Fredonia Normal School
The Post-War YearsFredonia 1961-Present
The Post-War Years
Women students still faced inequities. While men had varsity sports teams, women had the Women's Athletic Association (WAA), essentially a club that women joined in order to participate in sports. Donna Parker Danielsen, Class of 1957, noted, "It was just the way things were. No one questioned it." Women were not allowed to have cars on campus until the late 1950s, and then, only because they commuted from home every day.
There were also traditional "feminine" activities such as the crowning of the "May Queen" and her court. Many Fredonia women now remember how wonderful it was to know everyone in the town and to be so close to their colleagues, fellow students, and professors. Many indicated how the small town provided a feeling of comfort and fellowship rarely found today. They talked about people coming together, having dinner, and going to campus events, knowing most of the people in the village. This atmosphere fostered strong friendships and welcomed newcomers. Despite the belief that women should become wives and mothers and not work outside the home, many Fredonia women did both. Sallie Shapley Pullano, Class of 1958, taught music in the Fredonia public schools for many years. Dianne Kricheldorf, Class of 1954, worked as a U.S. government teacher in Morocco, North Africa, and West Germany before returning to Western New York to continue her teaching career.
Marian Anderson worked as a secretary to the principal of the Campus School from 1951 to 1969. The school included primary grades and was essentially the training site for student teachers. Not only did Anderson work for the principal, she helped teachers as well. She used a manual typewriter, and made copies on a manual duplicator and wax master: a very difficult, time consuming, and tiring process since she had to crank a wheel for every copy made. Anderson also sold all the meal tickets, ordered all equipment, textbooks, and supplies, and kept accounts for classroom funds. As a secretary, especially in the earlier years, she was required to wear high heels, stockings, and dresses. Another member of the secretarial staff, Rose Meyer, who worked at SUNY Fredonia from 1969 to 1993, noted:
"Secretaries were considered simple, and only there to follow orders. The number one expectation of secretaries was making coffee. I was often told that I was not expected to understand the law, that it was complicated and deliberately vague, and a secretary cannot be expected to understand college legal language."
Women's History Project, 1999-2001. © March 2002 by the State University of New York at Fredonia. All rights reserved.
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