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UMass Lowell History: The Marm

"The 'Marm" 1934, Lowell Teachers College Yearbook

UMass Lowell Libraries continues to make assets from our legacy institutions' Family Tree available digitally by adding an early Lowell Teachers College yearbook, The 'Marm to our Internet Archive site. The 'Marm was published but one year, 1934, before being succeeded by The Knoll (1935 -1975).

This copy of The 'Marm, which belonged to LTC alumna Mary Frances Lanigan, a gifted pianist, contains inscriptions from her classmates. It is also autographed by college President Clarence M. Weed and Art Instructor DeMerritte (Demie) A. Hiscoe.1

The title The 'Marm derives from schoolmarm: "a person exhibiting the prim or didactic behavior conventionally associated with a schoolmistress." Using it as the title for the Lowell Teachers College yearbook was likely intended as self parody. The term marm is believed to be a New England dialectic variant of ma'am.2 

                      yearbook cover

                              Click image for access to entire book Lowell Teachers College Yearbook

The 'Marm includes a fanciful Class Prophecy piece in which the future lives of the graduates are viewed from the misty summit of Mount Olympus. It also contains a History of the Class of 1934 which concludes:

"Let not the future destroy what we have built, rather let it bind us together in bonds of stronger friendship. Wherever we go, we take with us these memories, invaluable and cherished reminders of our college career."

1. Blewett, Mary H, and Christine McKenna. 1995. To Enrich and to Serve : The Centennial History of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning.

2. "schoolmarm, n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, September 2020, Accessed 5 December 2020.