Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts accepted New Bedford High School graduate Carrie Evelina S. Lee (1895-1979) for admission in 1913. Upon arrival, rejection from her assigned dormitory became the impetus for a cornerstone in the founding of what would become Smith College’s Black Student Alliance.
Determined to step outside the norms of her era and model daring independence, Alice Howland Macomber (1874-1961) first traveled alone to Europe at the age of 20 stating, “I travel alone and try anything once.” Her popular travel lectures documented all she experienced during her far-flung adventures.
From immigrant textile mill worker to Ivy League student to pioneering New Bedford educator, Laurinda C. Andrade (1899-1980) overcame barriers of tradition, poverty, language, and discrimination to establish the first high school Portuguese language department in the United States at New Bedford High School.
A New Bedford teacher for more than 20 years, Betsey Baldwin Winslow (1836-1925) was elected to the New Bedford School Committee, serving in that capacity for nearly 39 years – one of the longest serving members in the history of the School Department.
When Nora Ouimette (1909-1987) was born in New Bedford, women could not vote! By the time of her death, she had voted in every election she was eligible for, become a labor union organizer, run for Congress and become one of the first female industrial engineers in companies on both the East and West Coasts.
Although she began her career as a painter, Helena de Kay Gilder (1846-1916) increasingly dedicated her considerable energy and talent to advocating for art, artists, and women, according to her own vision.