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October, 1887

The "Locals" section of the October 1887 Dickinsonian contains a brief spoof on a graduate who was against co-education. "Crooks" from the class of 1889 was notorious for speaking out against co-education, but as the Dickinsonian had noted, Crooks was now attending Wellesley, a women's college. The Dickinsonian comments upon how Crooks was always "considered to be a bitter foe of co-education...but here appears a mysterious inconsistency...[he] has become a "co-ed" at Wellesley."

January 1, 1874

At the age of 8, Zatae Longsdorff began a diary. Her diary documented her young life and describes her time playing outdoors, her passion for reading, as well as her love of animals. Zatae kept the diary from January 1, 1874 until February 28, 1874.

June 28, 1876

During the second session of the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees in 1876, General James Fowler Rusling moved for the appointment of a committee of three to "consider the advisability of admitting ladies to the studies of the college or of making some provision for conferring degrees upon bodies." Rusling suggested that Colonel Wright, a member of the Board, lead the committee as Chairman. The motion was carried and the president appointed Colonel John Armstrong Wright, Charles Joseph Baker Esq., Reverend John Wilson to the committee.

June 27, 1877

At the third session of the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees in 1877, Colonel J.A. Wright presented the report on behalf of the Committee on the Admission of Women.

June 25, 1878

Following the formation of the first "Committee on the Admission of Ladies" in 1876, a second "Committee on the Admission of Famales" was formed on June 25, 1878. The committee was comprised of three Trustees.

June 26, 1878

The day after the formation of the "Committee on the Admission of Females," the committee presented its report. Presented by Clarence J. Jackson, the report was immedately adopted.

June 27, 1878

At the previous meeting on June 27, 1878, the Board of Trustees decided to adopt a resolution allowing women to enroll at Dickinson College. They then sent the resolution to the Faculty for approval. After looking over the resolution, the Faculty agreed that the admission of women was not in the best interest of female students. According to the faculty, "there are certain proprieties & adaptations that can not be overlooked.


The Dickinson College Catalogue from 1880-1881 has the first reference to a female student at the prepatory school. The list of prepatory students includes "Z. L. Longsdorff," presumably Zatae Longsdorff.

May 24, 1883

On May 24, 1883, the faculty discussed whether or not female students should be admitted to Dickinson College. Referencing the discussion regarding coeducation that took place two years earlier, the faculty decided that the conditions of the college grounds were now suitable for female students. Thus, the faculty decided to "recommend to the Board of Trustees that women be admitted to the classes of the college on the same conditions of men." Nearly all the faculty, with the exception of Professor Harman, voted in favor of coeducation.

June 26, 1883

On June 26th, 1883, President McCauley presented his report on the 1883 school year, announcing the faculty desicion to admit women to Dickinson College. He explained that it was, "Resolved that the faculty recommend to the Board of Trustees that ladies be admitted to the classes of the College upon the same conditions as gentlemen." The following year, women were admitted to the sophomore and freshman classes.

June 26, 1883

On June 26, 1883 the Board of Trustees decided to form another Committee on the Admission of Women. Trustees Gibson, Bird, Young, Hill, Hendrickson, Fisk and McKeehan were appointed to the committee.

June 26, 1883

In his annual report to the Board of Trustees, President McCauley announces the beginning of coeducation at Dickinson College. The President asserts that since the first conversations regarding the admittance of women, changes have been made to the college buildings. Such changes include the building of rooms in which to hold recitation. Previously, recitation was held in men's dormitories (a location women in which women were not permitted).

June 27, 1883

Following its formation on June 26, 1883, the Committee on the Admission of Women presented its report on June 27, 1883. Trustee Alexander Gibson presented the report verbally. According to the minutes, "On motion consideration of the question was postponed for the present."

June 25, 1884

On June 25, 1884, the Board of Trustees decided to leave the desicion of women's admission to the college with the faculty. The faculty were to decide whether women be admitted on a case by case basis.

July, 1884

In the July issue of the 1884 Dickinsonian, it briefly mentions this short phrase in its 'Miscellany' section. "Hurrah for Co-education!" was placed in this section randomly amongst other short unrelated paragraphs. This phrase is unique because it shows up a few months before the decision to have co-education at Dickinson.

September 10, 1884

On September 10, 1884, the faculty of Dickinson College admitted Zatae Longsdorff to the insitution. Zatae Longsdorff would become the first female graduate at Dickinson College.

October 1884

In 1884, a toast to the new female students at Dickinson College was published in the Dickinsonian. The toast read, "The Ladies of Dickinson! May they add learning to beauty, and beauty to learning, subtract from the age of wisdom, multiply cheerfulness, divide time by industry and recreation, reduce idleness to its lowest denomination, and raise scholarship to its highest power!"

