Annie B. Irish
The College of Wooster’s first female professor, Annie B. Irish, led an exciting life in a time when most women’s opportunities were fairly limited. As a young woman, she studied in Germany and France and later at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. The United States Government made use of her noted linguistic skills and employed her as a translator for the Department of the Interior.1 After giving an impressive lecture on French Literature at the College of Wooster in March 1881, Irish received the post of Professor of German Language and Literature at the College.2 By 1882, the College had awarded her a Ph.D. For the young women studying at the College, Irish was a strong mentor and role model, both academically and outside of the classroom. She would often invite female students over to her house and would visit them at their residences as well.3 Irish left her position to nurse her sick sister, but unfortunately she became ill herself and died later that year. Her untimely death shocked and saddened the wider campus community. In Annie B. Irish, the College lost a mentor, colleague, friend, and highly regarded scholar.
1 Howard Irish to Lucy Notestein, 6 March 1931, Annie B. Irish Box, College of Wooster Special Collections, Wooster.
2 Biography of Annie B. Irish, folder: Faculty--Irish, Annie B.--Biography [about]- , College of Wooster Special Collections, Wooster.
3 The Wooster Voice, February 17, 1886.