CM: In 1882, Mount Holyoke graduate Mary Lyon Page (1850-1912) was appointed principal of the girl's school by the Woman's Board of Missions (WBM). The institution expanded under her leadership. Requiring more space, the station instituted a separate American School for Boys, which by 1903 was excelled to be incorporated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the International College of Smyrna (IC) relocating in 1936 to Lebanon, Beirut, where it still functions. The American Collegiate Institute (ACI), reserved now for girls only, purchased a property it had rented for several years and began constructing a new building with funds from the WBM in 1886 (the same year as its first graduating class). Located in the Basmane (Basma Hane) area, next to the recently erected Protestant church, the structure was completed in 1887 and contained classrooms for primary and higher departments. Suffering ill health, Miss Page resigned as principal in the summer of 1886 and returned to the United States.
Miss Page posed here to an unknown photographer perhaps while she was still in the United States, before her appointment in Smyrna. She is endowed with an open fresh-faced enquiring gaze. She is shown to have blond curly hair, worn swept up, possibly in a bun or French pleat. She wears a high lace collar under a high-buttoned velour dress or jacket with a velvet-embroidered front.
Miss Mary Lyon Page's original portrait of ca. 1886 by an anonymous photographer (8x5), kept at American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions - ABCFM Archive, was enlarged and transferred onto canvas in 2008 to join the other Presidential portraits at Pierce Theater Lobby.
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2005]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens