The Helen M. Upton Center for Women's Studies

The Helen M. Upton Center was founded in 1990 to be the intellectual and community focus for Women's Studies and women's issues at Russell Sage College.

It has three primary tasks:

  • To oversee the interdisciplinary Women's Studies minor
  • To coordinate special events that highlight women's accomplishments, speak to women's needs, and bring together diverse women of all ages and backgrounds who study, work, and teach at The Sage Colleges.
  • To serve as a clearinghouse for scholarship on women

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Helen M. Upton

Helen M. Upton

Helen Merritt Upton (1914-1993) was a member of the Russell Sage Class of 1936, and a single mother before such a term existed. She went on to become a Professor of History at Sage and, in the early 1970s, she co-taught the first Women's Studies course offered at Russell Sage College. Professor Upton was a gifted and a popular teacher, as well as an internationally-recognized scholar in the field of Shaker history. She was honored by her alma mater with an honorary doctorate in 1979, and remained active in the life of the College (and particularly in the life of the Center) until her death.

Today the Helen M. Upton Scholarship is given to a student who, as Helen herself did, struggles to balance family and school responsibilities.