1940-1949

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Social Opportunities Offered to Female Students and Cadets

Included in the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students" is a list of "Social opportunities" offered to female students and Army Air Force cadets. Social opportunities include regulations on walking in couples, hiking in groups, bicycling, horseback riding, buggy and carriage riding, bowling, tennis, movies, dances and dancing, prohibition, and out-of-town social events.

Date: October, 1943
Modus Operandi

"Modus Operandi" (Method of Operation) is a section in a memo on the "Social Situation for the Guidance of Women Students" on social relationships between cadets and female students. The document states that "social relationships between women students and cadets will be managed through a Conference and Appointment Bureau." The purpose of this bureau was to "introduce cadets to women students and to carry out the regulations set by the administration."  This bureau operated only while the cadets were on campus.

Date: October, 1943
Women's Dorm

Professor Russell I. Thompson strongly urges Board of Trustees President Boyd Lee Spahr to lobby aggressively for the construction of a new women's dormitory, arguing that "Metzger Hall has long since served its purpose." He suggests the building should be sufficient to house 125 to 150 students.

Date: 1944
Dean of Women

Professor Russell I. Thompson writes in a letter to President Boyd Lee Spahr about his ideas for the future of the college. He suggests the creation of a more specific position for the dean of women, calling the position as it stood then an "anamolous" one. He believes that the dean of women should be more than just a house mother or supervisor of Metzger Hall: instead, the dean should guide all the women of the college.

Date: 1944
GraduateSchool.jpg

During the peak years of the Second World War it was a common trend that women did not apply to graduate schools even though the majority of the women attended school because they wanted to obtain a career. As explained by Ruth Murphy in her interview, "back then girls didn't apply like now", despite the fact that she, like other women on the Dickinson campus, eagerly wanted to attend gradute or law school after graduation.

Date: Spring 1990
Dickinsonian.jpg

As explained in her interview, Kathleen Briner Meals class of '44 became the second editor-in-chief of the Dickinsonian. At the time this position which carried the title "Co-ed", partly because of the  lack of men around, was a title that was appointed by the school's administration.

Date: November 22, 1989
Women's Dorm on Mooreland Campus

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees recommended to the Board the appointment of a "special committee of five" to look into the construction of a women's dormitory. They suggested the building be erected on Mooreland Campus and be adequate to house 150 women.

Date: December 15, 1945
The Present Emergency of Women's Housing

Dean Ernest A. Vuilleumier reports to the Board of Trustees that the college was operating four separate buildings--Metzger Hall, the Gibbs House, the Parker House, and the Phi Delta Theta House--as women's dormitories. The dean viewed this situation as unsatisfactory and argued for "the very great need for a new dormitory for women." He urged the Board to make plans for the construction of a women's dormitory as soon as possible.

Date: June 2, 1945
No Action Taken

In response to President Prettyman's call for coeducation "in the true sense of the term," the Board of Trustees did not take any action. They considered the recommendation to change the ratio of male and female students but chose to do nothing because "action had already been taken sufficient to cover the case." The minutes do not explain to which action this statement refers.

Date: December 9, 1944
Get in line with the best colleges in the country

President Cornelius William Prettyman argues in a letter to the Board of Trustees that Dickinson College should become "a coeducational college in the true sense of the term." He points out that 163 of the 253 students at the college were women and that, in the future, this number would only continue to grow. He adds that women "are entering college in ever greater numbers." Thus, he recommends that Dickinson College educate both male and female students in equal numbers and wishes to enforce a 50-50 ratio of female to male students.

Date: December 9, 1944