(Quoted from the Kansas Preservation Newsletter , Kansas State Historical Society, May-July 2007: http://www.kshs.org/resource/ks_preservation/kpmayjun07.pdf)
This modest house, also in Wichita’s College Hill neighborhood, was home for 40 years to one of Wichita State University’s most influential female leaders, Grace Wilkie. Fairmont Congregational College, as the institution was then known, hired Wilkie in 1912 to lead the Home Economics Department. Beyond teaching, she was committed to serving her community through the American Red Cross and various organizations dedicated to women’s suffrage and war relief efforts. She took a brief leave of absence after World War I to join the American Committee for Devastated France. Upon her return in 1922, she was promoted to the position of dean of women, which she held until her retirement in 1953. That same year, the college named its new women’s residence hall in her honor. Wilkie had no children of her own, but counted some 9,000 young women among the students she had supervised during her tenure—many of whom attended an annual tea at her home on English Street, which was built in 1927 by Grover C. Wright. Wilkie lived in this house with her sister Sophronia until her death in 1967.
Photo: DC & VC 1-08