Home Economics

Home Economics at Wheaton College offers training in home-making as an integral part of the college education of women. The courses are designed to meet the needs of: (1) missionary candidates and students who desire special preparation for efficient home-making; (2) those who plan to teach home economics or engage in food demonstration work; (3) those planning to specialize in some related field.

In September 1942, everything seemed ready for launching the Home Economics Department. Lincoln House was being remodeled and was to be ready for use by foods and clothing classes. Enrollment on the first day was good and better yet on the second day. But, alas, an unhappy surprize was in store: we were told Lincoln House could not be used for class work. What then? Where, oh where should we go? Prof. Dyrness saw possibilities for clothing classes in the handball observation room in the new physical education building. There was space there but no furniture, no large tables for cutting and sewing. Then Mr. Phillips came to the rescue; with characteristic economy he had stored his old extension dining tables, two of them in his garage, and these met the need of the class. Thus, the clothing courses were begun in the basement of the physical education building with improvised furnishings.

It was not so easy to provide for foods classes, but Mr. Haavind consented to share the kitchen of lower Pierce Chapel with Home Economics. There the equipment left much to be desired. The stoves were old, the oven temperamental, and there was nothing in the set-up to suggest a pleasant home kitchen. The first time the trustees were entertained at luncheon they were seated on high stools around work tables. The Home Economics Department did not accept discouragement however, and went bravely on into the face of a new dilemma. "The Army is coming and we have to get out." It was this expected coming of the Army which softened the hearts of the city fathers, as Mr. Kirk very tactfully used it to gain their consent to use Lincoln House for the Home Economics classes, for the duration.

At present Lincoln House not only provides laboratories for the food and clothing classes, but is also used as the Home Management House, with Mrs. C.W. Howard in charge. Six girls each semester plan, budget, market, cook and serve the meals. They also perform the other duties of a well-cared-for home and entertain their guests.

At the graduation exercises of June, 1944, Wheaton College will give diplomas to the first class of Home Economics majors, all to them planning to teach in this field.


Note: these articles were excerpted from Faculty Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 3 (January 1944). These departments were a part of the Education Department.

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