Faculty image Eliza Marie Mosher Dean of Women Administration
Biography/Memoir

 

Professor of Hygiene

Dean of Women

 


Dr. Eliza M. Mosher, whom the Board of Re
gents have just elected full professor of hygiene
 and women's dean of the literary department, 
 her duties to commence Oct. 1, 1896, is a graduate of the medical department, class of 1875. 
 She has had a notable career. After graduation 
she began the practice of her profession at
 Poughkeepsie, N. Y. In 1877 she was appointed
 by the governor of Massachusetts, resident physician of the Massachusetts Reformatory Prison
 for Women. There she fitted up and conducted 
a hospital of 90 beds, with an additional nursery department of 60 beds.


In 1879 she visited London and Paris, in the 
study of special medical subjects. On her re
turn in 1880, Governor Long persuaded her to
 accept the position of superintendent of the reformatory prison. Her professional and administrative skill won for her marked success in this 
difficult post. In 1884 she accepted the position
 of professor of physiology and resident physician of Vassar College, where she served three
 years to the eminent satisfaction of the students
 and the college authorities. But she preferred
 to resume the practice of her profession, and in 
1887 settled in Brooklyn, N. Y., where she re
sided till now. She is an honored member of
 various medical associations and is held in high
 regard by the medical profession. She was one 
of the incorporators of the Chautauqua School
 of Physical Education, and is now first vice-
president of the school and lecturer on anatomy. She is attending physician of the Wayside
 Home for Homeless Women in Brooklyn, physician to the Young Women's Christian Association, lecturer on home nursing and personal
 hygiene of Brooklyn Red Cross Instruction and 
District Nursing Society, and lecturer on physiology and Hygiene of the Missionary Training
 Institute, Brooklyn. 


Dr. Mosher has been a frequent contributor to
 medical journals and is the author of numerous 
professional papers of value, presented to medical societies. She is a person of dignified bearing and attractive personality. By her lectures
 on hygiene and her personal counsel to the young women of the University, her services 
will he of the greatest value to them. 


The Michigan Alumnus, February 1, 1896, Page 74

 

Eliza Marie Mosher - Commemorate Fifty Years of Service

Dr. Eliza M. Mosher, '75m, Honored at Banquet 

Hundreds Gather to Commemorate Fifty Years of Service

DR. ELIZA M. MOSHER, '75m 
First Dean of Women at the University and the Oldest Active Woman
 Doctor in America, who was given a moving Tribute in 
New York City on March 25


More than 500 men and women prominent in
 different branches of the medical profession 
attended a dinner at the Hotel Roosevelt in
 New York City on the evening of March 25, in honor
 of Dr. Eliza M. Mosher, '75m, in celebration of the
 completion of her fiftieth year in the active practice 
of medicine.


Dr. Mosher's record is almost unique in the
 history of American medicine and certainly entitles
 her to rank as one of the most distinguished graduates of the University. She is at the present time 
the oldest active woman doctor in the United
 States and, although she is seventy-eight years of 
age, she declared at the dinner that she was growing younger rather than older and that the days of 
her active work in the medical field were by no
 means at an end.


Dr. Lewis Stephen Pilcher, '62, '66m, was the 
presiding officer at the dinner and, after prefacing 
his remarks by reading a telegram of congratulation from Dean Alfred H. Lloyd, Acting President
 of the University, said: 


"The closing quarter of the 19th century and 
the opening quarter of the 20th century, a period
 of years that exhibit greater changes, accomplishments, advances, than have attended any similar 
period in the world's history. To have borne a
 fitting and notable part throughout these years and
 at their close to have one's own world to throng 
around one and to be the object of such a demonstration of regard and honor, what a satisfaction! 
 What a great pleasure it gives each one of us to
 bring our particular tribute to this moment, each 
adding a special leaf to the chaplet with which our 
friend is crowned; individual flowers to the bouquet by which she is embowered."


