Mary Buckley Taintor was born on July 25, 1889 in Rochester,
Minnesota. She graduated from Ripon College in 1911 and received a degree
from Leland Stanford Jr. University in 1918. She was also a student at
the American Classical School in Rome, Italy from 1911-1912 and a student
at the University of Grenoble, France. Taintor did graduate work at both
the University of Chicago(1919) and Columbia University(1926-1928).
Before teaching at Dickinson College, Taintor taught
at Milwaukee State Normal School as a teacher of Latin and French from
1912-1917. She was also a teacher of Latin and French at the Venice High
School in California in 1918. Taintor became a full Professor of French
at Ripon College from 1919-1928. Finally in 1928, Taintor joined the Dickinson
faculty as an Associate Professor of Romance Languages in 1928. In 1951
she received the title of Professor of Romance Languages and was the third
women to obtain the rank of full professor at Dickinson College. She later
retired in 1959 as Professor Emerita of Romance Languages. At the
announcement of her retirement, the faculty of time created a resolution:
The Faculty, speaking for students and alumni as well as itself, is grateful
Professor Mary Taintor for her long service to learning at Dickinson College
and elsewhere. It regrets that it is losing her devotion to large, objective
and democratic principles, her courage, magnanimity, friendliness, with
which made it impossible for students or Faculty to publicly honor her
Our best wishes follow her wherever she may go1
Many of her former students remember Taintor, as
"gentle, lady-like in her graciousness."2
. At times she "may not have appeared organized but was completely in control."3 After retiring from Dickinson College, Taintor became
involved with Ripon College by setting up a Library Fund from the class
of 1911 to perpetuate higher education and to provide a lasting standard
of excellence for Ripon College.
Outside of Dickinson College, Taintor was a member
of the First Congrgational Church in Ripon, Minnesota. She was also a member
of the Ripon Educational Club, the Ripon branch of the American Association
of University Women and a life member of the Ripon Historical Society.
Mary Taintor died on February 5, 1981. At the announcement of her death,
Samuel A. Banks, President of Dickinson College, said Taintor "was a pioneer
in every sense of the word"4 .
1.Faculty Minutes from June 7, 1959.
2.A letter from David Flaherty to Henry Young, February
4.A letter to the Dickinson Community from Presiden
Samuel A. Banks, announcing Taintor's death, February 5, 1981.
A letter to the Dickinson Community from Presiden Samuel
A. Banks, announcing Taintor's death, February 5, 1981, Dickinson College
Dickinsonian, May 17, 1928, Dickinson College
Dickinson College, Microcosm, 1934, p. 37,
Dickinson College Archives.
Faculty Minutes from June 7, 1959, Dickinson College
"Taintor, Mary Buckley" Dropfile, Dickinson College
A letter from David Flaherty to Henry Young, February
16, 1981, Dickinson Special Collections.