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1950s

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Events include: large-scale expansion of the middle class, release of the polio vaccine, discovery of the structure of DNA, the Korean War, Red Scare, McCarthyism, Cold War, the space race, launch of Sputnik satellite, popularity of television overtakes radio, rise of the Beat Generation

1950s: Female percentages of college students, graduates, and faculty drop due to postwar influx of men and the resurgent belief that women belong in the domestic sphere.

1954: The Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education makes segregated schools illegal. However, Cottey would not have its first black students until the 1960s.

Cottey Presidents:
Dr. Blanche Hinman Dow (1949-1965)

Cottey College sign, 1952
One of Cottey's first foreign students after World War II, Ilona Planken, stands at right of the Cottey College sign in 1952.2 Her mother stands at left, and Ilona's roommate, Priscilla Angersbach, is at center.

1950

First International Students After WWII

Five young women from outside the U.S. enroll at Cottey. They are the first foreign students to attend after World War II: Ilona Planken from Estonia, Maria Elena Saleedo from Mexico, Emily Bounmiesler from the Netherlands, Ersle Hadjopoulou from Greece, and Juana Ruiz from Panama.1 Their enrollment is the direct result of Dr. Dow's efforts to recruit international students. (It is oft repeated that these were the first foreigners to attend Cottey, but several had attended previously, including Tsao Vong-Jung in 1898 and Faung Chung Tsao in 1907.)

1951

U.N. Dinner

The traditional States Dinner is changed to a United Nations dinner with tables themed to different countries rather than states.3

1952

Commencement College

May: A new experiment in adult education, "Commencement College," takes place at Cottey over the course of one week.4 Twelve people from nine states enroll, all but one of them women. (This idea has evolved into the Vacation College that Cottey presently offers each summer.)

Two Homes Purchased

Cottey Chapel Cottey chapel, c. 1960.

Cottey purchases two residential properties near the college.5 The Wilkerson home on the corner of Cherry and Olive streets is remodeled to house 12 students. The second is Ewing House, a large brick home at the corner of Chestnut and Cherry streets that was formerly owned by the Dubray estate. It is leased out, and still stands today.

1956

Chapel Built

The Cottey Chapel is built with funds from the BILs (P.E.O. husbands).

1959

Robbie Hall Students serenade their departing classmates in front of Robbie Hall, c. 1965.

Robbie Hall Built

Robertson Hall is built as a third dorm for the college.  The basement houses the new Raney Dining Room, replacing the one in Main Hall. The suites in Rosemary Hall are repurposed for academic use.

Works Cited:
  1. Martin, Susanne. "Predict Slight Drop In Enrollment At Cottey; 26 States Represented." The Nevada Daily Mail [Nevada, MO] 21 Aug. 1950: B5. Google news. Web.
  2. Cooper, Jean. "Cottey's First Foreign Student." The P.E.O. Record. Aug. 1981: 12-13. Print.
  3. "Cottey College Column." The Nevada Daily Mail [Nevada, MO] 8 Nov. 1952: 3. Google news. Web.
  4. "Commencement College is new experiment at Cottey." The Nevada Daily Mail [Nevada, MO] 5 June 1952: 1. Google news. Web.
  5. "Cottey Lists Gym As Need." The Nevada Daily Mail [Nevada, MO] 5 June 1952: 1. Google news. Web.
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