Dr. Pilcher introduced as toastmaster Dr.
 William Seaman Bainbridge, who conferred upon
 Dr. Mosher on behalf of the President and Trustees
 of Seymour University of Denver the degree of 
Doctor of Science. Dr. Frederick Schroeder, 
 Chairman of the committee, which arranged the
 dinner, presented her with a wristwatch on behalf
 of the guests, and Mrs. Edward H. Gross, Secretary-Treasurer of the dinner committee presented 
her with a bound volume of messages of congratulation sent her from friends and associates through
out the world. 


Dr. Bainbridge was followed by a list of
 speakers who gave feelingly the chapters in Dr.
 Mosher's long story of accomplishment and service. 
 Honorable Royal S. Copeland, '89h, United States 
Senator from New York, told of her work at the 
University of Michigan where she was the first
 Dean of Women and Professor of Hygiene and
 Home Economics. Dr. Henry Noble MacCracken, 
 President of Vassar College, spoke of her work as
 resident physician and Professor of Physiology at
 Vassar College. Honorable Arthur S. Somers, 
President of the Chamber of Commerce of Brooklyn, N. Y., paid tribute to her services to the street-
cleaning department of Brooklyn, declaring that 
so effective was the work accomplished by herself
 and her assistants that no citizen of Brooklyn
 dared to throw a newspaper or a cigarette butt in
 the streets lest he be detected in the act.

Among 
the other speakers were: Miss Jessie Hubbell Ban
croft, Founder and Ex-President of the American
 Posture League; Dr. William Francis Campbell; 
 Dr. John E. Jennings, President of the Kings
 County Medical Society; Dr. Esther Lovejoy, of 
the American Women's Hospitals; Dr. Elizabeth 
Burr Thelberg, Resident Physician at Vassar College; Dr. Joseph E. Raycroft, Professor of Hygiene, 
Princeton University; and Elizabeth H. Perry, 
 President of the Brooklyn Woman's Club.


In her response, Dr. Mosher said in part:


"I have always been taught that in the next world
 I shall have to give an account of the deeds done in the 
body. But I never imagined that I should come before 
such a tribunal in this life I see before me tonight 
those whose birth-cry I was the first to hear. I also see 
before me many who first confided to me the new love
 that made their hearts beat fast and with whom I rejoiced 
at the marriage altar. There are those here with whom I 
have gone down to the brink of the valley of the shadow of 
death from which they came back again. College girls of 
mine are here too, from Vassar, the University of Michigan, 
and Adelphi. I see I before me many with whom I have 
had happy associations in church, and club, and medical
 societies. 


"I wish there were time even to mention even a few
 of the names of those who helped to build my memory mountains… President Angell began his great work 
at the University of Michigan in 1871, my first year there. 
 More even than to that wonderful man am I indebted to 
Corydon L. Ford, my Professor in Anatomy. It was he 
who inspired me with such an interest in and love for the
 structure of the human body that I gave to the study of it most of the first two of my four years in college…
A mistaken notion has been widely promulgated in reference to the treatment we women students received from 
the University men at that time. Many of them became
 our best friends and half a dozen of us from the medical
 class accepted an invitation at the beginning of our last
 year to join an eating club consisting of a dozen men from 
all departments."


After describing different phases of her work 
at Vassar and elsewhere, Dr. Mosher said: 


"My next mountain of memory was reared at my dear 
Alma Mater. In 1896 President Angell called me back to inaugurate the work of a Dean of Women and to equip and
 organize work in the nearly completed Barbour Gymnasium 
for women. I was given a full Professorship in Hygiene 
and Sanitation in the Department of Literature, Science, an 
the Arts, in addition to which I gave an hour course on
 Home Economics."


The high esteem in which Dr. Mosher is held
 is proved by the fact that among the 500 guests
 who honored her at the banquet in New York were
 many who had traveled hundreds of miles to attend
 and representatives of the most prominent medical
 societies and associations in Greater New York.

The Michigan Alumnus , May 16, 1925,  Page 638

 

 

Reflections/Stories
U of M Libraries | Millennium Project | Contact Us