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Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number V (Feb. 1937)

Kessenich, Henrietta W.
Another pair of top-notch aces,   pp. 186-187


Page 187


  February, 1937                                                        
                           187
  Wisconsin for her sixtieth re-                                        
along with chemistry, and she
  union that we may honor her-                                          
 decided that she must know still
  the illustrious daughter of our                                       
 more. After two years in Balti-
  illustrious university president of                                   
 more, she took her degree from
  the eighties, John Bascom.                                            
Johns Hopkins University.
    Wisconsin, graduated Miss Bas-                                      
  Prom then on, Florence Bas-
  com as a Greek scholar; today,                                        
comg's teaching and research dealt
  she is one of our country's au-                                       
only with the science that was
  thorities on Pre-Cambrian vol-                                        
dearest to her heart. From Ohio
  canica, gneisses and crystalline                                      
State University where she gave
  Schistsm                                                              
 the young men of the school a
    She entered the University in                                       
general course in geology and
  1877 in the days when the stu-                                        
more advanced work in petrog-
  dent population numbered a little                                     
raphy, she went to Bryn Mawr;
  more than four hundred, when                                          
and there, first as a lecturer, then
  the faculty consisted of nine pro-                                    
as associate professor, then full
  fessors and nine instructors, and                                     
professor, she remained   until
  when co-eds, whom   you could                                         
 1928 when she was given the
  count on the fingers of your two                                      
title of Professor Emeritus.
  hands, devoted most of their four                                     
  I Throughout practically this
  years  of  study   to  modern                                         
entire period and until last year,
  languages and the ancient classics.                                   
Miss Bascom was an active work-
    At that time, Astronomer's                Florence Bascom           
er in the United States Geological
  House on Observatory Hill was              Top-notch geologist        
 Survey. Through various stages,
  the President's home, and every                                       
she reached the highest rank, that
  day when lectures were over, Florence Bascom ran    of Senior Geologist;
and upon reaching the age of
  over the hill to see how her animal friends-her     retirement, was given
the use of a desk and the facil-
  chickens and her bees-were prospering. And almost   ities of the Survey.
  every afternoon, she and her father cantered over the  In the United States
she has taken geological ex-
  westward hill on horseback. One time as they were   cursions from one coast
to the other. She has crossed
  trotting along, they passed two farm  wagons and    the Atlantic some five
times, and she prizes especially
  they heard one farmer call to the other ahead of    the memories of one
winter in Heidelberg wbich she
  him, "He rides well!" Momentarily pleased, they soon  spent working
in the laboratories of Rosenbusch and
  felt a certain sense of chagrin, when, after a pause, he  of Goldschmidt,
the most brilliant crystallographer
  added, "for an old man." The daughter of the Uni-   of his day.
  versity's president thought the appended statement     Miss Bascom's list
of honors as recorded in Who's
  quite unnecessary and something of an exaggeration.  Who, looks something
like this, abbreviations and
-------HMiss   edsc r washoevr still reonie    fo4,       rntseta       
opngo       tWsigosei
                 SHE~i~ecvj~anientJ  Yc~tiaiiiiiin F&17~ "Associate
Editor American Geologist, 1896-1905,
  but because her father had anticipated an embarrass-  o    w A     iAld
 Gol.  ietylamia,
  ing immaturity on her part, he excluded her from    cilor '24-'27 and 2nd
Vice-President 1930), Mem-
  his own courses until she caught up in the modern   ber Seismological Soc.,
Soc. of Mi. and Met. Engi-
  languages, with the result that she took the double  neers, Amer. Acad.
Sc., Wash. Acad., Geol. Soc.
  degree of A.B. and B.L. in 1882. She remained in    Wash., Pick and Hammer
Club, Soc. of Woman Ge-
  Madison until 1884 engaging in social pleasures, de-  ographers, Nat. Research
Council; Div. of Geology
  voting herself to her pets and to out-of-door life,  and Geography (Member
of Exec. Committee), Am.
  and acquiring enough knowledge on scientific subjects  Geophysical Union,
the Acad. Nat. Sciences, Phila-
  to receive the degree of B.S.
    Imbued with a missionary spirit, she spent the    delphia, the Phil.
Geographic Society, the Nat. Geo-
  next two years teaching at Hampton Normal andWgraphicESocietyeands
  Agricultural Institute for Indians and colored stu-    MISS Bascom    lives
in Washington about six
  dents at Hampton, Virginia and there she formed     months of the year;
the other six, she li'ves in Massa-
  lasting friendships with students of both races. There  chusetts on top
of Hoosac Mountain, where she
  she began to find her interests changing to the field  owns 150 acres of
wooded land, a century-old farm-
  of geology and she returned to Wisconsin to earn    house called Topping,
a collie dog called Topper, and
  her M.A. in 1887.                                    until recently, two
saddle-horses. The portion of the
    Miss Bascom was, however, still recognized for    year not spent at Topping
or at Washington, she is
 her knowledge of the classics, and she again found  occupied with field
work in Pennsylvania.
 herself a teacher of Greek, this time in Williamstown,  We could go on writing
for months about inter-
 Massachusetts, fitting the high school students             esting alumnae
whom we know personally,
 for Williams College. But this time she was                 but we should
much prefer to tell our readers
 also given the opportunity to teach a class in              about alumnae
whom you consider interest-
 physical geography, her                                                
      ing. Do drop us a card,
 best loved subject.  At                                                
      giving names or write us a
 Rockford College in Wis-      HJJ.        ~aW      Kcsc-.Ll            
      real letter brimming with
 consin, she continued to                                          Innifa~
ne~mn,1                    information-if you have
 teach physical geography,       Woman's Editor, The Wisconsin Alumnus  
      it!


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