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... documenting the history of the University of Delaware

Beneath Thy Guiding Hand: A History of Women at the University of Delaware – Dedication


This book is dedicated to the memory of three women who helped build the University of Delaware:

Amy Elizabeth du Pont
Winifred Josephine Robinson
Emalea Pusey Warner

Amy Elizabeth du Pont (1876-1962) served on the University of Delaware Board of Trustees’ Advisory Committee on the Women’s College from 1939 throught 1944 and was among the University’s most generous benefactors. During the 1930’s, she paid the salary of a faculty member of the Women’s College and purchased a house adjacent to the campus to serve as the residence of the dean of the Women’s College. In 1939, she established the Unidel Foundation to enhance the work of the University of Delaware. Income from that foundation has since become the University’s most significant, ongoing benefaction.

Winifred Josephine Robinson (1867-1962) was dean of the Women’s College from its founding in 1914 until 1938. The force of her character breathed life into the new and untried institution. Dean Robinson shaped every aspect of the college–from its admissions policies and curricula to the selection of its faculty to the structure of its residential life. In the course of her long career, she earned the respect and admiration of Delawareans and made higher education for women a reality in the First State.

Emalea Pusey Warner (1853-1948), as president of the state’s Federation of Women’s Clubs, championed the creation of the Women’s College and thereafter made its success the central goal of a life dedicated to work on behalf of Delawareans. In 1938, she was the first woman selected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware. If higher education for women in Delaware had a founding mother, it was she.