Geneva Seybold*

Geneva Seybold*

donor plaque
Geneva  Seybold*

The late Geneva Seybold, ba '21, was born April 18, 1900 in Topeka. Following her early graduation from Topeka High School, she attended Washburn University. She graduated in 1921 with a B.A. in English. While at Washburn she was active as a writer and majored in English, she belonged to NoNoSo and Pi Kappa Delta, the national honorary forensic fraternity, and served on the Review staff and Helianthus. After graduation, she moved to New York City to enroll at Columbia University. She received her master's degree in journalism from Columbia. She wrote for Popular Science magazine and trade journals and developed employee guidelines in trade journals for most of her life. After only three years in New York, Geneva and her friends, Josephine and Bernice, decided to quit their jobs for a year and travel around the world. They each saved $1,500 for the trip. They left New York in 1927 aboard a steamship and were dubbed by a fellow passenger from Australia, the "Waltzing Matildas." A year later, they returned to New York and Geneva banked her remaining money, a dime. Geneva chronicled the trip in a book that was published by the Washburn Alumni Association and is in the collection of Mabee Library.

Geneva worked for the Industrial Conference Board, a group founded by large companies, including Ford Motors and Chrysler Corporation. The board was formed to counter the national movement of labor unions. Industrial companies felt they needed to coordinate employee and business standards. The Board's function has changed over time and today is called "The Conference Board." Geneva worked as a research writer until she retired at nearly 70. During her 25 years of service, The Conference Board published 23 book-length studies by Seybold as well as many articles in the monthly magazine, the Management Record. She traveled all of her life with friends and associates. Some of her most memorable trips were with a friend and her son who accompanied many Met stars. She loved travel and her apartment was filled with memories of each trip. She passed away November 29, 2004 at the age of 104.

The Geneva Seybold Endowment Fund provides scholarship aid for the International Programs department on campus. Geneva wanted to give students the same opportunity that she had to travel and learn in new environments and in different parts of the world. She treasured her experiences abroad and her gift to Washburn provides students with those opportunities today.