Mary Behner



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Mary wrote this letter to her family, likely in the spring of her sophomore year, just after she was elected to the National Council of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions. She writes about taking hikes, talking with friends, and how she doesn't want a lack of funds to prevent her from her new role on the Student Volunteer Movement council.


Sunday morning
9:00 [Spring ’25?]

Dear Family,

Mary and I are laying out on the lawn on 2 comforts and various pillows. Its a beautiful clear sunny summer morning. Really hot, too, but comfortable. Mary is trying to go asleep and I’m writing to you. Just now there it the nicest breeze stirring.

Yesterday was the most wonderful day. I felt at the end of the day such a healthy feeling - not only in body but in mind and spirit. Got up at 5:30 for a 5 mile hike - went over to breakfast - and after breakfast picked a bunch of violets and sent them off to a busy little friend of mine- Peg Craig- who is in the nurses home - taking training at John Hopkins hospital. She will

2/ probably get them this morning some time - and how happy she will be. Received the dearest letter from her the other day - a long one …..

It is later in the day now - and we have been resting on the lawn till now. Slept part of the time This morning we had co-ed S.S. class out on the lawn in back of Scovel Hall. Our Student discussion was on “Character vs. Reputation”. Good discussion.

Well I’ll finish up all I did yesterday next. After picking violets for Peg - I rode a bicycle all over town - The little Williamson girl got a new one for her birthday- and I rode her around too. Went to English class at 10:30 and then played base ball till noon. Right after lunch I cleaned the room and then about 3:30 went over to the gym and took a shower

3/ and washed my hair. After supper Leland and Mary went away for the evening and Thelma Church (a jr) and I sat out on the lawn and talked till 9:00— I’ve made the most wonderful new friend. She is older than most of the girls here and this has been coming on rather slowly for about a month. I know you and mother would like her. She taught a year after her first college year here and after her second college year she was the sec. at Berea College and after this year she is going to come right back and finish - so she is in my class and is living in a suite right around the corner from me next year. I know we are going to have some wonderful times.

4 I must tell you what your daughter is scheduled to do next fall. Have been elected to National Council of the S.V. Movement-as the only representative from the Northern Ohio groups - The Northern Ohio Union pays my full expenses which will probably include a trip to New York - from Sept 3 - 8th - right before school begins. It will be a group of perhaps 60 or 70 people including a representative from each Union, 6 representatives from the Foreign Mission Boards, at least one of whom is a Canadian - eight representatives at large, two of whom will be foreign students studying in U.S. or Canada.

5 four Canadians, four representatives of the Council of Christian Assn. Movement and all the members of the travelling and head-quarters staff. This is some rare opportunity besides a big responsibility. It will mean much to get in touch personally with headquarters. And think of me seeing New York — . . .

Andy wants me to come up to Northfield and stay with them in their summer home after my stay at Milwaukee and then come down to New York, a little before my conference - and see New York - then after the council - we’d come back to school together. and then to “Chip” and then to studying.

Sounds like one

6 real treat of a summer - but I want it to be a big one - for next year. Next year is going to be a wealthy one in experience and its going to mean more real experience as a pre-requisite - and real devotional life. I can’t do the work of council without it - State council means trips over the state - studying the groups thru out.- reporting to headquarters - talking to groups, starting new etc. - so I can’t do that without strength from above. - and you know it. Its going to be a big year.- folks. - and with a big summer I’ll be all bubbling over.

If there isn’t more money to come in from the groups - for my council expenses- - I shall have to forward it personally, and that’s tough - - I don’t see how I’m going to get thru next year on expenses. - nor this year for that matter. And I don’t want money to keep back all these wonderful opportunities that are to be mine - unusual ones and also very unexpected one.

Another addition has been made to my wonderful week end. After C.E. one of my new made senior friends - Mary Core - asked me to take a walk with her - We took a few sandwiches that Mrs. Rachin

gave us - (from a luncheon she’d had) and a book “By an Unknown Disciple - two pillows plus ourselves and walked out to the country club and read two chapters of it. It was lovely.

It’s really hot here- wore my green voile dress to church - my white hat - and no coat.

It’s going to be so hard to be studious these wonderful days. Am taking a 5 mile hike every morning this week. My room-mate thinks I’m ambitious. Perhaps I am.

The time is flying.

Mary E

1135 Beall Ave.



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Letters; Hiking; College students; Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions


Wooster, Ohio

Letter from Mary to Family- Sunday Evening, circa 1926



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