Monday, July 30, 2012

Butler University Women's Dorm and Miss Cotton--1921

Butler students boarded in houses throughout Irvington.  Some rented rooms from local families or in boarding houses.  Others dwelled in fraternity or sorority houses.  The college provided a dorm for women who wanted to live on campus.  Evelyn Butler served as the matron of the facility for years, but in 1921 she took a year off.  Miss Sarah E. Cotton served in her place and inaugurated a new system of governing.

Sarah E. Cotton wore many hats for Butler.  Besides helping the young women in the dorm, she was also the personal assistant to the president of the university.  She was, by all accounts, a beloved figure.  She is pictured here in 1921.


The young women were required to attend mandatory dorm meetings every six weeks.  The elected "proctors" helped to manage each floor.  Just before Christmas break in 1920, the young women hosted a dinner as a fundraiser for victims of the Armenian Genocide.  They raised sixty dollars for the relief fund.

In May, Miss Cotton invited the soon-to-be graduating seniors, their parents, and guests to a private dinner in the dorm.  Butler officials also attended.  The young women had grown close to Miss Cotton and thanked her for her service.  They said of her, "she is loved by every girl who has been under sympathetic care."  (Butler Drift, 1921, 31)

Although the women's dorm is now long gone, you can imagine the gatherings, the music, the studying, and the fun that took place in this lobby.

The lobby of the women's dorm at Butler University in 1921.  



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