Mary Lyon

Women's Rights

“Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do"

Her Life

  • Born on February 27th, 1787 in Buckland, MA
  • The sixth or eight children
  • Became a school teacher at a young age at the Ipswich Female Seminary
  • Attended Ashfield Academy, Sanderson Academy, Amherst Academy, and Byfield Massachusetts Female Seminary
  • 1828 she got typhoid fever
  • 1836 she chartered Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, MA - An inexpensive college for women of all classes to get a liberal education
  • Died on March 5th, 1849 in South Hadley, MA
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Her Impact on Education for Women

Mary Lyon felt very strongly about women getting an equal education to those men got. She became a teacher at a young age and continued to go back to school to further her education. Though she faces opposition and indifference from others, she continued to raise money and later open a seminary for women. When she opened the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, in South Hadley, MA, she was dedicated to impact the lives of her students both inside and outside of the classroom. The seminary offered girls, both wealthy and poor, to have a rewarding liberal arts education. Originally the school offered natural science, chemistry, mathematics, and philosophy, but their curriculum was constantly expanding, later adding music, economics, and more. Lyon herself taught at the school and offered endless help to those enrolled. The school was announced a college in 1893. She was dedicated to the success of her school and her students. She gave women a place to become educated, during a time when women weren't often schooled passed their early teen years. Her impact on the education of women was appreciated then and even more now. She believed that women should be intellectually, physically, and spiritually educated. Because of the success of her school, she helped clear the roads for the the equal education women and men have today.