name of an area estate granted to Rowland Ellis
Rowland Ellis
Rowland Ellis was a Welsh Quaker leader.Ellis was the owner of the farm of Bryn Mawr near Dolgellau. He became a Quaker, along with a number of other inhabitants of Dolgellau, after a visit to the town by George Fox in 1657. As a result of religious persecution, he and others emigrated to...

 by William Penn
William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

 in the 1680s. Ellis's former home, also called Bryn Mawr, was a house near Dolgellau
Dolgellau is a market town in Gwynedd, north-west Wales, lying on the River Wnion, a tributary of the River Mawddach. It was the county town of the former county of Merionethshire .-History and economy:...

, Merionnydd (Merioneth), Gwynedd
Gwynedd is a county in north-west Wales, named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd. Although the second biggest in terms of geographical area, it is also one of the most sparsely populated...

, Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. The College was largely founded through the bequest of Joseph W. Taylor, and its first president was James Evans Rhoads. Bryn Mawr was the first higher education institution to offer graduate degrees, including doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

s, to women. The first class included 36 undergraduate women and eight graduate students. Bryn Mawr was originally affiliated with the Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

 (Quakers), but by 1893 had become non-denominational. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked it 25th in Best Liberal Arts Colleges.

The College will celebrate its 125th anniversary of "bold vision, for women, for the world" during the 2010–2011 academic year. In September 2010, Bryn Mawr will host an international conference on issues of educational access, equity, and opportunity in secondary schools and universities in the United States and around the world. Other festivities planned for the anniversary year include publication of a commemorative book on 125 years of student life, and, in partnership with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Mural Arts Program
Mural Arts Program
Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program was founded in 1984, as a sub division of the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network , led by Jane Golden. Prior to the Mural Arts Program operating as its own entity its roots were founded in a meeting between Spencer and Golden in 1984 where Golden asked to run a...

, creation of a mural in West Philadelphia highlighting advances in women's education.

In 1912, Bryn Mawr became the first college in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to offer doctorates in social work
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

, through the Department of Social Economy and Social Research. This department became the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in 1970. In 1931, Bryn Mawr began accepting men as graduate students, while remaining women-only at the undergraduate level.

From 1921 to 1938 the Bryn Mawr campus was home to the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, which was founded as part of the labor education movement and the women's labor movement. The school taught women workers political economy, science, and literature, as well as organizing many extracurricular activities.

A June 3, 2008, article in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

discussed the move by women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...

 to promote their schools in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. The article noted that in doing so, the schools promote the work of graduates of women's colleges such as Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

, Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life...

, Diane Sawyer
Diane Sawyer
Lila Diane Sawyer is the current anchor of ABC News' flagship program, ABC World News. Previously, Sawyer had been co-anchor of ABC Newss morning news program, Good Morning America ....

, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 (Bryn Mawr Class of 1928) and Madeleine Albright. The Dean of Admissions of Bryn Mawr noted, "We still prepare a disproportionate number of women scientists [...] We’re really about the empowerment of women and enabling women to get a top-notch education." The article also contrasted the difference between women's colleges in the Middle East and "the American colleges [which] for all their white-glove history and academic prominence, are liberal strongholds where students fiercely debate political action, gender identity and issues like “heteronormativity
Heteronormativity is a term invented in 1991 to describe any of a set of lifestyle norms that hold that people fall into distinct and complementary genders with natural roles in life. It also holds that heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation, and states that sexual and marital relations...

”, the marginalizing of standards that are other than heterosexual. Middle Eastern students who already attend these colleges tell of a transition that can be jarring."

In 1918, Bryn Mawr College was a mysterious "influenza escape" community, having 110 cases of influenza, but zero deaths.

College presidents

  • 1885–1894 James E. Rhoads
  • 1894–1922 M. Carey Thomas
    M. Carey Thomas
    Martha Carey Thomas was an American educator, suffragist, and second President of Bryn Mawr College.-Early life:...

  • 1922–1942 Marion Edwards Park
  • 1942–1970 Katharine Elizabeth McBride
  • 1970–1978 Harris L. Wofford
  • 1978–1997 Mary Patterson McPherson
    Mary Patterson McPherson
    Mary Patterson McPherson is the current Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society, and former President of Bryn Mawr College.McPherson received her B.A. and L.L.D. from Smith College, her M.A. from the University of Delaware, and her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College...

