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Brunoniana

From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Morriss, Margaret Shove

Margaret Shove Morriss (1884-1975), fourth dean of the Women’s College and of Pembroke College, was born in Baltimore on June 25, 1884. She graduated from Goucher College in 1904 and earned her Ph.D. degree from Bryn Mawr in 1911. After a year of study at the London School of Economics, she became instructor of American history at Mount Holyoke College. She was promoted to associate professor in 1914. She left Mount Holyoke from 1917 to 1919 to be recreational director for the Y.W.C.A. in France and New York, after which she returned to her teaching and the added office of secretary of the board of admissions. She came to Brown as dean of the Women’s College with the recommendation of Mary Emma Woolley 1894, president of Mt. Holyoke and one of the first women graduates of Brown. Miss Morris arrived in 1923 and set about making the Women’s College known. On her arrival the College had 350 students, the majority of them local. Twenty-seven years later Pembroke had 880 students from thirty states, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and five foreign countries. Miss Morriss was an early advocate of the responsibility of women to use their education outside the home and the ability of women to accept leadership positions in society. She was sometimes referred to as “Peggy Push,” a derivative of “Margaret Shove.” She was associate professor of history until 1932, when she was promoted to professor. Miss Morriss was a member of the Society of Friends. She served as national president of the American Association of University Women from 1937 to 1944, and as president of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in 1941. She was a member of the League of Women Voters and the Consumers’ League, and a consultant to the Secretary of War during World War II. In 1949-50 she took her first leave of absence to travel, and retired in 1950. The Margaret S. Morris Scholarship was established in 1951 to be given every four years to an entering freshman. The Connecticut division of the American Association of University Women established an international fellowship in her named in 1965. She was awarded honorary degrees by Russell Sage College, Goucher College, Mount Holyoke College, and Rhode Island State College. Morriss Hall on the Pembroke Campus was named for her in 1960. She died in East Providence on January 22, 1975. President Henry Wriston once said of her, “Miss Morriss did not inherit the modern Pembroke; she created it.” Miss Morriss said that she taught Brown two things – that there were women at Brown and that Morriss was spelled with two “S"s.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.


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