Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve (October 3, 1877 – July 7, 1965) was an American academic, the long-time Dean of Barnard College, and the sole female US delegate to the April 1945 San Francisco United Nations Conference on International Organization, which negotiated the UN Charter and created the United Nations.

Gildersleeve was born in New York City, she attended the Brearley School and following her graduation in 1895 went on to attend Barnard College, a member of the Seven Sisters affiliated with Columbia University. She completed her studies in 1899 and received a fellowship to undertake research for her MA in medieval history at Columbia University. She taught English part-time at Barnard for several years. She declined a full-time position and took a leave of absence to undertake her Ph.D. in English and comparative literature at Columbia for three years. When she completed her studies in 1908 she was appointed a lecturer in English in 1908 by Barnard and Columbia; by 1910 she had become an assistant professor and in 1911 was made dean of Barnard College.

In 1918 Gildersleeve, Caroline Spurgeon and Rose Sedgwick met while the two English women were on an academic exchange to the United States. They discussed founding an international association of university women, and in 1919 founded the International Federation of University Women. She shared an "intimate" relationship with the British Spurgeon, with whom she annually shared a rental summer home.

Following World War I she became interested in international politics. She campaigned for Al Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt. During World War II she chaired the Advisory Council of the navy's women's unit, the WAVES and following the war she was appointed to the United Nations Charter Committee. She was involved in the reconstruction of higher education in Japan. For this work she received France's Legion of Honor.

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Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve Poems

Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve Quotes

...expatriated Americans, even Henry James himself, have always seemed to me somewhat anchorless, rudderless, drifting before the wind.
Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve (1877-1965), U.S. educator. Many a Good Crusade, part 3 (1954). Gildersleeve, Dean of Barnard College, was active for decades in international political work and lived in England much of the time with her "intimate friend," the Englishwoman Caroline Spurgeon. Henry James (1843-1916), an important American novelist, left the United States to settle first in Paris and then, in 1876, in England, where he remained for the rest of his life.
If we could produce one or two more Madame Curies, that would accomplish far more for the advancement of women than any amount of agitation, argument and legislation.
Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve (1877-1965), U.S. educator. Many a Good Crusade, part 1 (1954). Gildersleeve was Dean of Barnard College, an elite institution for women, in New York City. Mme. Marie Curie (1867-1934) was a Polish scientist and co-discoverer of radium. She won two Nobel Prizes—in 1903 for physics, and in 1911 for chemistry. Her daughter, Irene Curie-Joliot, also won a Nobel Prize: in 1935, for chemistry.
It was hard for an American to understand the contented acceptance by English men and women of permanent places in the lowest social rank.
Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve (1877-1965), U.S. educator. Many a Good Crusade, part 2 (1954). Gildersleeve, though Dean of Barnard College in New York City, lived in England much of the time with her "intimate friend," the Englishwoman Caroline Spurgeon.

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