Smith College president Mary Maples Dunn and Mount Holyoke College president Elizabeth T. Kennan at the opening of the Five College Women's Studies Research Center in 1991
Elizabeth T. Kennan, president of Mount Holyoke College since 1978, is a specialist in medieval monasticism and intellectual history. Mary Maples Dunn has been president of Smith College since 1985. Her research interests include women and religion in colonial America and the history of the Society of Friends.
Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz is a nationally recognized specialist on the history of women in higher education. She is the author of several books, including Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present, and Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s.
The Five College Women's Studies Research Center, founded in 1991, is supported by a consortium of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The center provides visiting residencies for feminist scholars from the United States and abroad, and draws on one of the largest concentrations of women's studies scholars in the country to sponsor lecture series, faculty seminars, and conferences. The center has quickly become a lively site for scholarly activity in women's studies, attracting a wide variety of participants, including faculty, students, and members of the local community.