If an institution's success is measured by its longevity, then the Howard Collegiate Institute was indeed successful. From 1883 until 1968, this private girls' seminary offered young women a private secondary aimed at preparation for a profession or further education. As stated earlier, in its early years Howard had to build a second cottage to meet the needs of new students.
If success can be measured by one's reputation, then Howard was a very successful. Its list of visitors over the eighty-five years is extraordinary. Men and women fro the academic community, the political arena, writers, ministers, leading reformers of the feminist and the abolitionist movements, and prominent businessmen spoke in the Lecture Hall at Howard. They gave both informal talks and speeches to the students. Howard Collegiate Institute attracted faculty members and administrative leaders from various parts of the United States and Europe. They were graduates of such colleges as: Boston University, Brown, Columbia, The Conservatory of Hanover, Germany, the Royal Conservatory of Leipsic, MIT, Radcliffe, and Swathmore. The student body was initially comprised of young girls from New England with a few exceptions. However, by the 1960's students came from as far away as Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. Princesses and daughters of foreign ambassadors and other dignitaries attended Howard.
Howard Seminary offered those courses of study prominent in other female seminaries. An education of women equal to any received by a man was embraced at Howard. The girls were encouraged to achieve their fullest potential, be it academic, spiritual, social, or physical. Both faculty and trustees aimed to provide the best education possible for the students. Preparation for college was taken seriously. The school was equipped with the newest gymnasium equipment, and scientific laboratories. A library fund was established by the Board of Trustees to purchase new books on a yearly basis. Captain Howard had also established a Lecture Fund for the purpose of inviting guest lecturers to instruct and give valuable talks to the girls.
Many female Seminaries in the 1800's came under the exclusive direction of a single principal or headmaster. Some seminaries had a board of trustees added both financial and social credibility to an institution. Howard had both. Classes and resident life at Howard were under the care of a principal and faculty. In addition, Howard was established under a Board of Trustees. The Board was to oversee the financial matters of the school.
Courtesy of Laurie Brown, 1994.