  • 1997–2008 Nancy J. Vickers
    Nancy J. Vickers
    Nancy J. Vickers was the seventh president of Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, a position she held from 1997 until 2008. During her tenure, she was referred to as 'Nancy J.' by the students there. She announced her intention to step down as president of the college in June 2008...

  • 2008–present Jane Dammen McAuliffe


Bryn Mawr's library holdings are housed in the Mariam Coffin Canaday Library (opened 1970), the Rhys Carpenter Library (opened 1997), and the Lois and Reginald Collier Science Library (opened 1993). TRIPOD, the online library catalog, automatically accesses holdings at Haverford and Swarthmore.

The majority of Bryn Mawr students live on campus in residence halls. Many of the older residence halls were designed by Cope & Stewardson
Cope & Stewardson
Cope & Stewardson was an architecture firm best known for its academic building and campus designs. The firm is often regarded as a Master of the Collegiate Gothic style. Walter Cope and John Stewardson established the firm in 1885, and were later joined by Emlyn Stewardson in 1887...

 and are known for their Collegiate Gothic architecture, modeled after Cambridge University. Each is named after a county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 in Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

: Brecon
Brecon is a long-established market town and community in southern Powys, Mid Wales, with a population of 7,901. It was the county town of the historic county of Brecknockshire; although its role as such was eclipsed with the formation of Powys, it remains an important local centre...

, Denbigh
Denbigh is a market town and community in Denbighshire, Wales. Before 1888, it was the county town of Denbighshire. Denbigh lies 8 miles to the north west of Ruthin and to the south of St Asaph. It is about 13 miles from the seaside resort of Rhyl. The town grew around the glove-making industry...

 (1891), Merion (1885), and Radnor
New Radnor
New Radnor is a village in Powys, mid Wales. It was the original county town of Radnorshire. The population today is around 400, a higher than normal proportion of which are pensioners...

 (1887). Pembroke East and West (1892). Rhoads North and South was named after the college's first president, James E. Rhoads; Rockefeller is named after its donor, John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller was an American oil industrialist, investor, and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of...

. The newest residence halls are Erdman (opened 1965, designed by architect Louis Kahn
Louis Kahn
Louis Isadore Kahn was an American architect, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935...

) and the Haffner Language and Culture House (opened 1971). In addition, students may choose to live in Perry House (the Black Cultural Center) or Batten House (an environmentally-friendly co-op). Glenmede (formerly graduate student housing) is an estate located about a half mile from the main campus which was available housing for undergraduate students. In 2007, it was sold to a conservation buyer as the annual costs of upkeep were too great for the college.

The campus was designed in part by noted landscape designers Calvert Vaux
Calvert Vaux
Calvert Vaux , was an architect and landscape designer. He is best remembered as the co-designer , of New York's Central Park....

 and Frederick Law Olmsted
Frederick Law Olmsted
Frederick Law Olmsted was an American journalist, social critic, public administrator, and landscape designer. He is popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture, although many scholars have bestowed that title upon Andrew Jackson Downing...

, and has subsequently been designated an arboretum
An arboretum in a narrow sense is a collection of trees only. Related collections include a fruticetum , and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly, today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study...

 (the Bryn Mawr Campus Arboretum
Bryn Mawr Campus Arboretum
Bryn Mawr Campus Arboretum is an arboretum located across the campus of Bryn Mawr College, 101 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is open daily without charge....


Blanca Noel Taft Memorial Garden

In 1908, John C. Olmsted designed a private garden for M. Carey Thomas
M. Carey Thomas
Martha Carey Thomas was an American educator, suffragist, and second President of Bryn Mawr College.-Early life:...

 adjoining the Deanery. The garden was later modified and renamed as the Blanca Noel Taft Memorial Garden. It currently exists as a small, serene enclosure with two wall fountains, one with a small basin and the other with a sunken reflecting pool, as well as a statuary based on designs Thomas and Garrett had seen in Italy. The decorative wall tiles, placed above the smaller wall fountain and basin, were purchased from Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....


Erdman Hall Dormitory

In 1960, architect Louis I. Kahn and Bryn Mawr College president, Katharine McBride, came together to create the Erdman Hall dormitory.

