Helen Drew Richardson
Excerpted from unidentified newspaper article:
Educator Will Reminisce At Rockford Anniversary
Reminiscing on her experiences of more than 50 years as an educator and writer, Mrs. Robert K. Richardson, 829 Church St., will be a speaker when Rockford College observes the 50th anniversary of its inauguration of evening classes in 1919. The observances will include a 7:15 p.m. dinner in Burpee Center Dining Room.
As Prof. Helen Drew, Mrs. Richardson was a member of the Rockford College faculty and was one of the first teachers in evening classes. She recalls that her students were mostly teachers, seeking credits towards advanced academic degrees. Hers was a course in American literature.
As Mrs. Richardson looks back, she remembers the coming to Rockford of its first man president, Dr. Arthur William Maddox, who believed that college and community should not be isolated from each other. With this in mind he started evening classes in the college which limited enrollment to women until the 1940's.
Busy daytime teachers were somewhat nonplussed by the thought of evening classes but Mrs. Richardson found the experience of dealing with more mature, serious minded students rewarding.
She looks back on those first evening classes as the little acorn which has grown into a great oak tree with several hundred enrolled in the evening college.
In addition to the "Current Moral Issues" and "Abnormal Psychology," courses in the 1919 school were offered in Latin, French, history, mathematics, English, social sciences and music. Other courses have been added down through the years, among them one in which students in Rockford nursing schools are able to meet requirements in chemistry.
Mrs. Richardson continued to teach at Rockford College until 1941 although she came to Beloit in 1940 when she became the wife of Robert Kimball Richardson, Beloit College professor of history from 1901 to 1947.
A graduate from the University of Minnesota, she completed study for her master's degree at the University of Chicago and was granted a doctorate by Cornell University. She also has an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters, granted by Rockford College in 1955.
During her teaching years and since her retirement, Mrs. Richardson has authored many scholarly articles. Following his death, she completed the editing of Prof. Richardson's history of Beloit College and she has compiled a memorial volume, "Robert Kimball Richardson," embodying biographical material excerpts from his writing and reflecting his personality.
She has made a place for herself also in Beloit through her activities in the First Congregational Church, which she has served as moderator, in the American Association of University Women, the Beloit and Rock County Historical society and other groups. She is a member of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and contributes to the Wisconsin Magazine of History.
Examples of Archives Holdings:
- Assorted writings
- Correspondence, personal & professional (1916-70)
- Genealogical work on:
- Writings about Beloit College
- Writings about the First Congregational Church
- Writings about Rockford College