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In 1929, the former SSW director F. Stuart Chapin wrote the new director Everett Kimball, asking for a letter of recommendation for a Smith student who had applied for a secretarial position with the Social Science Research Council.

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Kimball knew her as a Smith College professor of Government and not as an SSW student, but the conversation between the two men about the trouble they had had with “college women” reveals predispositions in their attitude toward the women they worked with and educated on a daily basis. Kimball’s frustration with a college woman thinking independently of “her chief” was also apparent–though not in so many words–in the way he pushed out three of his associate directors, Mary Jarrett, Elsa Butler Grove, and Bertha Capen Reynolds.

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Black and white photo. Man in tweed jacket looking at camera
Everett Kimball, 1933, Photographer: Mildred Clark Tate M.S.S. 1934, School for Social Work Records, RG60 Box 1315, College Archives, Smith College, Northampton, MA.

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Letters between Everett Kimball and F. Stuart Chapin, 1929, School for Social Work Records, RG 60 Box 6, College Archives, Smith College, Northampton MA. The names of the women discussed have been redacted.

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If  she is to keep things running smoothly, manage files, be someone’s alter ego, she will probably, if she is like other Smith graduates, be very pleasant, very efficient, but unable at all times to think in the terms of her chief.

–Everet Kimball, 1929

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Black and white photo
Florence Day, Everett Kimball, Miss Witmer, Dr. Emerson, Presentation of book honoring Kimball at 25th anniversary, 1943 RG 60 Box 1315 School for Social Work Records, College Archives, Smith College, Northampton, MA.

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