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Bojan Hamlin Jennings Collection

Identifier: MC-085

Scope and Contents

Boxes 1-21 of the Bojan Jennings Collection contain pertinent information on the intellectual endeavors of Prof. Bojan Jennings and her students throughout her career as a Chemistry professor at Wheaton College. Within these boxes, Prof. Jennings kept material pertaining to her own individual research interests, her scientific publications, and her students’ research. Prof. Jennings was passionate about meaningfully contributing to the small repertoire of literature on women scientists. For this reason, she passionately dedicated herself to researching notable women scientists for many years. This work culminated in the publication of a comprehensive glimpse into the lives and work of Professors Emma Carr, Mary Sherrill and Lucy Pickett. These boxes reveal Prof. Jennings’ passion for constant progress: the progress of her students; the progress of her own research interests; and the progress of women in all scientific fields. These files are separated and organized into the following five categories: individual work; research publications; women scientists; students; and student summer research.


  • 1950 - 1985
  • 1975 - 1985 (Bulk Dates)


Access Restrictions

No Restrictions. Papers are open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Professor Bojan Hamlin Jennings arrived at Wheaton College in 1943 as an Instructor in Chemistry. Fresh from completing an M.A. at Radcliffe College following an A.B. at Bryn Mawr, she was hired by the late Chemistry Professor Mildred Evans as an Instructor in Chemistry. Her personal story reflects her love for science and education as well as her commitment to women’s progress in both fields. In 1946, she left Wheaton to join her husband, Addison Llewellyn Jennings, in New York after being separated from him for three years due to his enlistment in the Navy. During this time, Jennings gave birth to her son Hamlin and her daughter, Nora Lyn (W’71) a short while later.

After three years of being away from Wheaton, Jennings realized that her passion for science and for teaching was too strong to disregard. She and Addison made the decision to leave New York to return to Norton so that she could continue her career; Addison left his Wall Street accounting firm job at Arthur Anderson and Company and planned to start his own local accounting firm. In the summer of 1950, the Jennings family moved back to Wheaton, where Bojan taught for the next thirty-five years. In 1955, she completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University, and gave birth to another daughter, Constance Tuthill, shortly thereafter.

Jennings was fiercely committed to her career as both a teacher and a scientist. She was extensively and personally involved in ensuring that Wheaton women were given the best education possible in the physical sciences. One of her most oft-cited accomplishments is the establishment of a student summer research program through the Research Corporation grant she was awarded in 1959. Under Jennings’s supervision, student researchers from both Wheaton and area universities and colleges (such as Harvard, UMass and Regis College) were given the opportunity to work collaboratively on research that culminated in numerous prestigious publications.

This research was supported throughout the years by the Research Corporation, as well as the Petroleum Research Fund (1960, 1978-80), National Science Foundation (1960, ’61, ’62, ’63-’64) and the National Institutes of Health (1966-69). She was featured in ten different publications in scientific journals such as Steroids and the Journal of Organic Chemistry; many of these publications were co-authored by students. She wrote extensively and delivered lectures on a variety of topics, most notably on breast cancer research and women in the sciences.

Jennings also worked diligently at mapping out the lives and work of women scientists who paved the way for women like her and her students. Her articles, entitled “Carbohydrates: Not for Eating”, “Petermann’s Particles: Mammalian Ribosomes, Sites of Protein Synthesis” and “Professors Carr, Sherrill, and Pickett: Selected Works and Memoirs” explored the lives and work of Dr. Allene Jeanes, Dr. Mary Petermann, and Professors Emily Carr, Mary Sherrill and Lucy Pickett, respectively. She did this not only to introduce the concepts these women discovered and experimented with to students in her classes, but also to show her students examples of women who could serve as role models. This dedication was apparent to almost all she taught, and encouraged some 150+ students to pursue a degree in Chemistry. Many of these alumnae continued their education after Wheaton, and earned doctoral degrees in the sciences.

While a faculty member at Wheaton, Jennings was deeply invested in campus life and administrative policies. She was the Chairwoman of the Chemistry Department for three separate terms and was awarded the A. Howard Meneely Professorship from 1975-78. She oversaw the establishment of Health Careers Advisors at Wheaton, becoming the Chairwoman of that as well for some time. She served on all major committees at Wheaton, including the Presidential Search Committee (which oversaw the selection of Wheaton’s first female President, Dr. Alice Frey Emerson); the Advisory Committee, Promotions Committee and Subcommittee of Educational Policy from 1978-79; and was the Treasurer of Wheaton’s Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Through regular correspondence with senior members of the administration, she constantly questioned and productively challenged administrative decisions in an effort to ensure that academic priorities were at the forefront of every agenda

At her retirement, members of the Wheaton community from all over the country came to celebrate her time at Wheaton. The Bojan Jennings Chair in the Sciences (currently held by Scott W. Shumway, Professor of Biology) was established and endowed in her honor upon her retirement. In March 2007, she was awarded the distinguished American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Women into Careers of Chemical Science. In addition, she was awarded an honorary doctor in science degree from Wheaton in October of 2008. Although she has been retired for quite some time, she continues to generously give back to the Wheaton community. Most recently, in the Spring of 2014, she and her family established two endowed funds for young, aspiring Wheaton scientists. The first, the Jennings Family Endowed Scholarship, will be awarded to “an academically talented first-year student who intends to major in chemistry, biochemistry, physics or biology”. The second, the Jennings Family Prize, will be given at Spring Honors Convocation to “the most academically stellar rising senior who is majoring in one of the natural sciences”.


21 boxes (21 record cartons) : Files stored in manila folders; theses and books bound; loose miscellany.

Language of Materials



Contains: Research data and graphs; presentation notes; scientific research articles; biographical research articles; books; letter correspondences; newsletters; transcribed interviews and speeches; research publications; curricula vitae; letters of recommendation; research reports; student honors theses; grant information; research notebooks, and more.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was aquired in two parts. The inital gift of papers was given by Professor Bojan Hamlin Jennings. A second acquisition occurred in 2011, when more of Jennings papers were found in an unused classroom in the Old Science Center of Wheaton College. This second acquisition was processed as a transfer of records rather than a new gift.

Copyright Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States Copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by: Sarah Estrela W15, Summer 2014

Encoded by: Sarah Estrela W15, Summer 2014

Encoding Edited by: Megan Wheaton-Book, Assistant Archivist, August 2014



Inventory of the Bojan Jennings Collection
Sarah Estrela W15
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Marion B. Gebbie Archives and Special Collections Repository

Wheaton College
26 East Main Street
Norton Massachusetts 02766