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Martha van Rensselaer
and Flora Rose


Martha van Rensselaer (1864-1932) and Flora Rose (1874-1959) were the founders and co-directors of Cornell's Department (later School) of Home Economics.

Both women played prominent roles in the Food Administration during World War I. Like many principals in the Food Administration, they worked as volunteers. In Washington, van Rensselaer directed the Home Economics Division and Rose worked on a state level as the deputy director of the New York State Food Administration. This work resulted in a request from the King of Belgium in 1923 to organize food relief for malnourished Belgian school children. King Albert later awarded Rose the Order of the Crown for this successful effort.