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The First Coed Colleges in the U.S.: Background information when reading Yale Needs Women

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Yale Needs Women

How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant

by Anne Gardiner Perkins

Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins X
Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2019, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 8, 2020, 400 pages

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The First Coed Colleges in the U.S.

This article relates to Yale Needs Women

Black and white photo of women at Oberlin College in the 1850sIn Yale Needs Women, author Anne Gardiner Perkins explores the circumstances surrounding Yale University's decision to go coed in 1969, and the experiences of its first female students. Yale's change in policy was hardly revolutionary, as some colleges and universities in the U.S. had been coed since the 19th century.

Oberlin College in Ohio was the first higher learning institution to admit women in the United States. The college opened in 1833, permitted Blacks to apply in 1835, and became coed in 1837 with the admission of four female students. Three of the four graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1841. The fourth, Mary Kellogg, had to drop out because she could no longer afford the tuition, but later returned to finish after she was married (to future Oberlin College president James Harris Fairchild). In 1862, Mary Jane Patterson graduated from Oberlin, becoming the first Black woman in the United States to earn a Bachelor's degree. In 1860, James Harris Fairchild gave a speech...

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