Coeducation at Princeton University refers to the transition of Princeton University from being a single-sex education university which only admitted males to being a mixed-sex education university. In Princeton University president Robert F. Goheen announced in The Daily Princetonian that "It is inevitable that, at some point in the future, Princeton is going to move into the education of women. In , the university actually maintained and staffed a sister college , Evelyn College for Women , in the town of Princeton on Evelyn and Nassau streets. It was closed after roughly a decade of operation. After abortive discussions with Sarah Lawrence College to relocate the women's college to Princeton and merge it with the University in , the administration decided to admit women and turned to the issue of transforming the school's operations and facilities into a female-friendly campus. The administration had barely finished these plans in April when the admissions office began mailing out its acceptance letters. Ultimately, women, consisting of freshmen and transfer students of other years, entered Princeton on September 6, amidst much media attention. Princeton enrolled its first female graduate student, Sabra Follett Meservey, as a PhD candidate in Turkish history in
‘Go Where the Rapes Are’
Women's colleges often offer classes that can't be found at a typical co-ed university. Barnard, for example, is affiliated with Columbia University. So students can enjoy the intimacy of a small, liberal arts college, while having the chance to take classes and meet students from a much larger, Ivy League institution. Christina Perry Sampson, 25, graduated from Barnard in and said she never found it difficult to meet male friends, especially because the college is located in New York City. Collins also said because her college is also in a big city, she never felt isolated by women. You can stay focused on your academics and experience unique academic opportunities. She said the school is very career-minded, and the non-male atmosphere helps students focus on their goals and their academics. Norton, 24, who graduated in , just wanted to find a smaller college closer to home, and Bryn Mawr ended up being the right fit. Coincidence or not, Rowley, 25, said her classes at Montclair State University were difficult to adjust to after four years at Mount Holyoke. The only way to know for sure is to take a visit, Rowley said.
More on that in a second…. Also, though most shared dorm rooms are still single sex, more than colleges, including Brown University , Stanford University , The University of Pennsylvania , Oberlin College , Clark University , and the California Institute of Technology , now allow some or all students to share a room with anyone they choose—and we mean anyone. And, yes, you both might be naked. And as for simply sharing bathroom space with the opposite sex? Beyond bathrooms, co-ed dorms are pretty much like any other dorms, except, you know, co-ed. RAs plan events. Sure, a little awkward at first, but you get used to it. Hanging out with your dorm friends no matter their gender is tons of fun, but the day-to-day living is actually kind of boring.
In the late s, several prestigious universities in the United States — including Princeton — decided to admit women for the first time. The reasons it happened at this particular moment are surprising and largely unexplored. She spoke to PAW about her findings. In the book, you focus on a handful of universities that were male-only in the s, even though other elite institutions had been coed for years. What was different about the universities you write about? Places like Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard — they were all founded on the presumption that they would educate men. They had been educating men for one or two centuries when, at the end of the 19th century, we see the founding of private colleges for women, like Vassar, Smith, Wellesley, and Barnard. No one was thinking at that time about opening up institutions like Princeton to women, because they believed their long tradition of single-sex education really worked. These places provided an excellent education for young men; they developed leaders; they fostered camaraderie among students that led to lifelong friendships and important business associations.