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Alumnae Days Activities Include Pictorial Exhibition

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"I have found the burdens of life greatly lightened by a load of books." So said Madelon Stockwell,first woman to be admitted to the University. Miss Stockwell, a very determined young lady, presented herself at U-M for the second semester just a century ago and graduated in 1872. Writing many years later to her classmates of '72, she declared, "There was never a time when I did not long to attend our state university." Her "greetings to classmates" are part of an exhibition, "Women at Michigan," to be shown beginning today in the U-M Museum of Art in Alumni Memorial Hall. It will continue through May 24 as part of the observance of the l00th anniversary of women at the University. Also included in the primarily pictorial exhibition will be photographs, manuscripts, two diaries of Mrs. James B. Angell, handwritten Regents' proceedings, ink sketches by Miss Stockwell, and a student cane on which she had carved her name. "My father's beautiful diploma from the Wesleyan at Middletown, Conn., I treasured as something precious," she wrote, "and I found it my duty to bear along the traditions of the line. "Later, being allowed to dust the books in the home library, I thought I was a "big girl" merely because I could distinguish his Greek lexicon from the La tin. "During a visit in Ann Arbor one commenceiiiem uuc, I heard the Greek professor say to my hostess, in a casual conversation, that he did not think young women would ever I be sblk physically or mentally to bear the strain of higher education. My heart sank," she confessed. HanDilv. in 1870, Madelon Stockwell realized her goal. "To be sure, through the irony of fate, and entirely by chance," she wrote, "my very first recitation was the reading from the 'Antigone' of Sophocles, of the rebuke of Ismene to her sister. 'It behooves us in the first place to consider this, that we are by nature women, so not able to contend with men; and in the next place, since we are governed by those stronger than we, it behooves us to submit to these things and those stül more grievous.' ': This snub of the old Greek poet, h o w e v e r , was fully atoned for. Madelon wrote, "Professor Olney, taking my trigonometry notes, the capitals and headlines of which I had tried to illuminate, somewhat after the manner of an o 1 d manuscript, exclaimed, 'Who can say now that mathematics is not one of the fine arts?' "And how shall I express my appreciation n and gratitude for the spirit of fairness, of kindness, of cordiality, of camaraderie, shown the intruder by the class of '72." Miss Stockwell started a Michigan tradition by marrying a classmate. "Our classmate, Charles K. Turner, received his law degree in March '73. He persuaded me that April was the very nicest month to be married in. And our dear Professor Cocker must have thought so too for he kindly gave us his official blessing. "He did confess, however, that he had asked his class to excuse him on the morrow, as he was coming to Kalamazoo to demonstrate the ill effects of coeducation," she wrote. (Mr. Turner died in August, 1850, at the age of 37.) Some dreams came true, Madelon assures her classmates. "And how sweet they were! Each one must live the dream in his own way . . . "The long hoped-for voyage to the sacred Acrópolis and the Seven Hills has indeed been made most pleasurably - but only in a wooden chair, rocked on a wooden sea, with paper sails." Women who participate in special Alumnae Day activities, scheduled for Friday, will view the exhibit at 3 p.m., then attend a reception at the home of President and Mrs. Robben W. Fleming at 4 p.m. At 12:30 p.m. luncheon in the Michigan League Ballroom will honor University Regent Gertrude Huebner and former Regent Irene Murphy. The Centennial Salute luncheon will feature a speech by Regent Huebner and a fashion show illustrating the changes in women's styles during the past century. The luncheon and a morning program are being sponsored by the Alumnae Council, in cooperation with the Center for the Continuing Education of Women (CEW). The morning program in the League will feature a discussion on ecology by faculty experts and students in ecology. The morning program at 10 a.m. in the League's Michigan, Vandenburg, Hussey and Kalamazoo Rooms will feature workshops on student life. "What's It's Like to be an Adult Woman Student Today" is the topic of the CEW's workshop. Women who have participated in the Center's series of discussions will return for the workshop. Winners of the 1970 CEW scholarships also will be present. Interested women may attend the morning program. Some tickets are still available for the luncheon. Further information may be obtained from the CEW office, 330 Thompson.