Ingraham, Mary Shotwell (1887–1981)

views updated

Ingraham, Mary Shotwell (1887–1981)

American founder of the United Service Organizations (USO). Born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 5, 1887; died in Huntington, Long Island, New York, on April 16, 1981; daughter of Henry Titus Shotwell and Alice Wyman (Gardner) Shotwell; Vassar College, A.B., 1908; Wesleyan University, L.H.D., 1958; Columbia University, L.H.D., 1961; married Henry Andrews Ingraham, on October 28, 1908; children: Mary Alice Ingraham Bunting-Smith (1910–1998); Henry Gardner Ingraham; Winifred Andrews Ingraham (who married Harold L. Warner, Jr.); David Ingraham.

A 1908 graduate of Vassar College, Mary Ingraham spent her early career with the Brooklyn (New York) Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), serving as its president from 1922 to 1939, then moving on to serve as president of the national board from 1940 to 1945. Along with Dorothy Height and others, Ingraham was instrumental in bringing about the endorsement of the "Interracial Charter," mandating desegregation, at the 1946 YWCA National Convention.

In 1940, Ingraham founded the United States Organization (USO), which supplied social, recreational, and welfare services to the armed services during World War II. In 1946, in recognition of service to her country, Ingraham was awarded the Medal for Merit by President Harry S. Truman, making her the first woman so honored. She later served as a member of the New York City Board of Higher Education. The USO continued to serve troops during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Bunting, Mary Ingraham (1910–1998)

American educator. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 10, 1910; died on January 21, 1998; daughter of Mary Shotwell Ingraham (1887–1981) and Henry Andrews Ingraham; Vassar, B.A., 1931; University of Wisconsin, M.A., 1932, Ph.D., 1934; married Henry Bunting, in 1937; children: four.

Mary Ingraham Bunting was an instructor in biology at Bennington College (1936–37), an instructor in physiology and hygiene at Goucher College (1937–38), a research assistant in the department of bacteriology at Yale (1938–40, 1948–52), a lecturer at Yale (1953–55), a lecturer in the department of botany, Wellesley College (1946–47), dean of Douglass College at Rutgers University (1955–69), president of Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1960–72), and assistant to the president at Princeton University (1972–75). The Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, a program of the Radcliffe Institutes for Advanced Study, was founded in 1960 as The Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study. The institute is a multidisciplinary research center for women scholars, scientists, artists and writers, and is one of the major centers for advanced study in the United States. Mary Ingraham Bunting died on January 21, 1998.

Mary Shotwell married Henry Andrews Ingraham in 1908; they had four children. Their daughter Mary Ingraham Bunting was a leading educator and the first woman to serve on the Atomic Energy Commission.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

About this article

Ingraham, Mary Shotwell (1887–1981)

Updated About content Print Article Share Article