Celebrating 125 Years of Women at MIT 1873 —1998

Critical Mass

Prof Widnall

In 1979, Professor Sheila Widnall '60 became the first woman to lead the MIT Faculty.

There were 82 women on the faculty. Women received about 13% of the degrees that year - 190 SBs, 100 Masters, and 35 Doctorates. About the same number of graduate degrees were awarded to women as had been granted in the 40's and 50's. But it was a remarkable change from only 15 years before, when only 30 degrees, about 1% of MIT's graduates, were awarded to women.

Between 1982 and 1989, AMITA and the Society of Women Engineers - Boston Section cosponsored annual professional development conferences for women in non traditional fields. AMITA President, Margaret Coleman Haas '50, chaired the conference committees. Planning sessions included Sandra Yulke '74, and Sarah Simon '72. F. Margaret Hickey '63, professor at the College of Art, designed many of the logos.

Mary Frances Wagley, '47

Professor Anne (Fetter) Friedlander '64 EC, was selected Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1984, the first woman to lead an MIT school.

Mary Francis Wagley '47 (Right) became the first woman President of the Alumni Association in 1984, and made it the "Year of the Woman".

In 1986 AMITA completed the endowment for the Ellen Swallow Richards Chair. Dr. Nancy A. Lynch '72 MA , held the chair in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

In 1990, AMITA developed the Oral History Project under the leadership of President Bonny S. Kellerman '72 PS. and former McCormick Housemaster Professor Marjorie Resnick, Spanish Literature. Under the auspices of UROP, student interviews preserve alumnae history. The Oral History Project was renamed the AMITA/MacVicar Memorial Oral History Project, in honor of the founder of UROP, Margaret MacVicar '65, shortly after her death in 1991.

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