This year sees still another accession to the ranks of the colleges for women. Bryn Mawr College which was founded in 1879 by Dr. Joseph Taylor was completed and formally opened to students at the beginning of the present college year. This institution is situated on the Pennsylvania Railroad about ten miles from Philadelphia. It has at present three buildings, a lecture hall, a dormitory and a gymnasium, while still another dormitory is still to be erected. The site of the college is a high hill in the midst of that picturesque and undulating country near Bryn Mawr which is so deservedly popular among Philadelphians as a summer resort.
As this is its first year, the college is composed entirely of freshmen, about forty in number. There are thirteen instructors, of whom there are women. The president, Dr. Rhoads, believes in allowing the students to regulate their own conduct, and as yet has drawn up no "rules and regulations" respecting their conduct, so that all exercises, including chapel, are voluntary. So far this arrangement has worked very well and the faculty now believe that they will not find it necessary to resort to the more customary, but less ideal methods of college government.
The dormitory, Meriou Hall, has eighteen suits of three rooms each, besides thirteen single rooms, it contains also the dining-room where all students may board. The gymnasium is finished with Dr. Sargent's apparatus and is superintended by a directress who is well acquainted with his methods. The system of physical examinations is also in vogue.
The requirements for admission are much the same as those for Harvard, although French and German are taken as an equivalent for Greek. The course for the degree of Bachelor of Arts is expected to take four years, and is a combination of the curriculum, group and elective systems. Thus, while each student is required to pursue certain studies whose usefulness is acknowledged, she may as the same time by a proper choice of "groups" and "free electives" make out a general course embracing almost as great a variety of subjects as we have here at Harvard, or she may even specialize to a certain extent; while for students who desire to devote themselves entirely to one branch, a special course is always open.
With all these advantages for mental and physical culture, there seems to be no reason why Bryn Mawr College should not be as successful as are many of its older sister colleges.