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Elizabeth Rourke, Editor-in-Chief, 1939 Nutmeg

The Nutmeg Yearbook was first published in 1915, and its first woman editor-in-chief was Elizabeth Rourke, a member of the Class of 1939. Hers was the last graduating class of Connecticut Agricultural College. A month after her June graduation, her alma mater became the University of Connecticut.

-Mark J. Roy, University Communications (retired)

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In 1914 Congress created the Cooperative Extension System at USDA which included the work of boys’ and girls’ clubs established to support rural youth and to introduce new agricultural technology to the community.  The clubs were formalized nationally as 4-H (Head, Heart, Hand and Health) Clubs. By 1922, “health took hold in the 4-H program with a health contest in which State Leaders were invited to have their youth select the boy and girl from their delegations whom they deemed healthiest. These candidates were thoroughly examined by physicians from the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund, a health foundation. The idea of presenting a farm boy and a farm girl as the ‘healthiest in the United States’ had an appeal that fired journalistic imaginations and won headlines….the health contest produced more newspaper and magazine space than any other single feature – and in spite of its defects- the contest focused attention on the importance of health to boys and girls. The contest waned after World War II, and the remaining programs in health seemed ‘vague and disparate’.” (From the National 4-H Headquarters Fact Sheet)

The lantern slides of Winners in Girls’ and Boys’ 4-H Club Health Contest, 1923 are part of the Albert E. Wilkinson Collection, Cooperative Extension Service Records.  Wilkinson began serving as Extension Vegetable Gardening Specialist in 1930 and performed the extension duties of the Horticulture Department at the University of Connecticut. Explore the collection guide for the Cooperative Extension Service Records.

Kristin Eshelman, Curator of Multimedia Collections

Student government began at Storrs Agricultural College in the 1890s, but it wasn’t until 1918 when a woman would serve as its leader. Gladys Dagget, who also made a first for women as business manager of the student newspaper in 1918, was president of the Students Organization that same year. When men returned from World War I, they resumed control of the student government. A separate Women’s Student Government Association was established in 1918, coordinating activities and campus life for women until 1971. After a change in the constitution of the male-run student government, Henrietta Spring, a member of the Class of 1945, was elected as its first woman president in 1944.

Women's Student Council, 1920-1921 Nutmeg

-Mark J. Roy, University Communications (retired)

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The family of the late Coleen Salley have donated James Marshall’s book dummy for his “The Cut-ups cut loose” to the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. The charming, 32-page dummy is accompanied by a letter from Mr. Marshall to Ms. Salley with a note about “our little book.” The dummy is black and white with some color on the title page. The book was published in 1987 by Viking Kestrel and is dedicated to Ms. Salley. This piece is the only item in the Marshall Papers for this title. Thank you, Salley Family, for this important addition to the NCLC.

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator

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