“If anyone thinks he has no responsibilities, it is because he has not sought them out”, this quote by Mary Lyon shows the dedication with which she had devoted herself to the welfare of society. An American pioneer in women’s education, Mary belonged to a humble family in Masauchussets. She became a teacher at the young age of 17 and that’s when she started chasing her pursuit of seeing more and more young women seek education.
On her 220th birthday today, let us delve into some interesting details about her life:
1. Lyon endured a difficult childhood. Her father, a farmer by occupation, passed away when Lyon was 5. The family was on the verge of a financial crisis. The situation improved for a short while but matters got worse when her mother remarried and moved away.
2. Lyon was very passionate about teaching. She attended various district schools and began teaching there as well. She finally went on to establish the Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts. She then established Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts, in 1837 and served as its first principal for 12 years.
3. Lyon believed in educating girls from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Her schools never catered to women of the aristocratic class.
4. Lyon was a strict disciplinarian when it came to ensuring the health of her students. She would encourage all her students to walk for a mile after having breakfast.
5. She would also engage her students in some form of domestic work like washing floors, cleaning windows and knives. This would keep the costs of running the school low and thus, affordable.
6. She was an ardent follower of the school of thought propagated by Jonathan Edwards. His ideas of self-denial and disinterested benevolence fascinated Lyon.
7. She succumbed to erysipelas on March 5, 1849. Her legacy of empowering women by imparting education continues with elan. A lot of building have been named after her. She has been honoured by the United States Postal Service with a 2¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.
SheThePeople.Tv wishes her a very Happy Birthday.
Image credits: Biography.com
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV