Dean of Wives


The poor unmarried undergraduate who meets nothing but impersonality from the great Harvard bureaucracy should get married. "Harvard Wives" gives motherly advice on everything from raising chinchillas to training horses. Mrs. Myles Baker, a graying, sympathetic lady, has personally listened, to the problems of twelve thousand couples since Dean Bender established her office in January 1946. "They didn't expect 'Harvard Wives' to last more than two years," she states proudly, "but we were in such demand even after the GI's left, that Harvard couldn't do without us."

As if to prove her point the phone rang..."Certainly, Mrs. Williamson, I remember you, yes, I think we con get someone to take your baby this week. Have a good time." Seeing I was slightly bewildered, she explained, "She's a darling, finally taking a vacation, wants another Harvard wife to take care of her baby; but that kind of a thing is just part of the job."

Mrs. Baker took over the newly-created Bureau for Veterans' Wives after being a personnel manager in a local factory during the war. Then located in temporary quarters in Longfellow Hall, Mrs. Baker took into her confidence almost two thousand married GI's. "What a wonderful bunch they were, mature, all the wives willing to work!" But she quickly added, "They're all dears, though."

Sighing about the continued activity of her office, she surmised, "With all the uncertainty in the world, more and more young people want to get married. These undergraduates are usually our biggest problem because they just are not old enough to take on all the responsibility of getting an education and being married. But I really can't blame the poor children."

Besides running a small housing agency, the "Harvard Wives" finds employment for jobless wives, "You see, while the man's in college, the wife has to be the lead winner. It's soft of hard on her for a while but after be finishes his education she can relax,"


"Some girls really want strange jobs. Just the other day one came in here and said the only thing she liked to do was meat wrapping. I had quite a time pleasing her, but finally made her happy." Mrs. Baker gets wives from all over the world-Egyptian, Chilean, Chinese girls for whom she has to find jobs where English is not important.

Some things do stump Mrs. Baker and her assistant, Early this year a wife called and asked her to find a person who could take, care of her chinchillas which were sure to bring the struggling couple a fortune someday. Now her toughest assignment is trying to find somebody who wants to have horses trained because one of her "children" prefers this kind of job.

Mrs. Baker siged again: But we get just as many strange requests every day-it certainly is rewarding. I only wish we could do more for them. Of course, we can always recommend pediatricians, and reasonable places to shop, but we can't pay the bills." The phone rang once more, and a worried frown crossed her face, "Sorry we couldn't have more time together, but do come in if you ever need us."