Elizabeth Wheeler Olsen

(Michigan, 1929)

Wisdom from her article in The Crescent, 1959:

As I write this, I have just returned from the annual meeting of the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors …There was talk of scholarship, of grades and numerical ratings, and it was pointed out that these are of value only as evidence of the success our members have had in learning how to learn. And yet with the present emphasis on good scholarship as a requisite for entering or staying in college, women students must attain that outward evidence of their right to higher education. Beyond the ‘grades’ our students strive for, there must be a willingness to accept the responsibilities of higher education for women. This, I believe, must be our aim as Gamma Phi Betas, to seek and to use the best that our colleges and universities have to offer. Extracurricular activities, too, were discussed, and their importance stressed…for the training they give in preparation for service… ‘Cooperate with others, but compete against yourselves,’ said one speaker in reference to the race for higher scholastic ratings. This is a phrase that each of us might use as a guide for our everyday lives – cooperating with others as they work to fulfill their potentialities, and at the same time striving always to improve ourselves in all ways.

Elizabeth Wheeler Olsen served as Grand President from 1958-60.