Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Bush, Edith L., 1882-1977
Edith Linwood Bush (1882-1977), W1903, H1942, was the second dean of Jackson College and the first female professor to teach in the College of Engineering.
Born in Everett, Massachusetts, on September 15, 1882, Bush spent most of her childhood in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Choosing to attend her father's alma mater, as did her brother and sister, Bush graduated from Tufts in 1903. As an undergraduate, Bush had been active in Chi Omega sorority and Phi Beta Kappa.
From 1906 to 1918, Bush was appointed head of the mathematics department of Chelsea High School where she taught her younger brother, famed scientist Vannevar Bush, trigonometry. She also served as principal of Provincetown High School before returning to Tufts as an instructor of mathematics in 1920. Returning to campus, she also served as housemistress of Start House, one of the Jackson dormitories.
Bush was appointed assistant professor of mathematics in 1922, becoming the first woman to teach courses in the School of Engineering. In 1925, Bush was made dean of Jackson College and also a full professor of mathematics. She moved, with her mother, into 72 Professors Row, which had been home to the previous dean of Jackson College. Tufts conferred an honorary doctor of letters on Bush in 1942. She had also been the recipient of the Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award the previous year.
In 1952, after thirty-two years of service to her alma mater, Bush retired and was made dean emerita. Tufts named a new dormitory, Bush Hall, in her honor in 1959. Bush died following a long illness in Waltham, Massachusetts, on November 3, 1977.
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