Maud May Babcock
Biography




 
Maud May Babcock (May 2, 1867  December 31, 1954) was the first female member of 
the University of Utah's faculty. She taught at the university for 46 years,
beginning in 1892. While there she established the University Theater, originated
the first college dramatic club in the United States and directed over 800
plays. Maud was born in East Worcester, New York to William Wayne Babcock and Sarah Jane
Butler. She was educated in the public schools of New York then received degrees
from Welles College in New York, Philadelphia National School of Oratory and, in
1890, the American Academy of Dramatic Art. Maud was studying and teaching at Harvard University when she met noted Utahn and
daughter of Brigham Young Susa Young Gates who, impressed by Babcock's work as a
summer course instructor in physical culture, convinced her to move to Salt Lake
City. She established UU's first physical training curriculum, of which speech and
dramatics were part for several years. After a separate speech and drama department
was formed, she headed that. At other times in her professional life, she studied at the University of Chicago
and schools in London and Paris; served as president of the National Association of
Teachers of Speech; and, for twenty years, a trustee for the Utah State School for
Deaf and Blind. She wrote five books on speech and elocution, and was a renowned traveler and
lecturer. In addition to her professional interests in drama and elocution, she was
also a crusader against wasp-waist corsets. She was also famed in Utah for her
success in bringing big-name talent to the state. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served for several
years on the general board of the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association. She died at the age of 87.
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