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May 31, 1951

The director of the Mary Conover Mellon Foundation for the Advancement of Education since its founding in 1949, Dr. Carl Binger resigned, declaring in a report prepared for the board of trustees that he did not “believe a matriarchy provides a wholesome atmosphere in which students are likely to develop satisfactorily.” A statement from the college, accepting his resignation “with regret,” thanked Binger for his “knowledge, experience and enthusiasm,” and Katharine Blodgett Hadley ’20, chair of the board of trustees, praised his work on “getting the program started.”

Binger had urged the college to create a separate psychiatric and sociological department for student support and to increase the number of males and married couples on the faculty. Of the 195 members of the faculty, 139 were women, 119 of them unmarried. Nineteen of the 27 departments of instruction were headed by women.

The New York Times

Simultaneously with the college’s statement about Dr. Binger’s resignation, the public was informed of the most substantial accomplishment to date of the Mellon project, the establishment of a house fellow program. President Blanding had described it earlier in her annual report:

“As a result of faculty recommendation, an experiment is to be initiated in three student houses with Mary Conover Mellon House Fellows instead of the usual Residents…. The House Fellows…will have special interest in and qualifications for advising students; they will be relieved of one third of the normal teaching load and will accept certain definite responsibilities in connection with the social life of the student houses….”

President’s Report, 1950-1951

The plan was later extended to all residence halls.

The Years