Lillian Cole arrived in Thessaloniki in 1927 to take charge of the health and wellbeing of the students in the boarding house. Trained as a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, she was a member of the mission from Asia Minor. She had married Armenian Levon H. Sewny, a 1901 Anatolia graduate who had studied medicine at the American University of Beirut and had died of typhus during World War I. Lillian Cole took over the management of the small infirmary for a decade as well as duties related to housing and boarding. Ruth Compton commented that “she ruled with an iron fist and a heart of gold”. Her rule? Anyone who said they were sick would be forced to stay in bed and treated with castor oil. This way, no student ever made the mistake of pretending to be sick.

Curtis Lamb
Elias Riggs

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