For over a year, Kahn and his assistants struggled to translate the college’s design program of 130 student rooms and public spaces into a scheme (well documented by the letters written between McBride and Kahn). The building comprises three geometrical square structures, connected at their corners. The outer walls are formed by interlocking student rooms around three inner public spaces: the entry hall, dining hall and living hall. These spaces receive light from towering light monitors.

The Marjorie Walter Goodhart Theater

The Marjorie Walter Goodhart Theater houses a vaulted auditorium
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie theaters, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the number of screens.- Etymology :...

 designed by Arthur Meigs, two smaller spaces that are ideal for intimate performances by visiting artists, practice rooms for student musicians, and the Office for the Arts. The building's towers and gables
Gables may refer to:* Gables, portion of walls between the lines of sloping roofs* Ken Gables , Major League Baseball pitcher* Gables, Nebraska, an unincorporated community in the United States...

, friezes, carvings and ornamental ironwork were designed by Samuel Yellin
Samuel Yellin
Samuel Yellin , American master blacksmith, was born in Galicia Poland where at the age of eleven he was apprenticed to an iron master. By the age of sixteen he had completed his apprenticeship. During that period he gained the nickname of "Devil," both for his work habits and his sense of humor...

 in the gothic revival style. In the fall of 2009, the College completed a $19 million renovation of Goodhart, which included expanded stage and rehearsal space, updated sound and lighting, a teaching theater, and renovated seating for audiences.

M. Carey Thomas Library

Named after Bryn Mawr's first Dean and second president, the M. Carey Thomas Library was used as a library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

 until 1970, when Mariam Coffin Canaday Library opened. Today, it is a space for performances, readings, lectures, and public gatherings. The Great Hall (formerly the reading room of the old Library) was designed by Walter Cope (of Cope and Stewardson) in 1901 and built by Stewardson and Jamieson several years later, although M. Carey Thomas
M. Carey Thomas
Martha Carey Thomas was an American educator, suffragist, and second President of Bryn Mawr College.-Early life:...

 played a large part in its construction. M. Carey Thomas Library encloses a large open courtyard called "The Cloisters", which is the site of the College's traditional Lantern Night ceremony. The cremated remains of M. Carey Thomas and Emmy Noether
Emmy Noether
Amalie Emmy Noether was an influential German mathematician known for her groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Described by David Hilbert, Albert Einstein and others as the most important woman in the history of mathematics, she revolutionized the theories of...

 are in the courtyard cloister. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 in 1991.

Rhys Carpenter Art and Archaeology Library

Named for Bryn Mawr’s late professor of Classical Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, the Rhys Carpenter Library was designed by Henry Myerberg of New York and opened in 1997. The space is attached to the rear of the M. Carey Thomas Library. The entrance is a four story atrium
Atrium (architecture)
In modern architecture, an atrium is a large open space, often several stories high and having a glazed roof and/or large windows, often situated within a larger multistory building and often located immediately beyond the main entrance doors...

. Names of art and archaeology faculty are on the main wall with a frieze
thumb|267px|Frieze of the [[Tower of the Winds]], AthensIn architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon...

 of plaster casts from ancient Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. Most of the stacks, study areas, lecture halls and seminar rooms were built underground. The roof comprises a wide grassy area used for outdoor concerts and picnics. The building won a 2001 Award of Excellence for Library Architecture from the Library Administration and Management Association and the American Institute of Architects. Carpenter Library also houses the College's renowned collections in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, History of Art and Classics. The building also contains a large lecture hall and a seminar room.


Bryn Mawr undergraduates largely govern themselves in academic and social matters via the Self-Governance Association. A significant aspect of self-government is the Academic Honor System (honor code
Honor code
An honour code or honour system is a set of rules or principles governing a community based on a set of rules or ideals that define what constitutes honorable behavior within that community. The use of an honor code depends on the idea that people can be trusted to act honorably...

). The Honor Code is a set of principles that stress mutual respect and academic integrity. Students ratify the code each year, agree to adhere to it, and enforce its provisions.

Along with Haverford College
Haverford College
Haverford College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States, a suburb of Philadelphia...

, Bryn Mawr forms the Bi-College Community. Students in the "Bi-Co" enjoy unlimited cross-registration privileges and may choose to major at the other institution. The two institutions join with Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

 to form the Tri-College Consortium, opening the Swarthmore course catalog to interested Bryn Mawr students as well. Free shuttles are provided between the three campuses. There is the Blue Bus between Bryn Mawr and Haverford College, and a van, known to the students as the "Swat Van", that travels among the three colleges.

