by Audra Keresztesy and Molly Gleydura
Have you ever walked through the halls of Hathaway Brown School and felt like you were in a museum more than in a school? Awards, photos, and memorabilia line the walls of the school and display the legacy of so many women who have come before us since the school began. Most of these things are self-explanatory and obvious as to what they are, but there are a few mysteries. Some things you see every day might leave you with questions that we are here to answer.
Engraved Doorways on either side of the Main Entrance
Depending on which door you use to walk into school every day, you may or may not notice the names carved into two of the doorways. On the left doorway is the name Mary Spencer (1890-1902). This is the name of a previous head of school that was in charge when the campus was on Euclid Avenue. Unfortunately, there are no surviving pictures of Miss Spencer, but she did leave a strong legacy as the head of school. One memorable act of Miss Spencer was when she gave the whole school a recess to watch the circus parade that passed by the school every year. This tradition was altered after a clown pointed at Miss Spencer and said, “Who’s the fat party?” The next year, the girls watched from the safety of the front steps instead of the edge of the street. Miss Spencer watched from inside the school. Her retirement in 1902 paved the way for future heads of school to continue enriching the experience of Hathaway Brown Girls.
On the right doorway is the name Cora Canfield (1902-1911). She was the successor of Miss Spencer and was in charge when the school changed campuses from Euclid Avenue to East 97th Street. Miss Canfield was instrumental in the college process and helped to increase the number of girls who were accepted into colleges. She left a great legacy of educating girls and encouraging young women to reach their greatest potential.
The red dress that is hanging up in a case at the corner of the athletic hallway and the math wing was actually a gym uniform owned by Mary Corrigan Daniels ’33. Not only did Ms. Daniels attend HB, she was also a gym teacher for 12 years. She retired in 1955. Some students who are involved in athletics at HB might know Ms. Daniels daughter, Coach Lisa McKenna, who coaches the Middle School field hockey team and the assistant coach for the JV lacrosse team.
Keep your eyes out for more information on other mystery items around HB in future articles of Retrospect! A special thank you to Don Southard, Ms. Capers, and Mr. Hoffman for his help in connecting us with retired teacher Mr. Henry.