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Florence Kimball
Helen Goldhaft Wernicoff
Interlude, 1910-1936

Marie Koenig Olson
Patricia O'Connor Halloran
Interlude, 1938-1939

Helen Borchmann Doremus
Sylvia Burg Salk
Interlude, 1940s

Catherine Fabricant
Helena Haight

Florence Kimball, 1910

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Florence Kimball entered Cornell in the fall of 1907 and graduated with 21 men three years later. She returned to Massachusetts and renovated a stable in Newtonville in which she opened a small-animal hospital. Though relatively little is known about her practice, there is no reason to believe that it was not successful. In fact, in the January following her graduation, Dean Veranus Moore received a letter from Dr. Kimball indicating that her caseload was more than ample

Within a relatively short period of time, however, Dr. Kimball left veterinary medicine to enter the nursing profession. She trained at a hospital in the Boston area, may have served in the Army Nurses' Corps during World War I, and later worked at the State University Hospital in Oklahoma City, where she spent the remainder of her career. She died on her farm outside Oklahoma City in 1947.

Stella de Liancount Berthier

Two years before Florence Kimball matriculated, Stella de Liancount Berthier entered the College with aspirations of becoming a veterinarian. The young woman was recommended to Dean James Law by Professor Hobday of the Royal Veterinary College in London. Miss Berthier steamed across the Atlantic on a Cunard luxury liner, the Luciania, and commenced classes in the fall of 1905. Her interests unfortunately did not extend beyond her love of dogs. After several letters rebuking Dean Law for the difficulty of the curriculum, she abandoned her studies in disgust later that fall.

In retrospect, one can imagine that our early faculty and administrators, having seen their first female student drop out in a matter of weeks and the second one forsake veterinary medicine for a career in nursing, might have been less than enthusiastic about admitting more women. After a 15-year pause, however, Cornell resumed its course of leadership and began admitting women on a regular basis - albeit, in modest numbers - many years before peer institutions adopted a similar policy. The women chosen were ready for the challenge.

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Florence Kimball

College Archives
Cornell University
College of Veterinary Medicine