Before coming to Montana State College (now Montana State University), Una B. Herrick was  trained in drama and appeared on stage in New York. Following her husband’s death, she sought another career and arrived at MSC as the first dean of women in 1911 to supervise the new women’s dorm and organize curricular activities for women. A champion of women, she set about at once empowering them. As early as 1911, women participated in physical education classes taught by Herrick. Passionate about young women attending college, in 1913, she organized the annual Women’s Vocational Congress on campus, the first in the nation aimed at high school women. She felt that young women should develop skills that would give them an independent source of income before marriage and make them competent scientific household managers. On campus, Herrick established an informal employment agency. She encouraged the university to create student assistant positions in the library and labs and found homes where girls could assist with housework, child care and other duties that would enable them to pay for their schooling. In May 1923, under Herrick’s direction, the Women’s Day Ceremony was established and continues today as the Day of Student Recognition.

When the first women’s building was completed in 1926, it was named in honor of Una B. Herrick.

Una B. Herrick

MSU Historic Photo Collection: parc-001733