Introduction and Early Life: Childhood and family
MBS1 was born in 1900 and grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. Her father, Robert Elliott Speer, was a Presbyterian missionary and became one of the most influential figures in the Protestant missionary movement. After attending Princeton University (‘89) and the Princeton Theological Seminary (‘91), he took a position as secretary for the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and began to travel the country as religious speaker. This work led him to Bryn Mawr College, where he had been invited as a lecturer by a student named Emma Doll Bailey who had heard him elsewhere. Emma and Robert decided to marry, necessitating Emma’s exit from Bryn Mawr to join him on the speaking circuit, two years before she would have graduated in 18942 . The family missionary background would prove a strong influence over Marnie throughout her life.