Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jill Ker Conway, first woman president of Smith College, tended sheep in Australia

It is the birthday of historian and author Jill Ker Conway (1934), who lived with her family on a farm in the Australian outback and eventually became the first woman president of Smith College in Massachusetts. Her memoir, The Road from Coorain (1989), tells her story of tending sheep in the wilds of New South Wales in the 1940s. Jill Ker Conway now serves as a visiting professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has written 21 books, among them The Female Experience in 18th and 19th Century America: A Guide to the History of American Women (1982); The First Generation of American Women Graduates (1987), her doctoral thesis in American History at Harvard; True North (1994), a memoir of her life from Harvard to Smith College; and Written By Herself (1995), an anthology of the changing status of women throughout history.

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