In addition, the College is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 through a special association known as the Quaker Consortium
Quaker Consortium
The Quaker Consortium is an arrangement between three liberal arts colleges, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and one research university, the University of Pennsylvania, in the greater Philadelphia area...

, allowing Bryn Mawr students to take classes there. Additionally, Bryn Mawr students in the Growth and Structure of Cities department may earn a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 at Bryn Mawr and a master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 in city planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 at Penn through the 3–2 Program in City and Regional Planning.


Bryn Mawr is a small, four year, highly residential baccalaureate college. Although the college offers several graduate programs, the majority of enrollments are from students enrolled in the undergraduate arts & sciences program. The college granted 331 bachelor's degrees, 106 master's degrees, and 21 doctoral degrees in 2009.

Students at Bryn Mawr are required to complete divisional requirements in the social sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, natural sciences (including lab skills) and humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

. In addition, they must fulfill a one-year foreign language
Foreign language
A foreign language is a language indigenous to another country. It is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e. an English speaker living in Japan can say that Japanese is a foreign language to him or her...

 requirement, a quantitative skills requirement and an Emily Balch Seminar requirement. The Emily Balch Seminars are similar to courses in freshman composition at other institutions. The seminars stress development of critical thinking skills and are discussion-based, with "intensive reading and writing."

Admission to Bryn Mawr is classified as "more selective, lower transfer in." In 2009, Bryn Mawr received 2,276 undergraduate applications, admitted 1107 (48.6%), and enrolled 362 (32.7%). First year students had interquartile ranges of 600–700 on reading, 580–680 on math, and 620–700 on writing on the SAT
The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in the United States. It was formerly developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service which still...

. The four-year graduation rate is 81.4% and the six-year rate is 86.3%. The student body comprises 1,283 female undergraduate students and the graduate program comprises 464 graduate students (21.3% of them male).


The four major traditions are Parade Night, which traditionally took place on the first day of classes each academic year; Lantern Night, which takes place in late October or early November; Hell Week, which takes place in mid-February; and May Day, which takes place on the Sunday after classes end in the spring semester. Step Sings, when students bring their class lanterns and congregate at Taylor Hall, singing songs such as "Bread and Roses
Bread and Roses
The slogan "Bread and Roses" originated in a poem of that name by James Oppenheim, published in The American Magazine in December 1911, which attributed it to "the women in the West." It is commonly associated with a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts during January-March 1912, now often...

", occur around these events as well.

The two Traditions Mistresses of the College, elected by the student body, are in charge of organizing and running traditions.

In addition to events, Bryn Mawr's traditions extend to superstitions around the campus, some of which date back to the opening of the college in 1885.


Bryn Mawr has signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, and in doing so, the school agreed to make all new buildings comply with a LEED silver standard or higher; to purchase Energy Star products whenever possible; and to provide and encourage the use of public transportation. The school's dining halls strive to be environmentally sustainable by working to expand their local and organic offerings, recycling in all dining areas, and recycling used fry oil as bio-diesel fuel. The dining halls previously offered biodegradable takeout containers, but reverted to Styrofoam in the 2009/10 academic year. Additionally, all leftover food is donated to a local food bank. On the College Sustainability Report Card 2009, published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, Bryn Mawr received a C+. The school's highest category score was an A in Investment Priorities, since Bryn Mawr invests in renewable energy funds, but the score was brought down by lower grades in categories like Green Building (in which the school earned a D, since the campus currently features no green buildings).


Bryn Mawr fields intercollegiate teams in swimming, badminton, basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, rugby, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The badminton team won national intercollegiate championships in 1996 and 2008. The mascot of the college is the owl, the symbol of Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom.

Notable alumnae and faculty

A large number of Bryn Mawr alumnae have gone on to become notable in their respective fields. The list includes Drew Gilpin Faust
Drew Gilpin Faust
Catherine Drew Gilpin Faust is an American historian, college administrator, and the president of Harvard University. Faust is the first woman to serve as Harvard's president and the university's 28th president overall. Faust is the fifth woman to serve as president of an Ivy League university, and...

