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History of the first international student in BMC.

                       History of International Students at Bryn Mawr College


We want to thank Jennifer Russell, the associate director of admission and international recruitment, and Christiana Dobrzynski, the college archivist, for their invaluable support, information and time.

Umeko Tsuda (Ume Tsuda, 津田 梅子) was the first international student at Bryn Mawr


●      Born December 31, 1864 in Ushigome, Japan

    ●          At age 6, she was sent in a mission, along with 5 other girls, of the Japanese missonary to study in the US.

    ●          Studied for 11 years in the US in Georgetown, Washington D.C raised by Charles and Adeline Lanman.

                          ○          Wrote book “The Japanese in America” in 1872, against the openly racist remarks about the Japanese

    ●          Attended Stephenson Seminary and Archer Institute

    ●          Converted to Christianity

     ●          Upon returning at to Japan at 18 she lost all recollection of Japanese culture and language so she had retaught herself

     ●          During her stay she was hired to teach English at the Imperial household

Bryn Mawr experience. Not much is known about Tsuda about her actual stay at Bryn Mawr.

     ●          At age 24 Tsuda she attended Bryn Mawr from 1889-1891

     ●          Studied a variety of subjects from English literature, German, philosophy and biology

     ●          Majored in Biology and Education

Tsuda University founded by Umeko Tsuda.

      ●          Founded in 1900 and only the Kojimachi Ward in Tokyo opens.

                           ○          10 students enroll

      ●          Women’s College

      ●          Highly praised by M. Carey Thomas and the two had a high amount of correspondence with each other after Bryn Mawr. A lot regarding Tsuda University.

      ●          Has an International Exchange Program that gets its students into other very notable school throughout the world.

      ●          Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back

                          ●          By Janice P. Namice

●      About the experience of the girls sent on the mission, including Umeko Tsuda, sent to the US and has some correspondence between them and their host families.

Jessie Redmon Fauset-Class of 1901- was the first known black student to get a scholarship and enrol into the college. However, she only attended classes for a month before President Thomas planned and transferred her to Cornell.


Enid Cook was the first black /African American to graduate from the college in 1931. However, it was still the same case for her. She was not allowed to live on campus. She found favour and lived at Haverford with Professor Henry J Cadbury, his wife and three children. She later moved and resided in a house at 46 Prospect Street which was closer to the College.


Evelyn Jones Rich (Class of 1954) was the first black student who lived on Campus. In 1972, black students were fully allowed to reside on campus.




Interview with Jennifer Russell, assistant director of admission

-        Learned that Tsueda College sends two students here almost every year.

-        In 2001 Bryn Mawr Honors Tsueda

-        The admissions office decides where to travel by the places a lot of applicants are coming from.

-        For past 10 years, a lot of recruitment from India, East and Southeast Asia.

-        3-4 times to Latin America for the past ten years

-        Europe 5-6

-        Not currently a lot of recruitment in any parts of Africa. (Don’t visit)

-        Chinese recruitment has been a recent trend and probably about 50% of current international population at BMC because of economic boom and their population,

-        A good number of college prep programs are in less affluent areas so admissions pick from these programs

-        China does a great deal of college prep in schools already so another reason for picking up a lot of Chinese recruitment.

-        International recruitment is more difficult because they are more unfamiliar with whole process especially the women’s college aspect.


1.     The college has been inconsistent in documenting its actual diversity. We had difficulties in getting information because the history of the black students in Bryn Mawr exists in sources such as oral history or traditional mediums of photographs and letters.


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