1849 - 1885

Margaret Mann

The board of trustees elected Margaret Mann as principal in 1849, hoping that she possessed the qualities to continue Elizabeth Cate‘s improvements. After only a brief tenure, however, the board noted that Mann’s “lack of serious religious commitment” caused them great concern. Although Wheaton Seminary was non-sectarian, it was committed to Christian spiritual and moral concepts and expected them to be emphasized in the curriculum and leadership. After the board searched for and found a principal that they believed would provide these qualities, they essentially forced Mann to resign.

One obstacle to Mann’s success in her one-year tenure was the construction of Mary Lyon Hall. The noise, dirt, workmen and general disruption must have made it difficult to maintain order and discipline.

Margaret Mann married Thomas Rice. Like all the other principals, she returned to address the Seminary at its fiftieth anniversary celebration in 1885.