Every Wednesday this month we will feature a different woman from Hathaway Brown School for Women’s History Month and Women Crush Wednesday (#WCW).
Today, meet Anne Hathaway Brown, HB’s namesake and school principal from 1886-1890.
The clear gaze and graceful bearing of Anne Hathaway Brown is evident in the few portraits of her in the HB archives. Though she remained at the helm fewer than four years, she impressed her character and ideals on the school. She adopted the motto, Non scholae sed vitae discimus, “We learn not for school, but for life,” an aphorism from the Roman philosopher Seneca that in Brown’s era seems to have implied learning not as an end in itself, but as preparation for a life of service to others.
Miss Brown also recognized the importance of school spirit. Hathaway Brown’s colors — gold to represent the sun, and brown, the earth — were adopted during her era. The colors were intended to remind students that however high they might aspire, they should always “stand firmly on our beautiful earth and enjoy it.” The color brown may have also been chosen to honor Miss Brown, who students appreciated her “vibrant and earnest personality. She took such an interest in them and made their hard work for a diploma enjoyable.
Source: “Tradition and Transformation: A History of Educating Girls at Hathaway Brown School, 1876-2006.” Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles.