Whitehill, Marie, 1929-1931

Marie Whitehill graduated cum laude from Abbot Academy in 1931. From Newburgh, New York, she boarded at Abbot Academy. Her scrapbook organizes the years 1929 to 1931 and shows that she was a very active varsity athlete, arts enthusiast, and successful academic. Two complete report cards are saved, noting what classes she took and her grade on a letter scale.

With several newspaper clippings of praise, sports pamphlets, rosters, team photographs (on which she penned in names with corresponding numbers), Whitehill documented her Abbot Academy athleticism thoroughly. She even saved a clipping from presumably her hometown, praising her for an Abbot-related athletic accomplishment. Her passion for sports extends to literature. On a typewritten sheet, transcribes a satirical excerpt by Will Rogers titled Harvard Yale Football game. In addition to athletics, Marie documented a significant amount of arts memorabilia within her scrapbook. A full play book, multiple vespers (including her commencement vesper), both faculty and student recitals, and even Abbot Academy playbills, are some examples of what she preserved. Despite the fact that she did not participate in anything music related that she documented, it seemed to have meant much to her given the sheer volume of material. However, she did participate in theatre. Whitehill included an envelope brimming with flower cards congratulating her on her performance in the senior play. There is also a photograph included of her and two other students on stage for a school production. Most notably, she has saved a brochure for the first Addison Gallery exhibition.

Whitehill was active outside the Abbot Academy community as well. Phillips Academy is mentioned directly through her presumably boyfriend at the time in a letter addressed to Marie’s parents staying at the Phillips Inn. Richard Goodrich, a Phillips Academy student, expresses his apologies for not being able to meet them, since he is at football game off campus but hopes to meet them and invites them to meet. This is not the only time Richard is mentioned. Later in her pages, that are seemingly chronological, there is a letter directly addressed from him to Marie. In this letter, he accepts her invitation to prom. In addition, there are several letters between a Phillips Academy student living in Paul Revere Hall, a Phillips Academy dormitory, and his friend who mention Goodrich. She is quite social, for there are numerous dance cards with the United States Maritime Academy with her name in it, an invitation to a party, and several calling cards (one of which is from Goodrich) scattered about her scrapbook. Stationary, an envelope, and a matchbook from Phillips Inn are included among her saved tokens. This is not the only matchbook within her scrapbook. She has another one saved next to a valentine she wrote to the Andover Fire Chief. Beyond Andover, she has a saved lecture pamphlet from MIT discussing “recent developments in communication by radio” and a telegraph from a friend from home. She also has saved a Boston & Maine Railroad envelope with a luggage tag and prices included.

Other than the arts, athletics, and academic side of Abbot, other campus-related things comprise an Abbot Halloween Dinner brochure in which she pencils in the food served, a letter of discipline to the Abbot community from Bertha Bailey revoking a senior privilege, and other school event flyers.

Abbot Academy Halloween Dinner menu, 1930
Abbot Academy Halloween Dinner menu, 1930

Whitehill also documented more food in her scrapbook with menus from Atlantic City and her commencement menu. She included a weight diary in which she weighed herself weekly for her last semester of her senior year. She even went to the extent of a decimal in her weight log. Weight is also mentioned in a saved letter from a friend back home in which she writes Marie that she has gained two pounds. She follows this fact by, “What better proof that I am thriving?!”
The Whitehill scrapbook also includes an attendance card on posture.

Condition: The scrapbook is a binder with a hardcover of thick blue textured paper on the outside. The binding is metal and held together by a black string. Most pages are completely detached from the binding and separated from themselves. The pages disintegrate, as opposed to ripping, if you pull or press too hard. The book does flip, up until a certain point halfway through. The last quarter of the book is blank.

by Mika Curran, class of 2017

Scrapbook Box 69