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Student Admission Pledge Forms, Class 100, Bridgewater State Normal School
Tuition was waived for Normal School students pledging to teach in the public schools within Massachusetts. Students in the first decades of the State Normal Schools vowed their intention to teach by signing their names in a large ledger book. Beginning in the 1860s each entering student was asked to sign a printed form, which also noted other personal information such as the student's address, birth date, father's name and occupation, and school last attended. Students usually signed the forms when they took the entrance examinations at the start of their first term. These 65 signed pledges are from the 100th Class, which entered the State Normal School at Bridgewater on September 6, 1882. This class included twin brothers Edward L. and Fred W. Atkinson, Robert Lincoln O'Brien, and Gertrude A. Earle. Edward Lincoln Atkinson became a well-known Episcopal clergyman in New York City. Fred Washington Atkinson served as General Superintendent of Education in the Philippine Islands from 1900-1903, president of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn from 1904-1925, and as a member of the New York City Board of Education from 1916-1918. Robert Lincoln O'Brien was the long-time editor and publisher of the Boston Herald and later served as chairman of the U.S. Tariff Commission in both the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations. Gertrude A Earle was one of the first women to graduate from Tufts Theological School and be ordained in the Universalist ministry.
State Normal School (Bridgewater, Mass.) - Students
Atkinson, Fred W. (Fred Washington), 1865-1941
Atkinson, Edward L. (Edward Lincoln), 1865-
O'Brien, Robert Lincoln, 1865-1955
Clement C. Maxwell Library Special Collections
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