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Ethel Winifred Bennett Chase Papers

Identifier: WSP000302

Scope and Content

The papers of Ethel Chase reflect her role as a faculty member and, more extensively, as Advisor to Women Students.

Subjects covered in the collection include: Association of Women Students Association of Deans of Women Background information - College of City of Detroit Student Loans Student Organizations

Series Description: Series I, Box 1 (6 folders) Papers giving personal information about Miss Chase. A bio-graphical sketch written by Bernice Leland, appointments, society and organization memberships, clippings and photographs.

Series II, Box 1 (20 folders) Papers which reflect Miss Chase's role as a teacher. Botany lecture schedules and materials; student gradings, faculty meetings and notices; general university matters, background information - Wayne University.

Series III, Boxes 2-3 Papers which reflect Miss Chase's role as an administrator. Association of Deans of Women, Association of Women Students, Student Loans, Social Calendars, Student Activities and Organizations.

Series IV, Box 4 (6 folders) Correspondence. The letters reflect Miss Chase's interest in her students, the University and organizations.

Series V, Box 4 (6 folders) Newspaper clippings. These reflect Miss Chase's broad concern not only with students and the University, but with national affairs.

Series VI, Box 5 Publications. Educational materials, reports and miscellaneous reprints and programs.


  • 1900 - 1948
  • Majority of material found within 1920 - 1949


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


At the time of her retirement in 1947, Miss Chase was Professor of Botany and Advisor to Women at Wayne University. She had been appointed to the latter position in 1919 by Dean David Mackenzie.

Ethel Chase, the only child of Henry A. Chase and his wife, Helen McCormick Chase, was born in LaPorte, Indiana on December 19, 1877. Following the death of her mother about two years later and the subsequent remarriage of her father, Ethel Chase grew up on the farm of her maternal grandparents. There her interest in science developed out of the affinity to nature which farm life afforded.

In 1894, during Miss Chase's Senior year at LaPorte High School, her grandfather died, to be followed by her grandmother a few years later. Circumstances forced the young girl to delay her plans for furthering her education until 1899 when she entered the University of Michigan. She received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1903 and began her teaching career in the McMillan High School in Delray. In 1915, Ethel Chase was awarded the Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

With the formation of the Detroit Junior College, Miss Chase became one of its first faculty members and remained as the institution grew to become Wayne University.

Active in professional organizations, Miss Chase was a founder of the Michigan State Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a women's honorary education society and a member of the Alpha Chapter.

Ethel Chase died in 1949, two years after her retirement. A bio-graphical sketch of Miss Chase, written by Bernice Leland and the source of the above information, appeared in Michigan History in December 1957.


1.5 Linear Feet (5 MB)


Miss Chase instructed Botany at Wayne University. She was appointed as Advisor to Women in 1919 by Dean David Mackenzie. She received both her BA and Master’s of Arts Degrees at University of Michigan. She was an original member of the faculty of the Detroit Junior College. She founded the Michigan State Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a women’s honorary education society. - Boxes 4 and 5 are unavailable.


Arranged in 5 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 1), Series 3 (Boxes 2-3), Series 4 (Box 4), Series 5 (Box 4), and Series 6 (Box 5). Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. They are not arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.


The papers of Miss Ethel Winifred Chase were given to Dr. Leslie Hanawalt during 1957-1958 by Miss Bernice Leland, a friend of Miss Chase. Dr. Hanawalt, in turn, deposited them in the Wayne State University Archives in 1958.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Ethel Winifred Bennett Chase Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA