Open main menu

CUNNINGHAM, Miss Susan J., educator, born in Harford county, Maryland, 23rd March, SUSAN J. CUNNINGHAM.jpgSUSAN J. CUNNINGHAM. 1842. On her mother's side she is of Quaker blood. Her mother died in 1845, and Susan was left to the Care of her grandparents. She attended a Friends' school until she was fifteen years old, when it was decided that she should prepare for the work of teaching. She was sent to a Friends' boarding-school in Montgomery county, for a year, when family cares called her home, and she continued her studies in the school near by. At nineteen she became a teacher, and she has taught ever since, with the exception of two years, one of which she spent in the Friends' school in Leghorne, or Attleboro, and the other in Vassar College. She has spent her summer vacations in study. She studied in Harvard College observatory in the summers of 1874 and 1876, in Princeton observatory in 1881, in Williamstown in 1883 and 1884, under Prof. Safford, and in Cambridge, England, in 1877, in 1878, in 1879 and in 1882. under a private tutor. In 1887 she studied in the observatory in Cambridge, England, and in 1891 she spent the summer in the Greenwich. England, observatory. When Swarthmore College was established in Swaithmore, Pa., in 1869, she w;is selected teacher of mathematics. Professor Smith now of Harvard being nominally professor. Professor Smith was called to Harvard at the close of the first year, since which time she has had entire charge of the department of pure mathematics, having been made full professor in 1875. In late years she has had charge of the observatory, which was built with funds secured by her ow n exertions. She is a thoroughly successful educator, and her conduct of her departments shows that a woman can be quite as efficient as a man in the realm of mathematics and astronomy.