For Roses, Too

History of the Summer School: An Evolving and Changing Program

The Summer School, in its wide reaching ambitions and its collaborative story of growth, oftentimes defies a traditional historical narrative. While many consider M. Carey Thomas to be the founder of the program, the School's history is more so made up of countless contributions from countless parties. Oftentimes, it was the students themselves who pushed for the program’s evolution, week after week and year after year, and even the most influential individual contributions seem to take a backseat to the power of the unified School. Thomas's vision for the School today seems incompatible with the resulting legacies and impacts that the School had on both the national labor movement and the Bryn Mawr College community. The Summer School grew and changed both due to reactions to its present moments and the aspirations of those that sought to define its legacy; it was, at its core, a program that was a product of its time and one that sought to make a meaningful change impact on the future.

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