An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bethany, College of the Sisters of, Topeka, Kansas

On Feb. 2, 1861, the Kansas legislature granted a charter for “The Episcopal Female Seminary of Topeka.” On June 10, 1861, the school opened with thirty-three students. On July 9, 1872, Bishop Thomas Hubbard Vail obtained a new charter which changed the name to the College of the Sisters of Bethany. Vail named it in honor of the Sisters of Bethany, Mary and Martha, who represent “the two great classes of Christian womanhood, the contemplative and the active.” In 1897 the first Bachelor of Arts degrees were awarded, and on July 2, 1924, the name was changed to Vail College. The school closed in 1928.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.