May Paige Malcolm
May Paige Malcolm

In the summer of 1881, a Boston gentleman was traveling to Europe and did not wish to take his fifteen-year-old grandchild who was in his care. He heard of a new school that was opening in Wellesley and of the two New England women who were the principals. After meeting with the Eastman sisters, he persuaded them to take his youthful granddaughter as a boarder for the summer and as an entering student in the fall. Thus, May Paige became Dana Hall’s first student. Mrs. Malcolm remembers “…a homelike atmosphere about Dana Hall that I never found elsewhere…” She liked Dana the best of the many schools she attended both here and abroad and she “…liked the Misses Eastman better than any of the principals in other schools.” Eva, who was only eight years old, and May Pinney were also at Dana that first year and May remembers, “…their room always smelled like a flower garden. I used to spend as much time as possible in that room.” Mrs. Malcolm took up flying in 1914 and owned a plane. She “soloed” on November 23, 1925, when she was sixty years old, setting an age record in the United States. Returning to Dana in October 1930 almost fifty years later, Mrs. Malcolm was excited about the amazing changes she found and exclaimed, “When I see what has been accomplished I am very proud to have been the first pupil.”


Collection of May M. Pinney and May Paige Malcolm. Wellesley, MA: Dana Hall Archives.

“Dana’s First Pupil,” The Dana Hall Association Quarterly. January 1931: 7-8.
May Malcolm, photograph. Dana Hall Archives, Wellesley, MA.
Originally published as Person of the Week, October 3, 2005