Faculty Member

At a time when women’s status was undervalued and their education unthinkable, Eliza Fritcher, a former teacher at Mount Holyoke Divinity School, traveled to Merzifon to take on the task of introducing women to education. Given the gender-segregation, reaching the female population was only possible by women missionaries. It was in 1865, under adverse conditions and with her facing chronic health problems, that Fritcher founded the Girls’ School, which started out with only eight female students in a cramped rented space. During the Fritcher years, the Girls’ School flourished, with Frances Gage succeeding her as principal in 1893. That same year, however, the Girls’ School was destroyed in a fire. With the compensation paid by the Ottoman state, the Girls’ School was rebuilt, becoming one of the finest buildings among the mission facilities of Merzifon, and was named Fritcher Building in honour of its founder.

Symeon A. Ananiades
Curtis Lamb

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