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Mount Vernon Seminary and College Spring Valley Campus and Florence Foerderer scrapbook collection

Identifier: MVC0004-MS

Scope and Contents

This collection contains newspaper articles, photographs, songs, and correspondence related to the Spring Valley campus and the student life of Florence Foerderer including a trip Ms. Foerderer took to Oslo Norway as an exchange student. The photographs show both the exterior views of many of the Spring Valley houses used by students for classrooms and dormitories and also interior views of students studying and attending classes such as painting. The scrapbooks are a mix of data about her time at Mount Vernon including exams, Mount Vernon policies, and letters from classmates and teachers, images of student life, some material about her time in Washington, D.C., and brochures and letters related to her studies in Norway. This inclusive dates of the material is 1925-1957, but the bulk of the material dates from 1943-1950.


  • 1925-1957
  • Majority of material found within 1943 - 1950

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biography of Florence Foerderer

Florence Foerderer (1926-1999) grew up in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Mount Vernon Junior College in 1948. During her time at Mount Vernon, Florence served as senior class president. Upon graduation she worked for a time at the College. In 1949, Florence attended the Summer School for American Students of the University of Oslo, Norway. Based on the limited data in this collection she appeared to work for Mount Vernon in some capacity although the record of this is scant and there is no data about what she may have done or the duration. Florence never married and later in life became a successful dog breeder.

Historical note about Mount Vernon

On December 28, 1942 The Mount Vernon Seminary and Junior College moved from its Nebraska Avenue location to the Spring Valley neighborhood. This move was precipiated by the United States Navy decision to take the buildings and grounds of the Mount Vernon Seminary for World War II initiatives. Mount Vernon received zoning approval to use a portion of the Garfinkel's Department Store at 4340 Fordham Road for classrooms, a study hall, library and assembly hall. This formed the main part of the school with eight houses in the Spring Valley neighborhood serving as faculty and student residences and several other buildings housing other essential offices such as an infirmary and classroom spaces. The students used American University's athletic facilities for most of the physical exercise classes. The Spring Valley houses were temporary quarters until 1946.

In late 1943, a jury awarded the school more than one million dollars as compensation for the loss of the Nebraska Avenue property. This award allowed the school to pay off its remaining debt, but the Trustees knew that finding a new permanent campus was essential to the continued existence of the school. The Trustees began looking in early 1944 and soon after purchased property at Foxhall Road, the site of the current Mount Vernon Campus.

In 1999, George Washington University acquired the Mount Vernon College.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains newspaper articles, photographs, songs, and correspondence related to the Spring Valley campus of the Mount Vernon Seminary and College and the student life of student Florence Foerderer. The bulk of the material dates from 1943 to 1950.


Arranged in a loose chronological order. The order within each scrapbook was maintained which was not always a true chronology.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site, and may require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Other Finding Aids

The Foerderer family papers reside at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. These records pertain primarily to the work and life of Florence Foerderer's parents, Percival E. Foerderer and Ethel Brown Foerderer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection acquired by GWU upon merger with Mount Vernon College. Collection transferred to Foggy Bottom campus in 2009.

Guide to Mount Vernon Seminary and College Spring Valley Campus and Florence Foerderer scrapbook collection, 1925-1957
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America