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Legacy

Rebecca Pennell's Legacy left behind:

    
Rebecca Pennell helped pave the way for female professors as the first woman in America to have equal status as her male colleagues. She was one of the original professors hired at Antioch college when it opened in 1852. She taught there for six years until her husband died. After his death she moved to New York where continued teaching. She helped pave the way for future hiring of women at Antioch.
    
    Women did not usually receive an education as good as a male would receive. They were discouraged from getting one and having a job that would require one. She helped break the barriers as one of the first women to have an educated job. Women slowly started to work to gain equal status. In 1919 Alice Hamilton became the first woman hired to Harvard's staff. 1858 Mary Fellows became the first woman west of the Mississippi River to receive a baccalaureate degree. In 1877 Helen Magill became the first woman in the United States to earn her Ph.D. In 1892 Laura J. Eisenhuth became the first woman elected to state office as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Many women followed seeking a better education and pursuing careers. 

    The number of women working and getting an education (in the U.S) has greatly improved. Nearly 38% of women go to college and graduate with a degree. 62% of college students are women. 24% of college professors are women.  Women are still not equal to men in the work force. (In most places) Women earn about seventy-eight cents to every dollar an man earns for doing the same job. Almost a 22% pay gap between genders. About 57% of women participate in the work force. But women are taking educated jobs and it is not considered unusual. Nearly 35% of doctors in the U.S are women, and 36% of lawyers are women. Women are taking a higher role in government. Since Pennell women have been given the right to vote (1920). Victoria Woodhall became the first woman to run for president in 1927. Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, was the first woman to be
 elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1932, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, of 
Arkansas, became the first woman elected to the 
U.S. Senate. In 1997, Madeleine Albright was sworn in as U.S. secretary of state. She was the first woman in this position as well as the highest-ranking woman in the United States government. Women are moving up in the world and gradually gaining equality in the United States. 
    

    Rebecca owned a house on Antioch campus. When she moved it the house was sold and another family moved in. The house was bought and sold several times before Antioch purchased it. When Antioch first bought it they used it as an infirmary for students. They had a doctor and a full time nurse who lived in one of the rooms upstairs. It was unused for years and was then pronounced unsafe. It was to be demolished but the Antioch Alumni made petitions, got signatures saying it was an important part of Yellow Springs history. The raised $452,000 dollars through letters and collections to renovated the house and it was not demolished. The house was painted, the porch was repaired and reinforced, the carpet was redone, and the roof was repaired. There is a plaque on the outside of the house dedicated to Rebecca Pennell. The house is now called Community Life and it deals with student business and affairs.






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