Frankie Merson will be topic of Keuka luncheon

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Frankie Merson

An innovative educator and ground-breaking feminist — not to mention a Keuka College pioneer — will be profiled when Keuka College’s Community Luncheon Series continues Wednesday, March 18.

College Professor of Social Work Stephanie Craig will share the incredible story of Frankie Merson and how she and her parents fought for the suffrage movement and the rights of women not just in New York, but across the nation.

The lecture and luncheon will be held at noon in the Geiser Dining Commons in Keuka College’s Dahlstrom Student Center with check-in beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Frankie Merson, a member of the Keuka College Class of 1904, was a woman ahead of her time. As a social reformer, suffragette, and advocate for justice, she was a voice, and a force, for change throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Along with her parents, missionaries Zebina and Elizabeth Griffin, Frankie led efforts to secure women the right to vote in New York, using her talents for advocacy and education — and no small amount of the missionary zeal that was surely in the genes of a child of Baptist preachers.

That mission succeeded — women in New York were casting ballots three years before the 19th Amendment granted that franchise nationally. She also pioneered educational programs for women at Keuka College, where she chaired the Department of Political Science and Sociology, and developed courses that were the envy of universities like Yale.

Professor Craig, a veteran social worker, has taught at Keuka College for 17 years. An advocate for social change, she has led students on a peace march in New York City, supported college students who participated in the #Enough movement, and joined in the Women’s March in Seneca Falls. In addition to teaching at Keuka College, she owns Professional Counseling Services in Bath.

Tickets for the luncheon are $15. Reservations may be made online at no later than Tuesday, March 10. Space is limited.

For more information or questions, contact Kathy Waye, Keuka College’s director of community relations and events, at 315-279-5602.