Elizabeth Reynard

Virginia Gildersleeve, Dean of Barnard College in New York, also asked one of her close personal friends to go to Washington and help work within the Navy develop a woman’s program. That woman was Elizabeth Reynard.

Reynard was a an English professor and graduate of Barnard College. She was a strange choice to lobby for a woman’s service because Reynard was by all accounts highly artistic and an unconventional thinker – not perhaps the best civilian woman to lobby for women’s military service. She moved to Washington in early 1942 and would eventually become one of the first women to join the WAVES.

This photograph comes from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

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