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Katharine Sturgis presidential papers

 Series
Identifier: CPP 2/002-03
The Katharine R. Sturgis presidential papers date from 1972 to 1974, and consists of Council minutes; correspondence; and files related to a memorial service for former College President John H. Gibbon and a symposium on open heart surgery, both held in 1973.

The correspondence included in the collection concerns the wine tasting party held in September 1972 to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Louis Pasteur’s birth; committee meetings; financial gifts to the College; and planning for the city of Philadelphia’s Bicentennial Celebration. The Council minutes and the President’s newsletters account for the years 1972 and 1973. In February of 1973, former College President (and inventor of the Gibbon Heart-Lung Machine), John H. Gibbon, died, and Sturgis held a memorial service at the College. A symposium related to open heart surgery, and related to Gibbon’s work, was held at the College in May 1973.

Researchers will find this collection completes the records found in CPP 2/002-01, Presidential papers of Katharine Sturgis, and CPP 2/002-02, General correspondence file of Katharine R. Sturgis.

This collection was discovered during a survey in the summer and fall of 2015. It was processed in the fall of 2018.

Dates

  • 1972-1974

Creator

Extent

.2 Linear feet (1 half document box)

Overview

Katharine Rosenbaum Guest Boucot Sturgis was born in Philadelphia in 1903, and graduated from Woman’s Medical College of Philadelphia in 1940.

Katharine R. Sturgis's connection with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia began in 1951 when she was elected a Fellow. In 1972, after more than twenty years as a member, Sturgis became the College's first woman president. A year later, she was forced to retire due to health problems. Sturgis died in Philadelphia in 1987.

The Katharine R. Sturgis presidential papers date from 1972 to 1974, and consists of Council minutes; correspondence; and files related to a memorial service for former College President John H. Gibbon and a symposium on open heart surgery, both held in 1973.

Researchers will find this collection completes the records found in CPP 2/002-01, Presidential papers of Katharine Sturgis, and CPP 2/002-02, General correspondence file of Katharine R. Sturgis.

Office of the President history

The Office of the President of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia is first described in the 1787 constitution. The constitution states that the President "shall have power to call extraordinary Meetings whenever important, or unexpected Business shall require, of which he shall be the Judge", The constitution also states that the president was authorized to call a special session when requested by at least six Fellows. According to the 1834 by-laws, the president was responsible for presiding at College meetings and signing orders from the treasurer, but he could not discuss any questions while in the chair except when necessary to coae to a decision. This latter regulation was dropped from the 1863 by-laws, and new responsibilities were added in 1882, when the president was given "general supervision of the affairs of the College" and was required to present an annual address.

In 1886, due to the influence of president S, Weir Mitchell, the by-laws were again amended. Mitchell secured the right to be informed of all committee meetings and to attend them if he wished, Another of Mitchell's requests, for a five year presidential term, was never approved. The responsibilities of the president re•ained •uch the saae until 1914. In the by-laws of this year, the president's duty of "sign[ing] all warrants on the Treasurer" was omitted. 1925 marked a major change in the Office of the President; in this year, he was granted ex-officio membership in all standing committees and had the power to elect most committee members. The first regulation concerning the president's term was instituted in the 1935 by-laws, which state that no president aay serve more than three years in a row. Additional changes in the Office of the President did not occur until 1972. The by-laws of this year state that the president must publish his annual address, subait a yearly summary of ·the activities of the College, and "appoint all standing committees and designate the Chairmen", with the exception of the Noainating committee, The president's term was again restricted in the 1984 bylaws, which state that the president is liaited to one twoyear tera. As of 1991, the president presides at meetings, appoints coaaittees and defines their duties, serves as an ex-officio meaber of all committees, and has "all other duties and powers usually pertaining to the office".
Katharine R. Sturgis biography Katharine Rosenbaum Guest Boucot Sturgis was born in Philadelphia on 3 September 1903. She attended William Penn High School and began her pre-medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1922. Her education was interrupted, however, by her marriage, the birth of two children, and a divorce. Later, Sturgis completed her undergraduate degree at Penn State University. She entered Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1935 but was forced to leave school when she contracted tuberculosis. After a year of recovery, she resumed her studies and earned her medical degree in 1940.

Sturgis began her medical career as an intern at the Woman's Medical College Hospital and later accepted a residency in pulmonary diseases at Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit. Sturgis then returned to Philadelphia to teach at the Woman's Medical College, but she remained interested in pulmonary disease and continued to conduct research in the early detection of lung cancer and tuberculosis. Later in life, she waged a vigorous campaign to inform the public of the hazards of smoking.

Katharine R, Sturgis's connection with the College of Physicians of Philadelphia began in 1951 when she was elected a Fellow. In 1972, after more than twenty years as a member, Sturgis became the College's first woman president. A year later she was forced to retire due to health problems.

Throughout her career, Katharine R, Sturgis received numerous honors. She was elected the first woman president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society in 1967 and became president of the American College of Preventive Medicine in 1969. She was the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Trudeau Medal, the Strittmatter Award, the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, and the Philadelphia Gimbel Award. Katharine R, Sturgis died in Philadelphia on 28 March 1987.
Title
Katharine Sturgis presidential papers
Author
Chrissie Perella
Date
November 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (dacs)

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

Contact:
19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States
215-399-2001