Women's History Month Spotlight on Mary Frances Farnham


Mary Francies Farnham
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

During the month of March we will be highlighting some important Pacific women in honor of Women's History Month. The second woman we are highlighting is one of our first female deans, Mary Francis Farnham.

Mary was born in Bridgton, Maine in 1847. As a student at Radcliffe College, she researched and documented the history of Maine, and the Maine Historical Society published her findings.

Throughout her adult life, Mary taught at a number of institutions both domestic and abroad, including places as far away as South Africa.

When Mary arrived at Pacific she taught English Literature and later moved into her role as dean of the Ladies Department.

The 1909 Heart of Oak yearbook described her as, “a woman of the highest culture and refinement…the high social standard of our institution is due at least in a large measure to her influence.”

After Mary passed away in 1943 at the age of 96, then-President Giersbach said, “There was hardly a matter touched by Mary Francis Farnham that did not show the handiwork of a lovely spirit, and a mind as sharp as a copper etching.”