Spring 2002
Volume 6 Number 3







The Heroic Spinsters

Sue Reed Wilcox (’54E) enjoys the recollections in this section of inSpire, and wanted to share one of the best memories she made “while having the experience of a lifetime at Princeton Seminary.”

“One of the most enduring influences of my life was knowing Dr. John Mackay during my years at seminary. While he seemed to some of us at first meeting to portray a rather gentle Scottish demeanor, that was not so when he was speaking in chapel or preaching. He could be quite dynamic. While I came to know him as gracious and friendly, I still was often at a loss for words when he would call me by name and enter into conversation. His wife, however, was a different story. She had a marvelous laugh, loved to tell stories, and was enthusiastic about everything. A week before graduation Jane Mackay invited the eleven senior girls over for tea at Springdale, which was close to Tennent Hall where we lived. Knowing her wonderful sense of humor, we all dressed in black dresses and black shoes. We wore no make-up and each of us doused our hair in white powder to give us the look of the “heroic spinsters” that Dr. Mackay was known to refer to us as. Needless to say, when we arrived en masse at her door she was regaled with laughter. It was a wonderful tea party, and we all went home wondering what she would say if Dr. Mackay on arriving home would ask, “Jane, tell me about your day.”