Throwback Thursday: Women’s Suffrage Lecture On Campus

January 26 2017
Category: Campus Life

Dr Scott Nearing

This year marks the 100th anniversary from when women won the right to vote in New York State. To help mark this occasion we remember a momentous lecture on campus in January of 1917.

Dr. Scott Nearing, an economist, educator, writer and political activist, from nearby Tioga County Pennsylvania, lectured on the topic of "Woman and Social Progress."  Nearing, considered by many to be a radical activist, found a receptive audience in Elmira.

Sybil, the Elmira College student literary publication, wrote of his lecture, "Many town people were present and almost the entire student body attended. Great preparation had been made for his coming and he surely satisfied expectations and left his audience feeling that it had been a memorable event."  

Nearing's lecture was timely; by year's end the suffrage amendment to the New York State constitution would pass.

In 2016, the College was awarded a grant through the South Central Regional Library Council. The project seeks to provide insight and perspective into two distinctive groups of early 20th Century New York women: college-aged students and politically and socially active community women.