Bennington College

Bennington College Founding Documents

Bennington College Founding Documents

 

This collection consists of documents related to the early efforts to establish Bennington College and to articulate the college’s educational vision and financial plan. This collection also contains documents of the founders and early supporters of the college. The collection includes material created by/for members of the Board of Trustees, the Office of the President, and by individual founders and supporters of the college. Historical/Biographical Note: The history of Bennington College began when Vincent Ravi Booth, pastor of the Congregational Church in Old Bennington, proposed the founding of a college for women in Old Bennington at an informal meeting in 1923. In 1924, meetings in North Bennington and New York City drew enthusiastic responses and a vision of Bennington College began to form. The Bennington College Corporation and a Board of Trustees were formed to organize efforts for the college. The Board of Trustees appointed the first president of the college, Robert D. Leigh, in 1928. After the fund-raising goal was reached in 1931, the construction of college buildings began. The first class of students entered Bennington College in fall 1932. The early planning documents of the college and conference documents illustrate a desire to distance Bennington’s admissions requirements and educational plan from “traditional” examinations and curricula, and instead to pursue a “continuous and intelligent application of progressive educational thought to college practice.” Faculty-student cooperation, opportunity for specialization, individual attention and individualized plans of study, small-group teaching, and the inclusion of non-resident work are among the distinctive features of Bennington College highlighted in early correspondence and publications.

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  • Unknown author (Bennington College, 1929-12)
    The first revised edition of the Bennington College Educational Plan. "The plans for the College have been taking shape as a result of six years of interviews, conferences, public meetings, and surveys. Gradually these ...
  • Unknown author (Bennington College, 1928-12)
    The first edition of the Bennington College Educational Plan. "The plans for the College and the justification for its existence have gradually been taking shape as a result of six years of interviews, conferences, public ...
  • Unknown author (Bennington College, 1929-04)
    The first edition of the Bennington College Educational Plan. "The plans for the College and the justification for its existence have gradually been taking shape as a result of six years of interviews, conferences, public ...
  • Unknown author (Bennington College, 1931-01)
    The third edition of the Bennington College Educational Plan. "The plan to establish a new college for women at Bennington, Vermont, is in definite response to the general need for a thoroughgoing experiment in higher ...
  • Unknown author (Bennington College, 1931-01)
    The third edition of the Bennington College Educational Plan. "The plan to establish a new college for women at Bennington, Vermont, is in definite response to the general need for a thoroughgoing experiment in higher ...
  • Unknown author (Bennington College, 1929-10)
    The first edition of the Bennington College Educational Plan. "The plans for the College and the justification for its existence have gradually been taking shape as a result of six years of interviews, conferences, public ...
  • McCullough, Edith van Benthuysen (Bennington College, 1952)
    :18 Raising moneyfor the Bennington Scholarship Fund with concerts by Artur Schnabel (1932 & 1933); 8:45-9:04 Blank Space in recording; 9:56 Letter received from angry feminists regarding the hiring of a male president for ...
  • McCullough, Edith van Benthuysen (Bennington College, 1957)
    ..40 called the "project lady"; .99 "living in a sad, mysterious minded family"; 1.02 loss of family members; 2.30 "I went with him on his favorite walk through the slums of Albany, NY"; 4.00 project #1 - a Christmas ...
  • McCullough, Edith van Benthuysen (Bennington College, 1957-06)
    .59 "Dr. Booth wanted to start an educational center for girls.. the old inhabitants of the town were dying out and an educational center would bring in young life to the community.."; 1.30 Mr. James Colby Colgate to ...
  • Unknown author (1924-04)
    "In April 1924 the New York Committee arranged for a meeting of educators which was held at the Colony Club in New York City. Invitation were sent to the heads of preparatory schools, colleges and universities East of the ...
  • Ames, John Worthington; Dodge, Edwin Sherrill (1928)
    The date 1928 is approximate.
  • Dodge, Edwin Sherrill; Ames, John Worthington (1928)
    The date 1928 is approximate.
  • Brockway, Thomas (Bennington College, 1981)
    This is a historical account of Bennington College as seen through the eyes of Thomas Parmelee Brockway.
  • Burkhardt, Frederick H. (1955-04-04)
    President Frederick Burkhardt writes to Margaret Sawtell and encloses Edith McCullough's recollections on the early history and founding of Bennington College.
  • Burkhardt, Frederick H. (1955-05-13)
    President Frederick Burkhardt writes, "I know you will be very glad to read this letter from Dr. Kilpatrick." Kilpatrick's letter is responding to Edith McCullough's recollections of the early history and founding of ...
  • Kilpatrick, William H. (1955-05-10)
    William Kilpatrick responds to Edith McCullough's recollections on the early history and founding of Bennington College. He makes some corrections and states "I have read Mrs . McCullough' s ms . with great interest and ...
  • McCullough, Edith (1955-04-08)
    Edith McCullough writes to President Frederick Burkhardt in response to William Kilpatrick's notes and comments about Edith's recollections of the early founding and history of Bennington College.
  • Burkhardt, Frederick H. (1955-04-02)
    Burkhardt writes, "I am sending you two copies of your excellent history. I should like to suggest that you send a copy to Mrs.Joseph Swan and encourage her to comment on it and perhaps supplement it from her own experience."
  • Burkhardt, Frederick H. (1955-05-05)
    Burkhardt encloses Edith McCullough's recollections transcription to Kilpatrick and states, "I would appreciate your reading it and sending any comments you may have to me. If there are any inaccuracies of date or ...
  • Kilpatrick, William H. (1955-10)
    In response to a request from Bennington College President Frederick Burkhardt, William Kilpatrick describes the founding of the College, largely based on his diary entries from the time. There is a cover letter from ...

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