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Oral history interview with Dorothy Bowe

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0589

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection consists of an edited oral history interview transcript of a series of interviews of Dorothy Bowe conducted by Kathy Marquis on May 19 and 31 and June 15, 1988. As a long time staff member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Dorothy Bowe was an observer and active participant in the history of women at MIT. From 1964 until her retirement in 1986, she had responsibilities in the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs. Dorothy Bowe was interviewed by Kathy Marquis, reference archivist at the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections.


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Access note

This collection is open.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to Distinctive Collections.


Dorothy Bowe came to MIT in May 1950 as a secretary to Professor John T. Norton in the Department of Metallurgy. Her duties included administering the graduate student program in the department. She also assisted Professor Carle R. Hayward in the preparation of his book Outline of Metallurgical Practice.

In 1964 Bowe transferred to the office of the Dean for Student Affairs (Kenneth R Wadleigh) to work on two new programs: the Foreign Student Program, which facilitated study abroad in the fields of engineering and science for MIT students, and the Women’s Program. The Women’s Program reviewed the status of women students at the Institute and advised the MIT administration on all matters that affected them. Bowe assisted the first director of the program, Associate Dean Jacquelyn Mattfeld, and her successor, Associate Dean Emily L. Wick, who took over the program in 1965.

In 1969 Bowe was promoted to Assistant to the Dean for Student Affairs. Her area of responsibility included the newly reorganized Premedical Advisory Program, which advised and assisted MIT students, both male and female, who were considering careers in medicine. In 1971 she joined the Student Financial Aid Office as Assistant Director, and became Associate Director in 1974.

Bowe’ s interest in and commitment to the life and role of women at MIT was fostered by her work with the Women’s Program and her personal experiences as an employee at MIT. Her involvement went beyond the scope of her actual position, and she provided a focal point for women in many areas, such as athletics, where she was the first woman to serve as a member of the Athletic Advisory Board.

She retired from MIT in December 1986, but continued to serve as a director of the MIT Quarter Century Club and as an advisor to the Women’s Independent Living Group.

Dorothy Bowe died in 2001. News Office obituary


0.4 Cubic Feet (1 half manuscript box, 1 small box)

Language of Materials


Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.
Guide to the Oral History Interview with Dorothy Bowe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US