Harriet Alice Chipman Dewey was the first principal (1902-04) of the Laboratory Schools.
Mrs. Dewey was enthralled by ideas, and John had the same admiration for her mind that he'd acknowledged in a letter before their marriage, noting how she'd jogged him out of "my old doing and my old thinking." Jane wrote of her mother, "She had a brilliant mind which cut through sham and pretense to the essence of a situation; a sensitive nature combined with indomitable courage and energy, and a loyalty to the intellectual integrity of the individual which made her spend herself with unusual generosity for all those with whom she came in contact." She added, "She was undoubtedly largely responsible for the early widening of Dewey's philosophic interests from the commentative and classical to the field of contemporary life."
Alice, who had graduated from U-M in 1886 at the age of 27, continued to work for the interests of young women at the University, who were so isolated in their boarding houses that they had little social life. She was part of the founding of the WomenÕs League in 1890 and held an open house every Friday for any female students who wished to come by.
Source: Linda Walker, Michigan Today, Fall 1997 Location: Chicago