, the first woman president of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

; Hanna Holborn Gray
Hanna Holborn Gray
Hanna Holborn Gray , is a historian of political thought in the area of the Renaissance and Reformation, and an emerita professor and former President of the University of Chicago.-Biography:...

, the first woman president of a major research university (University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

); modernist poets H.D.
H.D. was an American poet, novelist and memoirist known for her association with the early 20th century avant-garde Imagist group of poets such as Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington...

, Karl Kirchwey
Karl Kirchwey
Karl Kirchwey is a prize–winning American poet who has lived in both Europe and the United States and whose work is strongly influenced by the Greek and Roman past. He often looks to the classical world for inspiration with themes which have included loss, loneliness, nostalgia and modern...

 and Marianne Moore
Marianne Moore
Marianne Moore was an American Modernist poet and writer noted for her irony and wit.- Life :Moore was born in Kirkwood, Missouri, in the manse of the Presbyterian church where her maternal grandfather, John Riddle Warner, served as pastor. She was the daughter of mechanical engineer and inventor...

; classics scholar Edith Hamilton
Edith Hamilton
Edith Hamilton was an American educator and author who was "recognized as the greatest woman Classicist". She was sixty-two years old when The Greek Way, her first book, was published in 1930...

; social activist and feminist Grace Lee Boggs
Grace Lee Boggs
Grace Lee Boggs is an author, lifelong social activist and feminist. She is known for her years of political collaboration with C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya in the 1940s and 1950s. She eventually went off in her own political direction in the 1960s with her husband of some forty years, James...

; Nobel Peace Prize winner Emily Greene Balch
Emily Greene Balch
Emily Greene Balch was an American academic, writer, and pacifist who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 , notably for her work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom .Born in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston into an affluent family, she was amongst the first...

; geneticist Nettie Stevens
Nettie Stevens
Nettie Maria Stevens was an early American geneticist. She and Edmund Beecher Wilson were the first researchers to describe the chromosomal basis of sex....

; artist Anne Truitt
Anne Truitt
Anne Truitt was a major American artist of the mid-20th century; she is associated with both minimalism and Color Field artists like Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland....

; federal judge Ilana Rovner
Ilana Rovner
Ilana Kara Diamond Rovner is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She was nominated by President George H.W. Bush on July 2, 1992, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 12, 1992. Rovner was sworn in on August 17, 1992...

 and Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

's first woman criminal defence lawyer Vera Parsons; economist Alice Rivlin
Alice Rivlin
Alice Mitchell Rivlin is an economist, a former U.S. Cabinet official, and an expert on the budget. She has served as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the first Director of the Congressional Budget Office...

; Julia Kagan, Health Editor for Ladies Home Journal, and HLN personal finance reporter Jennifer Westhoven
Jennifer Westhoven
Jennifer Westhoven is a correspondent for HLN, formerly known as CNN Headline News. She covers the economy, business, personal finance and money topics. She has been with the CNN network since 2000, starting with CNNfn. Since 2006, she has been a part of the HLN Morning Show "Robin & Company",...

; author Joan Borysenko; history professor Alison Fletcher; and the notable movie actress Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...


Notable faculty include Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, Edmund Beecher Wilson
Edmund Beecher Wilson
Edmund Beecher Wilson was a pioneering American zoologist and geneticist. He wrote one of the most famous textbooks in the history of modern biology, The Cell.- Career :...

, Thomas Hunt Morgan
Thomas Hunt Morgan
Thomas Hunt Morgan was an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and embryologist and science author who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for discoveries relating the role the chromosome plays in heredity.Morgan received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in zoology...

, mathematician Emmy Noether
Emmy Noether
Amalie Emmy Noether was an influential German mathematician known for her groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Described by David Hilbert, Albert Einstein and others as the most important woman in the history of mathematics, she revolutionized the theories of...

, classicist Richmond Lattimore
Richmond Lattimore
Richmond Alexander Lattimore was an American poet and translator known for his translations of the Greek classics, especially his versions of the Iliad and Odyssey, which are generally considered as among the best English translations available.Born to David and Margaret Barnes Lattimore in...

, the Spanish philosopher José Ferrater Mora, and the 10th president of Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar College is a liberal arts women's college in Sweet Briar, Virginia, about north of Lynchburg, Virginia. The school's Latin motto translates as: "She who has earned the rose may bear it."...

 Jo Ellen Parker.

External links

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