October 1884

In October of 1884, The Dickinsonian published their first issue following the institution of coeducation. The "Locals" section includes an instance in which a professor forgot that he had female students in his class. The excerpt reads, "Prof. R.-- 'Now gentlemen--Oh! I beg your pardon, Miss Longsdorff.'" Zatae Longsdorff, the female student mentioned in this peice, was the first woman to graduate from Dickinson College.

October 1884

In the October 1884 edition of the Dickinsonian, the staff of the paper addressed the resentment many male students felt toward the new female students. The author explained that "the impression seems to prevail that there will be too much "Co" and not enough "education." However, the article further explained, many of the male students admited that they realized that going coed was the "right thing to do."

October 1884

In October of 1884, the Dickinsonian formally recognized coeducation at Dickinson College and explained that, "Co-education starts at Dickinson with a good prospect of success. Including those attending the preparatory school we have among us nearly a dozen of the fair sex."

October, 1884

In the "Locals" section of the 1884 Dickinsonian, the paper pokes fun already at Zatae Longsdorff, the first female student at Dickinson. The paper questions to its audience to, "Ask Miss Longsdorff, Sr., what she thinks of the Junior class."

October 1884

The first mention of coeducation in the Dickinsonian appeared in October of 1884. The male editors of the Dickinsonian advised male faculty to not, "show any partiality to the co-eds. (Co-eds. in the parlance of to-day means girls) After-recitation communications cannot be tolerated. Private instructions to a co-ed are only justifiable where the subject is particularly hard to grasp."

December, 1884

The "Locals" section of the December 1884 Dickinsonian once again teases Zatae Longsdorff. The paper poses a question to its audience stating that its "none of our business, but why has Miss L. [Longsdorff] not been wearing the class mortar-board?"

December, 1884

The December 1884 issue of the Dickinsonian mentions in its "Locals" section a brief humorous statement about the Preparatory School and the co-eds. Apparently, the new Prep class will be wearing blue Turkish fezzes with red tassels, but the big question is, "Will the co-eds wear them?"

December, 1884

The "Miscellany" section of the December issue of the 1884 Dickinson includes a letter to the editor about the "petty prejudices" towards the co-eds. by the male members of the Sophomore class. The paper recommends that these negative actions detract from the class's former reputation.

December, 1884

The December 1884 Dickinsonian mentioned the "Seven Reasons why Dickinson Gave Thanks and Ate Turkey" in the "Locals" section. Among the seven reasons, the Dickinsonian mentions co-education as possibly being one of them.

March 1885

In March of 1885, the Dickinsonian published a piece illustrating early "co-ed's" experiences in the classroom. The Dickinsonian wrote: "Scene, the German class; Miss L translating, 'Alas! I am only a woman; if I were a man I would do something better than this.' Wild applause from the rest of the class."

April 17, 1885

Beta Theta Pi, one of Dickinson's earliest fraternities, considered admitting Zatae Longsdorff into their fraternity. According to the minutes of April 17, 1885, "Miss Zata Longsdorf was discussed as a fit subject for the bond of fellowship but her case was dismissed." The discussion of her admittance was brief.

July, 1885

The July 1885 issue of the Dickinsonian praises in the "Miscellany" section a fellow co-ed student, a Miss Bender, for her good work at the college. Elizabeth Bender received the prize for best scholarship in Greek and for leading the class in general work. This was published to show those "few petty, jealous and narrow minded students who believe that woman's place is no place" as well as the "theory of the natural inferiority of woman to man" has been debunked and those beliefs look bad upon the character of those who believe them.

October, 1885

The October 1885 Dickinsonian mentions in the "Locals" section that the Freshman class is torn over the question of co-education. It was stated that ten members of the class "refuse to join the class-organization if the co-eds. are allowed to join." The other half of the class insisted that an invitation be "extended to the fair causes of strife."

October, 1885

In the "Locals" section of the 1885 October Dickinsonian, a quote by a professor about co-ed classes was published. Forgetting that classes are now comprised of males and females, Doctor Harman addressed the class, "Next gentleman" and was teased by the class.

November, 1885

The "Locals" section of the November 1885 Dickinsonian comments upon the curious case of the male student, "Crooks." Apparently, Crooks despises the female students, who unfortunately most of them have a "crush" on him. The Dickinsonian scolds him on being against them, because he of all people should be for the co-eds.

November, 1885

The November 1885 issue of the Dickinsonian calls for men in their "Editorial" section to "Be Polite." The paper is asking the men to be polite now that there are ladies at the institution. Men must be reminded that the female students at the college "are ladies and are worthy [of] the most chivalrous treatment."

November, 1885

The "Editorials" section on the front page of the November 1885 Dickinsonian includes an article titled, "A Divided Class," which are divided on co-education. Some members of the class are for "the co-eds" and others are "anti-co-eds." The Dickinsonian calls for the Freshman class to "come to terms" with co-education and to not make themselves a laughing stock of the school. The paper also claims that their fight against the women is ridiculous because "chicks are timid creatures and daren't hurt anybody."

