By Jonathan McConnell
This collection contains material documenting two events: the christening in 2010 and the commissioning in 2012 of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, named after Purdue University’s first full-time Dean of Women, and Director of the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, Dorothy Stratton.
Scope and Contents of the Materials
This collection contains programs, a dvd, photographs and ephemera documenting the christening in 2010 and the commissioning in 2012 of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, named after Purdue University’s first full-time Dean of Women, Dorothy Stratton.
Collection Historical Note
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton is a Legend-class National Security Cutter, the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the U.S. Coast Guard Fleet. The Stratton is named in honor of Dorothy Stratton, Director of the United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (known as SPARS). Captain Stratton was Dean of Women at Purdue University before taking a leave of absence to join the Navy Women’s Reserve (WAVES) in 1942. She was soon called upon to create and direct the SPARS, a name she coined as an acronym for the Coast Guard Motto, “Semper Paratus” and its English translation “always ready.”
Dorothy Constance Stratton (1899-2006) served as Dean of Women at Purdue from 1933 until 1946, at a time in which the enrollment of women students jumped from less than 500 to more than 1,400. During her tenure at Purdue, she oversaw the creation of a liberal science program for women in the School of Science as well as an employment placement center. She helped established the Housemother Training School that gave intensive training to fraternity and sorority housemothers from across the United States. In 1942, during the Second World War, Stratton took a military leave of absence from Purdue and was commissioned to create and direct the Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard, also known as SPARS (an acronym she coined based on the phrase "Semper Paratus, Always Ready"). Upon her retirement from the military in 1946, she was awarded a Legion of Merit Medal for her contributions to women in the armed forces. Stratton went on to serve as the first director of personnel at the International Monetary Fund and then later as an executive director of the Girl Scouts of the America until her retirement in 1960.
Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
The christening ceremony material was sent by the U.S. Coast Guard in response to a request by a staff archivist on October 28, 2010.
The commissioning ceremony material was donated by archivist Sammie Morris, who attended the ceremony on March 31, 2012.
Alternate Extent Statement:
Collection is open for research.
U.S. Coast Guard; Sammie Morris
For more information about the life of Dorothy Stratton, please see MSF 366, Dorothy Stratton papers.
Finding Aid Revision History:
Revised by EW 9/18/2012
Box and Folder Listing Browse by Series:
[Series 1: Christening, 2010
[Series 2: Commissioning, 2012