After William Warder Cadbury’s marriage to Catharine Balderston Jones, they had three children: Jane, Emma, and Catharine. Jane ends up at Wellesley, Emma at Bryn Mawr, and, at this point in my reading, Catharine is presumably still in Canton with her parents as she is not yet college-aged. I’ve been reading Jane’s letters to Emma (or, Erm, affectionately) while they’re at school. The sisters address the envelopes rather charmingly with the recipient’s name, dorm building, and city/state, instead of today’s standard of street number, street, city, state, and zip code. Because of this, I found out that Emma lived in Denbigh, which some of you might be familiar with, and Jane lived in Norumbega Cottage on Wellesley’s campus. They talk about classes, boys, family, China and other world news, and social activities on campus.
In a letter dated November 14, 1937, Jane describes “Freshman hazing day” at Wellesley. (By comparison, Bryn Mawr has Hell Week. WEEK.) She describes the punishment for not knowing the freshman songs: one girl had to “push a half onion down the [aisle] with her nose” while another was made to “scrub the floor with a tooth brush.” Sounds pretty tame compared to the stores I’ve heard from my fellow Mawrtyrs (Mawrters?).
Jane goes on to talk about hockey games and choir try-outs, and then she mentions going to a tea given by the Cosmopolitan Club for MIT foreign students. Wellesley’s Cosmopolitan Club of 1937 is probably most analogous with modern-day Haverford’s International Students Association. (side note: Just as I was looking up the ISA’s link on the Haverford website, I noticed this news–how pertinent to this post, and how exciting for Professor Tensuan!) Jane says that since she came from China, she’s automatically a member of the club.
Reading Jane’s letters is a lot of fun–it’s easy to see similarities between her and some of my own friends. She is definitely a typical college woman, but with an extraordinary family history.