Search the Bulletin


The Cobbs Legend

Only someone from the Class of 1982 (Amy Singer, “Letters,” January Bulletin) might be horrified or bemused that men weren’t allowed in women’s dorm rooms after 9 p.m. From 1959 to 1963 at least, it was only from 2 to 6 on Sundays and the door had to be open—six inches it was said—although that [...]

Messy on the Inside

The late John Lewis ’67 told me the following anecdote. He was called into Dean Cobbs’ office for a little chat because he had been neglecting his studies. As she put him on academic probation, she said, “John, you had a beard last semester. It is my observation that people who are messy on the [...]

Doing It Again

Although I attended Swarthmore six years after Amy Singer’s mother, perhaps I can shed some light: 1. “A soft Southern drawl” was indeed Dean Cobbs’s natural voice. 2. The rule then was very distinctly no visiting, period, except for occasional, very limited weekend open-house days, when the door had to be open and all parties [...]

And Again!

When I was a student, men were allowed to visit women’s dorms only on Sunday until, as I remember, 6 p.m., and the door of the room visited had to be open. A delegation went to Susan Cobbs to request an extension of visiting hours until 6:30 p.m. and argued, What could we do between [...]

The Constant Reminder

Dean Cobbs was ever the constant reminder of politeness, courtesy, and appropriate behavior for a maturing female person. In Singer’s letter, I noted the use of “nothin’” to approximate her Southern accent. She was educated and would never have said “nothin’”—it was just hard to hear the final g through her cultured Southern accent.
It was [...]

Swarthmore in the Good Way

Thank you for the excellent article on Ken Guilmartin and Music Together (Making Music Together Again,” Oct. Bulletin). We are now putting a second child through the program and have been delighted with it in so many ways.
When I first took my elder son, Duncan, to the local Music Together class a few years ago, [...]

Impatient for Obama

I am not a patient person.
Therefore, when Barack Obama achieved his historic victory, I wept with all those other veterans of the ’60s civil rights movement; but I couldn’t agree that I didn’t think I’d see it in my lifetime. I expected to see it way sooner!
I spent the lethal summer of 1964 in the [...]

Susan Cobb Quotations"> Susan Cobb Quotations

I’ve heard two stories from my mom, Maxine Singer ’52, about Dean Susan Cobbs. I wonder whether readers of the Bulletin remember them this way?
1. When called to Dean Cobbs’s office the day after cooking in the Bond kitchen and serving an Italian dinner for friends, the women in question were asked: “Does spaghetti really [...]

Commanding the Light Brigade

I am appalled that anyone at Swarthmore would consider his ideal job to be commander of the Charge of the Light Brigade (Q+A” with Ed Fuller, Oct. Bulletin). I do not oppose just wars conducted by able leaders—after all, I was at George School and Swarthmore during the debacle of Adolf Hitler. But I was [...]

Racism and the Social Sciences

I was consulted by a friend who was working on an intercollegiate curriculum committee reviewing social science requirements. The question was, “What needs to be added?”
During my years at Swarthmore (1961–1965), the curricular battle cry was “Sociology Now”—today a moot issue, but then quite radical. My outcry now is for “The Politics of Equality,” an [...]