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A Purposeful Vision: Margaret Bailey Speer and Yenching University

Introduction and Early Life: Project Description

Throughout her life, Margaret Bailey Speer (1900-1997), Class of 1922, was a strong leader and visionary who applied herself fully to the matters that compelled her. This engagement is most visible in her work for the education of Chinese women, with which she involved herself in various capacities beginning in the years shortly after her graduation from Bryn Mawr College, and continuing up until her death.

To this matter and many others she lent both her voice, with its distinctive blend of insight and good-humored wit, and her actions. It is fortunate for those of us who wish to immerse ourselves in the life of this notable figure that a record of both survives in remarkably complete form in the Speer Family Papers and several recorded interviews, all of which are held in the archives of the Bryn Mawr College Library. This exhibit will use a selection of materials from the Speer collection to provide an introduction to Margaret Bailey Speer, and to illuminate some of the episodes in her colorful life, with the hope of inspiring the interested student or researcher to delve further into the archives and pursue a deeper familiarity with the collection and its subject.

This exhibit was created by Evan McGonagill, Assistant Director of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women's Education, in the Summer of 2012.