Centennial Suffrage Celebration

Dr. Nichole Kathol, Dr. Amanda Curtis, Dr. Katharine Delavan, Annalise Kelleher and Jeanna Purses have joined forces to organize a yearlong celebration of the numerous Lake Erie College alumnae who fought for women’s rights and for the right to vote.

Student Research Project:
The intention of this year long project is to involve students in active research related to alumnae activities at the local, state and national levels, including, the Painesville Equal Rights Association and the Ohio Suffrage Association, both founded by Frances Jennings Casement, an alumna and Painesville citizen. In 1885, Frances Jennings Casement hosted Susan B. Anthony in her home for one week and organized her visits to Lake Erie College, the Painesville Methodist Church and The Union Chapel in Newbury where she gave speeches and inspired the community to support the suffrage movement.

In the Archives:
Recently, in an extraordinary find, a hand-written, personal letter from Susan B. Anthony to then President Mary Evans was discovered in the College archives. Dated May 21, 1885, the letter thanks President Evans for the opportunity to visit and sums up with this heartfelt show of gratitude: “give my kindest regards to the teachers and the students alike -- I enjoyed that morning’s look into the faces and talk with the heads and hearts of those dear young girls...very much.” The letter was signed affectionately, “With great respect & love, Susan B. Anthony.”

Extraordinary Gift:
In the letter, Mrs. Anthony also mentioned her forthcoming gift to the College of a set of History of Woman Suffrage. The cherished, commemorative volumes have been located in the library and will be displayed with Susan B. Anthony’s letter among other letters and photos of Lake Erie College suffragettes: including, Frances Jennings Casement, Elizabeth Bartlett Grannis, Luette Bentley, Emma Gillette, Ellen Spencer Mussey among others.


The job isn’t done... help us finish it!
There is a need for sponsors for student research and all donations are valuable and appreciated. A full sponsorship is $2,020 to support travel and entrance fee expenses, as well as copying and scanning of documents.  Ten women have been identified for student research in the Rhetoric of Women’s Rights sequence, offered in successive semesters in 2020. These courses offer experiential learning through local tours and archival research. Students will have the choice to present their research through multi-media, exhibit display, historical interpretation, and/or interactive website.