Report from the President: 1916 polio epidemic delayed the start of classes

On October 23, 1917, President Mary Woolley published her report for the 1916-1917 academic year. She wrote about new trustees, the effect of World War I on enrollment and availability of faculty, and the two-week delay of the beginning of classes due to the polio epidemic. 

On account of the prevalence of infantile paralysis throughout the East, the opening of College in 1916 was deferred until October 5, a fortnight later than the schedules time. As the disease was still epidemic in Holyoke, it was decided to omit the celebration of Founder’s Day, October 24, with the exception of the evening recital by Mr. and Mrs. Gabrilowitsch, a treat limited, by the self-imposed quarantine, to members of the College.

The President’s Report was an annual publication that also included reports from the treasurer, librarian and registrar, among others at the College. The 1916-1917 report’s 93 pages contained a wealth of information, such as the number of student hours spent in each academic department per semester and the College’s expenditures.


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