Emily Balch, Bryn Mawr Class of 1889, was a gifted scholar with a uniquely global perspective who advanced women’s rights on an international level. In 1946, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, which is one of the treasures in the Bryn Mawr College Collections (shown at right).
As a distinguished scholar of economics and sociology, she conducted pioneering cross-cultural studies of immigration and poverty. As an advocate of women’s rights, she was a founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, which supported pacifism during World War I. As a committed activist, she devoted her life to championing humanitarian causes around the world at the League of Nations and other international organizations.
The Balch Seminars introduce all first-year students at Bryn Mawr to a critical, probing, thoughtful approach to the world and our roles in it.
These challenging seminars are taught by scholar/teachers of distinction within their fields and across academic disciplines. They facilitate the seminars as active discussions among students, not lectures. Through intensive reading and writing, the thought-provoking Balch Seminars challenge students to think about complex, wide-ranging issues from a variety of perspectives.