December, 1885

In the 1885 December Dickinsonian, "Gussie" warns against the Co-eds. He calls Co-eds "a thing of recent invention and dangerous to meddle with." Gussie also advises other men that it is impolite to "call sixteen times a week at the same house."

January, 1886

The January 1886 Dickinsonian mentions in the "Locals" section about a memorable day, according to a "Dr. H." On January 21st, he called for the first time a co-ed up to translate Hebrew. The Professor gave her a '9' for her good work, and did not substitute an '8' in its place when she walked away.

January, 1886

The January 1886 Dickinsonian mentions one of the advantages of women receiving an education. This advantage is that it makes them independent, or in "homely phraseology 'able to hoe their own row'."This case of independence has become manifested in the college's co-eds by the community's observation of them.


Amy Fisher, an 1895 graduate of Dickinson College, was the first woman to teach at the Preparatory School. In 1896 she is included in the Preparatory School faculty, noted as "In Charge of Study Hall". While teaching at the school, she was also earning her Master of Arts degree in 1897. After obtaining her degree, she became the assistant principal of a high school in Doylestown, Pennsylvania until 1904. She resumed her employment at Dickinson College in 1932 as curator of the Dickinsoniana collection.

February, 1886

The February 1886 Dickinsonian shows once again that the Freshmen are in a heated debate over co-education. Within the past few days both sides of the class, the co-ed and anti-co-ed, have had "several dreadful encounters."

May 31, 1886

On May 31, 1886, Zatae Longsdorff went before the faculty to ask, "whether the Pierson Prize Medal Contest was open to all members of the Junior class without distinction of sex." The faculty decided that, as a member of the class, Zatae had the right to participate.

June 21, 1886

A parody on the Junior Oratorical Contest was written in 1886, and taunts Zatae Longsdorff's participation in it. One of the main features of this "event" is  Zatae singing the opening song, "Wait Till the Clouds Roll By." For the purposes of this parody, her oration is renamed from "Hand Workers vs. Head Workers" to "Head Work Verses Pony Work," and that she is labeled as "Our Pride When Absent." Zatae is finally mentioned in "Dramatis Personae" as stating, "I'm a Co-ed; I want a medal."

July, 1886

The July 1886 Dickinsonian shows that Zatae Longsdorff was a participant in the Junior Oration Contest. The Dickinsonian states that it could hardly be called a contest because of the fact that "the members of the class organization...refused to take any part whatever in it when the two persons outside of the organization had made known their intention of contesting." One of these two people is of course Zatae Longsdorff. Despite the protests against much of the Junior class participating, the Dickinsonian states that "the contest as a whole was good."

c. 1887

This photograph is a group picture of early female students of both Dickinson College and the Preparatory School from circa 1887. The women included in this picture are Zatae Longsdorff '87, Mary Curran '88, Hildegarde Longsdorff '88, Elizabeth Bender '88, Mary Evans '89, Alice Kronenberg '89, Mary Himes '89, Jennie Taylor '89, Jessica Longsdorff '91, Elizabeth Low '91, Lenora Whiting '91, Wilhemina Scarborough '91, and Sarah Yocum '91.

June 29, 1887

On June 29, 1887. the Dickinson College Board of Trustees recognized the first female graduate, Zatae Longsdorff. Zatae Longsdorff received an A.B. in 1887.

October, 1887

"Advice to the Freshman" is a piece written in the 1887 October Dickinsonian, giving some tips to the incoming freshman class. One part of the piece gives advice to the freshman women about their appearances.

December, 1887

"Hazing at Dickinson" was an article published in the December 1886 Dickinsonian about just that subject. Surprising to the paper, they mention that it is the girls on campus that still participate in hazing. Supposedly one of their methods is to "surprise their victims, bind and gag them" and upset some of the furniture. The paper is so appalled at the female's actions that they call for those who read this article to cut it out and mail it to the females of your household and "instruct them to reform."

circa 1888

This series of five photographs depicts early female Dickinsonians in a physical education class. The women use various forms of equipment in the photos. The photo pictured on this page lists the names of the women and it appears that the same women are in each image.


This photograph depicts early female students relaxing in a "dorm" room. The women depicted  (left to right), Jennie Taylor, Mary Evans, and Mary Curran, were sitting in Taylor's room at John Bursk's home.

January, 1888

The 1888 January Dickinsonian starts off the New Year with a brief article about the "advantages" of co-education. Apparently, the president of the class of 1889 deviated from his speech because he had caught the eye of a particular co-ed that he was found of, in front of everyone. The Dickinsonian further comments upon the scene that if only the 1890 class president had glanced in the same direction, his speech might have been more inspired.

January, 1888

The January 1888 Dickinsonian presents in its article on the gymnasium opening a paragraph about a toast offered in honor of the co-eds. Mr. Webbert, the class president of the sophomores, toasts co-education and remarked with regret upon his "bachelor class" as having no co-eds.