The sweet girl graduate



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Introduction: At various times in this balmy month of June a vast army of sweet girl graduates will be sent forth from the many schools of our land. Among them all you will find no two alike. Yet I propose to treat of them all under this one leading, since it is the common expression used in speaking and writing of them. The general idea of the sweet girl graduate has changed materially in the last half century. And why? Simply because the girl herself has changed so much. Before she became known by this name was what might be called a “dark age” for women. Girls seemed to be rather a failure than otherwise, because there was nothing for them to do but to get married as soon as they had spun and woven themselves an “outfit”. But people and ideas were developing, and it came about that girls aspired to something better in the educational line than the few weeks in a year of primitive district school. So we hear of the first sweet girl graduates from Oberlin in 1840. This was there the only school in our broad land that admitted girls, and it took them through only what is now primary work. From here the idea spread, but very slowly.


Citation: Waugh, Fanny Elisabeth. The sweet girl graduate. Senior thesis, Kansas State Agricultural College, 1891.
Morse Department of Special Collections


Education, Graduate, Women, Primary school, Women's studies